I recall Memorial Day being a "Big Deal" to my parents during their lives. I have fond memories of spending the morning of Memorial Day preparing numerous jars or containers filled with flowers to put on relatives graves. Our trunk would be full as we headed to the Logan Cemetery where all of our deceased relatives were buried. There we would meet other extended family members doing the same thing. Even after I was married we would go with them for this holiday ritual because it always seemed to bring so much joy to them to have us along.
My mom was a maybe a little obsessive about her gravestone. I remember driving through many cemeteries with her so she could show us exactly what she wanted for her stone. Hopefully she is pleased with it.
Because I know how much all of this meant to them, my sister and I have tried to carry on the tradition. We are not as dedicated to it as they were and we want to be other places on the holiday so we have made the annual trek to Logan every Friday before Memorial Day to place flowers on their grave since mom and dad passed away. We also have 3 siblings buried close by and a niece and a nephew so we also do their graves. It's quite a fun day and of course we include a nice lunch and a visit to the cheese store. Traditions are good.
This year I was tending Blake and Callie for a few days during this time so they got to come with us. So lunch was just at Chick-Fil-A instead of somewhere nice but it was delightful to have them with us. It made me realize that though I'm carrying on the tradition, it is being lost with my children. We haven't included them in it. Oh well, lots of other traditions for them to carry on.
This year my sister and a couple of my cousins were able to come also. What a delightful afternoon we had. One aunt still drives herself (Scary thought) to Salt Lake City every Saturday to fulfill a hospitality mission at the Joseph Smith Building. The other one is still an octogenarian who plays tennis faithfully several times a week. Oh how I hope I'm still going as strong as they are when I am that age. I can see them aging, but they are not going to stop living.
What a great time I had catching up with my cousins. We hadn't seen each other for ages. Family is so important no matter how extended it becomes. I love these memories.