Memorial Day found us at several cemeteries including one located in a small, rural Pennsylvania town (Parker) near the Allegheny River. My dad spent many of us formative years living in this area and until my great aunt died in 1988 we visited often. I've always been fascinated by the old markers and I came upon this one that had been updated. Without men such as John, this country wouldn't be what it is today.
I used to enjoy visiting my aunt's home even though at times, it scared me. She was a prolific gardener with tons of flowers and strawberries but behind her garden, was a small cemetery. Ghost stories abounded in the family and her home was always rumored to be haunted. It was an old home. The bathroom still had a pull chain to flush the toilet. My memory of the street with its uneven sidewalks and large trees doesn't live up to the reality. Time marches on but at least I have my memories of skipping along those sidewalks, picking strawberries and peeking through to the cemetery to try and spy a ghost.
I know that Memorial Day is to honor those who gave their lives in active duty but in our family, we honor all who have gone before us. An annual visit to plant flowers on the graves has been happening for as long as I can remember. This year was no different. A stomach flu that had my dad hospitalized and my mother knocked off her feet for nearly a week (and heart surgery a few weeks earlier) wouldn't keep him away.
The past 10 days or so have been stress filled and full of concern for my parents. I'll be traveling a lot more to help with doctors as his heart will have to monitored. It seems in each family, one person always must step up to the plate and in mine, it is me. I may be over 6 hours away while others, 10 miles but it is still me. Do I have home support or even understanding for all that I must do? Not really. Do I worry how I will continue to do this? Yes, but it must be done.
This summer, I do hope to find time for myself even if only in little ways. My updates may be scarce but I do thank you, my few loyal followers.