Hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill in our backyard or our neighbors, the pools in town finally opening for the summer, ‘School’s Out For Summer’ shouting with fist bumps in the air. This was the Memorial Day of my youth. I vaguely remember going to the cemetery to lay flowers, but do recall overhearing a few funny stories about the older generation. I think all the sad remembrances was an adult thing.
Now that I find myself squarely in the adult category and leaning toward the older generation, I find I enjoy thinking about my ancestors and all they have given me, all the wisdom I have gained and how they shaped me, my parents, their parents and on back and back. I do miss those who have died in my lifetime and those cause the most tugging at my heart. I do however enjoy conceptualizing about the 19th-century authors, or the 18th-century fisherman from Northern Scotland and how when they went to sea, the women with all the children would pack the sit in baskets on their back and set out to sell their wares. I appreciate my strength and endurance which was borne on their backs. These are MY women, and there were no sissies there!
This day of remembering can and should be, a perfect combination of both joy and sadness, but primarily a day to be grateful. I sat with my husband over morning coffee and discussed all the people we miss and what we gained by having them in our lives. It was interesting to note it was the kindnesses, the loving caring, connections, lessons which taught us how to be our best selves and acceptance and guidance when we were not. Fun and laughter
Tonight we will gather with thousands at Ala Moana Beach Park and float our intentions and gratitude out into the sea. One Ocean, many rivers is the theme. We were asked to move through our days with aloha for everyone. We were asked to respect our elders and the environment. We were reminded to seek peace and understanding. This year we remember many who have died fondly, they remain forever in our hearts and our actions. We do this for ourselves to remember all those we loved and also for those who were loved by those dear to us.
I will remind myself to be GRATEFUL for all the loving kindness around me – right here, right now. We decided to write notes to our children about our love for them in the event we never get the time. I hope being grateful, kind and loving will be the things for which my future generations remember me OR perhaps I should settle for them remembering that I was never a sissy girl!