Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day

Vintage Memorial Day Postcard

My grandmother always called Memorial Day by its former name, Decoration Day. This is probably because Decoration Day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who had died and my grandmother was a big Civil War buff. Her own grandfather had actually served as a soldier during the Battle of Pea Ridge.

Every Memorial Day we gathered up the many roses, peonies, iris and other flowers that grew in her garden and headed out to the cemetery to decorate graves. My grandfather died when I was six years old so we always decorated his grave first, then progressed to other graves of people she had known who were buried there.

Now that my grandmother is resting next to my grandfather, I find myself at the cemetery each year armed with my own flowers, both from the garden  and purchased. Last year, I came to the realization that I am now decorating 11 different graves, a sure sign that I am getting older and beloved elders are slipping away.