Memorial Day

Last year for Memorial Day, we went out to the cemetery and saw my dad’s headstone for the first time since it was placed.  I was amazed at the amount of people there for the ceremony.  I’m glad to have experienced it, but this year we decided that a quiet remembrance of the day was more in line with how I’m feeling these days.  But, I thought it would be nice to share some of the photos I took last year.

I love that they place a flag at each of the graves.  And the ceremony was very nice and so moving.

You can sort of get a feel from the photos how many people were actually there.  We had to park offsite and take a bus into the cemetery.

Such a sight to see.

I brought some red and white carnations to put on my dad’s grave.  Nothing to compare to the wreath below, but I’m glad I brought them.

The weather was hot hot hot last year, and boy did I get sunburned after standing outside for hours.  But it was worth it.

I think this year, instead of going at Memorial Day, I’ll go for his birthday, which is coming up in June.  It will be a small and quiet memorial for just us.  But, it will be just as important.

Thank you to all the men and women who have served our country.  And thanks as well to those who remember and honor them.


Father’s Day

So, I mentioned a few posts ago that my dad died at the end of February and I haven’t been really sure how to blog about it.  But I do feel like I need to.  I feel like in some little way, I need to share who he was with the Universe.  And, after three months, it just seemed like I need to just say what I want to say and get on with it.

On the 29th of April my mom, sister, niece and I went to a butterfly release that hospice was holding in memory of the people they’d cared for.  The photo above is actually from a trip Eric and I took to Philadelphia a few years ago, but I thought it was appropriate.  The ceremony was very nice and I think it was a nice way for families to say goodbye.

It seems like though, the past few months have been a series of goodbyes.  On Memorial Day, we went to the National Cemetery to visit my Dad’s grave and see his headstone for the first time.  I can’t even begin to put into words how hard it was.  Seeing his name and dates on that stone made it so real, so permanent.  But, the ceremony for Memorial Day was really moving and it was so nice to see so many people out there celebrating their loved ones and honoring those that have served their country.  It was refreshing to spend Memorial Day in the spirit of the day.

Last week was my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 68.  I spent the day in Wichita in meetings for work, but he was never far from my mind.  Eric took my mom out to lunch and brought her some flowers, because he knew it would be a hard day for her.

And today, is Father’s Day.  And I am missing him something fierce.   I went to a funeral yesterday for the husband of a friend who died suddenly.  And it truly made such an impression on me.  My parents spent the last 47 years at each others’ sides.  And I know that the loss that I am feeling probably doesn’t even touch the loss that my mom is feeling.  My dad was truly an amazing man, and I hope that one day I can live up to the legacy he’s left me.  I hope too that one day I can look back and say that I spent my life with my best friend by my side.

I found these photos recently, photos I’d never seen before, of the two of them on one of their adventures.  They loved to visit the National Parks and explore and take photos.  I get my love of photography from my Dad.  They set up the camera on a tripod and snapped these photos, and I think they speak for themselves about how they spent their lives together.

I imagine that one day, they’ll be off on yet another adventure together.  But, for now, we’re just missing him.