I know that the Memorial Day holiday is a remembrance those who have died in war but for me I’ve usually thought of it as memory day – a day or remembering the dead and a day for dealing with certain memories. I suppose I am fortunate in that I don’t actually know anyone who has died in a war.
10 days ago I spent a long weekend in Vermont visiting my brothers and to attend my Mother’s burial. I was dreading the trip because I felt it was going to reopen painful emotions that I was finally dealing with.
Frequently, however, our expectation of how something will be is far worse than the actual event.
The day of the burial was a perfectly gorgeous day. It was 70F, bright blue skies, and not a single cloud. My brother said that the day before, which was the day I was traveling, was cold, rainy and super windy. A tree knocked over a power line and the electricity was out for 4 hours. It’s harder to be sad when the weather is so wonderful.
There weren’t too many people there – me and my brothers, my Mom’s last uncle, and some of my Mom’s co-workers. After it was done, my brothers and I went to lunch with a couple of my Mom’s friends, including her best friend Alan.
I had met Alan a couple of times before but never spent so much time with him until that day. And he is hysterical – no wonder my Mom liked him so much. He told some funny stories about Mom and had her mannerisms down perfectly.
My Mom was famous for losing her keys. When I was a kid she once dumped them in the mailbox when she was mailing some letters. Another time the got folded in with the stacks of pants at a store and were discovered a month later. The only way we were able to keep her from losing the mailbox key, after she had lost it numerous times, was to attach it to a large stuffed toy.
Well, Alan told a really funny key story and we were all laughing and crying at the same time. It was just so funny how her constant losing of keys affected everyone who spent time with her. The lunch and the time we spent together was actually fun – and I think Mom would have liked it that way.
photo credit: brentdanley