Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Yearly Memorial Day Cemetery Visit

I know Memorial Day was created in honor of military members who lost their lives bravely serving and I give thanks to them. I also feel that Memorial Day is a good time to remember anyone no longer with us. My maternal grandfather passed away 16 years ago and I choose this time of year to go visit him. He also served in the USAF during WWII so it's fitting.

Back up a little to my blog entry about my garden flowers. Remember the yellow irises I received from a Palouse friends? When they bloom, it's also my reminder to head to Holy Cross Cemetery. I believe yellow is the color of peace and when placed with an American Flag it looks rather stunning. Since my yellow flora opened early than usual this year, they also began to die off earlier. So I had to change it up and mix some of the mauve irises with them.

A word of advice when visiting cemeteries: Go alone. I take the back road which has hills. Shortly after I begin my trek, I start choking up with a lump in my throat. Either Grandpa knows I'm on my way, or those hills are aggravating my motion sickness. Ahem, yeah, must that motion sickness.

I lucked out and there was nobody else in the mausoleum when I arrived. I had the whole place to myself. Well, okay, technically I wasn't alone in there if you count all the folks resting in peace. I got the vases set out on the headstones and proceeded to arrange the flowers I brought. I also reflected of the two new family members had been added recently since my last visit, which is sad to me. There's a generation soon to be lost to the sands of time. Cherish what is left of them and don't forget when they leave. Go visit. They know you're there.

My Grandpa Al with my flower and flag arrangement. Miss him incredibly. He used to take my sister and I bowling nearly everyday during summer vacations. We got pretty good at it, too!

Grandpa's brother, Joe, and his wife Yolanda (one of the recently passed).

Grandpa and Uncle Joe's oldest brother, Fileno, and his wife, Louise. 

Grandpa's parents. Someone already placed flowers so I didn't add more.

My Grandmother's parents. I vaguely remember Great-Grandpa Julian while he was living with my grandparents.

Uncle Johnny, Grandma's brother, who recently passed away.

Uncle Johnny's wife. When she passed away it was really my first experience with any sort of family death. I had dreams about her for a few weeks after she died. 

After business is complete at Holy Cross, I head on over to Fairmount Cemetery. Grandpa has two brothers, who died as children, buried there. Also, Great-Grandpa and Grandma Julian had an infant who died only a few weeks old. She would have been Grandma's older sister and Grandma always said she wanted a big sister. Reflecting upon their memories is important to the people who are important to me. I can manage an afternoon yearly for simple remembrance.

I have a hard time finding this nameplate. This time I marked it on my map so I won't spend 30 minutes making the same wrong turns each year!

I had to ask the groundskeeper to turn off the sprinklers in order to find her. I wasn't leaving without my mission complete!

If you have never wandered through Fairmount Cemetery during Memorial Day, they line the pathways with hundreds of American Flags. It's striking and beautiful and even if you don't have a loved one resting here, go take a look. It's a pretty sight. 

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