Monday, May 31, 2010

"Remembering" is, Of Course, the Word for today, May 31, 2010.


Today is Memorial Day, 2010.  I've been remembering.  I've been away from my blog because one of my cousins passed from this life on the 22nd of this month.  I always called him my favorite cousin.  Don't tell the others.

Actually I have been blessed with many cousins, who lived close enough, and were close enough to my age, for us to have good times at reunions and when our parents decided to visit each other. 

I always loved all my cousins.  After marrying and before we began moving from one side of the country to another and to other countries and back, my husband and I often visited both my family and his.  So, when we heard about this cousin's passing my husband wanted to make the 7 or 8 hour drive to our home state to be there for his family and tell him goodbye.

Last Sunday we loaded up the camper and headed north.  It was a relatively easy drive, although, of course, my husband doesn't believe I can drive his (brand new-to-him and all-tricked-out) truck with the camper, so he did all the driving.  Saturday morning, before we heard about my cousin, my husband slipped on the dewy grass and we now think he cracked a rib.  By the time he got us to his brother's, which would be our "home-base", he was beginning to hurt.  A brief trip to the OR and some pain pills so he could sleep at night and he continued with little complaining.

It turned out the viewing wasn't until Wednesday evening and the Funeral was on Thursday at 11:00 AM.  Time we hadn't anticipated having, this being our home state, and each of us having of many people we would like to see, we choose a few and went visiting. 

Our preacher from back in the 70s is living with his wife in the northern part of the state. We drove up to see them.  It was very nice.  He, however, has dementia.  Still, they both, made us welcome and she fixed us a very tasty lunch, which ended with watermelon!  Their daughter, who was only a teen or pre-teen the last time we'd seen her, was "all grown up" and living next door to them.  She told us she has seven children!  Those are the kinds of things that are hard to get your mind to accept.  It always seems to me I should be older but folks I've not seen for years just oughta stay as they were.

The trip was full of similar re-acquaintances, with family and friends, which involved several hours of driving every day.  It was a bitter-sweet time of remembering and renewing.  Time to remember the cousin just lost, and several others who've passed; all of them too young and too soon. 

This cousin and I had been writing each other regularly for the last several years.  Not long ago I felt compelled to throw out the letters from him I had been answering and just sticking back into the letter file.  But, I didn't simply throw the letters into the trash.  I searched them until I found and saved the letter telling me how, and what, he did to get the ground ready for his garden each year; he loved to garden.  And now, I'm so glad I did that. 

Remembering, hugging, crying, and declaring love for family and friends filled our week. 

We returned home Friday.  Company, some we brought home with us and some arriving shortly after we did, spent time with us, remembering.  My brother brought steaks, for a cook out.  It wasn't just a great meal, it was also a remembrance.  Our parents always had the first cook out of the year on Memorial Day. 

Remembering is an appropriate word for today.  May we all have many happy memories to balance the sad ones, as we remember our loved ones who are gone.  May we also remember our military, police, firemen, border patrol and others who have given or are now risking their lives to maintain a free and safe USA.  God bless the USA.


(All photos by Janet Toney, please request permission before 'borrowing' any photograph.) 

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