Marshmallow Mondays

Memorial Day in Lexington

Just popsicles and slip ‘n slides.  Oh, and one neighborhood potluck picnic with some of our favorite neighbors since moving to Lexington.  That was the extent of our holiday weekend, and we were just fine with that.  With Rydan’s school officially out for the summer, this was the perfect kickoff to our first summer in Lexington.

It was three straight days of the slip ‘n slide, and then we were off to our picnic Sunday evening.  As we shopped for our watermelon that afternoon (among other things) to take to the picnic, I received a very heartfelt voicemail that left me frozen and in tears next to the automotive aisle.  It was from a very good friend in Pennsylvania.  She was offering to take flowers to my pap’s grave at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery because she knew this was something I did every Memorial Day.  My pap was a Veteran, who had fought in the Army during the Korean War.  After his passing in 2000, I’ve made a habit of taking him a red rose every Memorial Day.  I love visiting at this time of year because of the patriotic spirit you feel as you drive through the grounds.  There are thousands of flags decorating the lawns, and it just takes your breath away.

As I listened to that voicemail, I didn’t know what made me cry more… the fact that I have a friend who knows me this well and would do something like that for me without me asking, or that it was the day before Memorial Day and I hadn’t yet thought about the fact that this is the first year in eleven that I wouldn’t be able to take my red rose to my pap’s grave.  This would have been the first year that Lily would be with me.  Last year she was sleeping in the car.  The year before that was the first time that Rydan was with me, and the year before that was the first for Ryan.  I never stay long.  Just long enough for him to know that I’m there and to silently reflect on all of the changes in my life since my last visit.  This year’s change is that big that I can’t be there to tell him about it. 

I felt so horrible about not thinking about my Memorial Day visit until I received that voicemail yesterday, but it was Ryan who reminded me that I still had one more day.  After beating myself up about it, I realized he was probably right.  I would have remembered.  Being in Lexington, it’s hard not to think about the things we used to do on certain holidays simply because this is the first time that we aren’t doing them.  But… that’s okay, because we’re doing new things.  Doing new things doesn’t make you forget the old traditions.  In fact, it makes you appreciate them and cherish them even more. 

As you are picnicking with your family and friends today, I ask that you remember those who have fought for our country.  My pap never talked about his time in Korea, but he didn’t have to.  Sometimes the unspoken is easier to communicate and in turn, easier to understand.


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