It hit me today as I was thinking about it, that my grandfather has been dead 20 years. I was 7. I suppose for most people the memories of him wouldn't be much, but I can still picture him as if it were yesterday. He was sort of gruff at times, this old Kansas farm boy who preferred to wear overalls. But I remember what it was like to crawl onto his lap. I remember being read to. I remember my grandma making him coffee and me hot cocoa when I stayed over.
My grandfather served in WWII on a navy submarine. I spent my entire life looking at these photos of him and my grandma each in their uniforms that she kept over her desk (I wish I could share them, but I'm still trying to hunt down who has them!). I remember going back into my grandma's room and flipping through all her photo books, in awe of what seemed like so long ago it was practically with the dinosaurs to a little kid. And it's turned out that I really find those navy whites attractive and have lectured Garret time and again on choosing the wrong branch. It stands to reason that though only half an hour away I've never been near the navy in Annapolis... G worries that it might give me too many heart palpitations.
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who are gone from us. The ones we loved who have served bravely. My grandfather served in the navy, my grandma in the army. My husband is in the air force, but I hope I don't have to think of him on Memorial Day for a long, long time to come. However I think of all the military men and women overseas. I think of those I hear about, the funerals of those younger than I. And whether or not I agree with what's happened I honor what they gave. Their lives for my freedom.
Are you honoring someone today?