“We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.” – George Santayana
A day to remember … to recall … to honor sacrifice, commitment, and love for others. But there’s a twist … a wrinkle to the nature of my Memorial Day celebrated from deep within my heart.
Yesterday I hiked. For me it is a passion that renews my soul and my inner life force by experiencing that which truly resonates. Of all things I do, moving across the planet while outdoors touches me in a deep, joyful place which opens me to more reflective thinking.
My trail of choice was my favorite, and along its several miles there is a place … a special place … a place where ashes from my life are lightly spread as the final resting place for the earthly remains of my mom.
From a grass-protected nest she overlooks the ocean and the rugged yet overwhelming beautiful coastline. The wind, roar, fog, night sky and sun flow over her each day and night making this her earthly home while serving her a buffet of sensations she would have dearly loved. Yet her final years were spent restricted, unable to live such things freely and without fear. So now she … whatever “she” means … experiences a full measure of the beauty of nature that she enjoyed but couldn’t experience.
And as I stood nearby her … also enjoying those sensations … I reflected and gave thanks in memory to her. I thanked her (and my dad who died when I was six) for their military service during WWII where they met and shared rich and frightening times as members of a Mash unit moving alongside the troops as the war moved from beachhead to final victory in Europe. I thanked them for their sacrifice, and their willingness to experience the fear and sadness of war for what the world felt was a greater good.
And as I stood nearby her … above the gentle grass that looks out to sea … I gave thanks. It was my personal memorial … an expression of gratitude for the equal sacrifice and commitment she gave me (and later gave my younger brother who has now passed). I thanked her for her caring when I was hurt … her support for allowing me to grow and experience life … and her love expressed even in her own, emotionally closed way. I clearly saw it reflected in the maturity of me having lived a full life, that she gave so much … I saw it in that moment … I felt it in that moment … in that instance standing among the sensations of being surrounded by such beauty. A Memorial Day … remembering and giving honor to someone that gave the best they had … someone that gave their full measure … someone who is missed, loved, and is not forgotten.