Thursday, May 26, 2016

12 Memorial Days...

Memorial Day #12.

It's a day I never could have imagined becoming a reality. And honestly, it's a day I still struggle to come to terms with each year. Sometimes, it feels like there have been 1,000 Memorial Days since my brother was killed. Other times, it feels like each Memorial Day is the first one.

And sometimes, my mind and heart go back and forth between the two.

So how do you come up with words to explain what this day means? How do you come to terms with a day like Memorial Day when it means something totally different to you than it does to most people? How do you put words to thoughts and feelings you can't even get straight in your head, let alone on paper (or a computer screen, as the case may be)?

How do you tell other people something that you can't even really explain to yourself?
How do you explain what it means to have a specific day set aside to remember your brother--as if you're being told that you shouldn't be remembering him on other days? How do I explain that even now, almost 12 years after my brother was killed, there are still days when I remember all at once that my brother is gone?

How do I explain that almost a dozen years later, sometimes the grief still hits hard enough to take my breath away, and that the tears still fill my eyes unbidden at the most inopportune times?

This weekend is the start of summer. It is a weekend of joy for so many, a time spent with family and friends cooking out and enjoying all the freedoms this country offers. For a group of us, though, Memorial Day is something different. While it is still a weekend of joy, family, and friends, it is also a day of knowing that there is someone missing out on all of that. There is someone that at times it seems like the rest of the world has forgotten--except as a slight background thought once a year.


So this Memorial Day, celebrate with those you love. Enjoy all the freedoms that still come with being a citizen of the United States (freedoms that are being threatened, but that's a post for another time). Cook out, laugh loudly, hug the people you love--and maybe set an extra place at the table in remembrance of all those who aren't enjoying this weekend because they gave their lives to ensure our freedoms.

Remember that they aren't just numbers. They are brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, cousins, nephews, nieces, grandsons, granddaughters, and friends.

They are loved.
And they are remembered every day, not just on Memorial Day.      

1 comment:

Thoughts? I would love to hear them!

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