Paul and I have been together for more than 26 years now. Our families have been, and continue to be, very important to us. Luckily for both of us, they are also all physically close. Our parents and siblings spent the past 15 or so years all within 45 minutes of each other. As our siblings have grown up, their kids are now the ones that are going out into the world to conquer and improve.
Amazingly, to me anyway, in those 26 years I have never participated in the Memorial Day weekend drive to the cemeteries to maintain plots, clean headstone, lay flowers and pay respects. It was simply never part of my families tradition because my parents lived 500 some miles away from their family. It was impossible to do, therefore was never done.
Now that Dad has passed away and his ashes are at Fort Snelling, I decided to go with them this year. Of course the weather was awful this morning and we only got to two of the four locations, but what a wonderful experience. Five of us out in the rain with brushes, knives, grass trimmers, water buckets, flowers, etc. There was laughing and telling of stories. From past years everyone knew their particular job…mine was to stand by under an umbrella and look wet, but I still really enjoyed the time. We will go and visit the last two sites tomorrow and I’ll add the pictures when we do.
It surprises me how long I wait to accept a new tradition, but I’m glad to have done it at last. May all the people visiting be granted peace and all the people being visited rest in peace.
Our first stop:
Our second stop:
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Paul and I got up early and visited Dad’s ashes at the Columbarium at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. I was reminded of what a lovely, peaceful place this is.
The full inscription below the dates reads “Husband Dad Grandpa”.