Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering Loved Ones...

Memorial Day is a time to remember those in the Armed Services, who gave so much for our freedom.  But, it's also a time to remember loved ones who have gone on before us.
I miss those loved ones so much.  My father passed away in 2003 and, as he wished, is buried in a national cemetery.  He served in the Army during WWII as a medic.  He seldom talked about the war.  When my sister and I were young Dad was the disciplinarian.  At the time, of course, we didn't appreciate that side of  him!  Well, it turns out, he was doing exactly what a Dad (or Mom) needs to do.  Teaching us right, from wrong.  I appreciated that so much once I was grown!  As Dad got older we saw a lot more of his loving, giving nature...and his sense of humor!
My mother was the sweetest Mom anyone could have.  Since she was a stay-at-home Mom, she was always available for us.  I have so many memories of summertime.  When my sister and I weren't with our friend Brenda, or riding our bikes all over town...we were at home with Mom.  Many evenings in the summer we spent sitting in the side yard with Mom and my sister.  We watched the cars drive around our corner...there were not many, it was a small town.  And, we three sat and talked, played word games, looked at the stars in the night sky...just enjoying the summer and each other's company.
I have a lot of good memories of time spent with my parents, even though they eventually divorced, after I became an adult.
Another loved one that I miss is my dear Mother-in-law.  I was the first daughter-in-law in the family, so I had her to myself for several year.   She was a wealth of information when it came to gardening, birds, quilting, oil painting...the list goes on.  She was such a talented lady.  And, she had a great sense of humor.  Even after she developed Alzheimer's, we would occasionally be surprised by a comment or jab that let us know that, yes, Mom is still here!
Most recently, in fact, just two weeks ago, we lost a nephew to leukemia (and other complications).  He battled the disease for 18 months.  And I do mean "battle".  His motto was "Play Hard - Never Give Up".  And he NEVER gave up.  He was the most courageous 18 year old that I've ever met.  I hope that I could be just half as strong if faced with the same situation.  One of his uncles made that statement in his portion of the memorial service, and I couldn't agree with him more.  Losing him is so painful.  I have never before lost a young family member.  It's a completely different experience than losing a parent or grandparent.  I can't even describe it...and I guess, this isn't the place to do that anyway.
I hope all of you spend some time today remembering family members who have passed away.  And be sure to cherish all of those great memories!
I'm posting a few photos of the loved ones I talked about today.

My parents, during the time they were dating.


My in-laws wedding photo.  My father-in-law is still with us and well!

Our brave nephew, who passed away just 2 weeks ago.  1991 - 2010


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