It's been my favorite kind of Memorial Day holiday so far. I slept late, I enjoyed my coffee while lounging in front of mindless, late-morning TV, and read the newspaper. I'm heading out to Dad's in a little while to enjoy some family time. My youngest brother is in from New York City this week, and my niece finishes up school on Friday; Saturday, she heads south to spend the summer with her mom. We haven't all been together since Christmas.
Yesterday, we enjoyed a mini family reunion down in Bentleyville at Uncle Paul's and Aunt Barb's, and got to visit Mom's grave on the way there. My brothers and Dad got to the cemetery earlier than I was able to, and had planted marigolds at Mom's grave, as well as next to Grandma and Grandpa Hamilton's. I must have just missed them, so this was my first visit to Mom's graveside by myself. It was weirdly emotional and odd at the same time. I'm glad there is a grave to visit, but at the same time, I know she isn't really there. It's very strange.
My friend Peggar came over a little while ago with extra flowers from her own weekend gardening. She planted them for me in the pots in my front yard and back deck. Mom is the one who shopped for those planters with me years ago, and she's the one who first helped me put flowers in.
Mom loved her flowers, and I enjoy them, too, but I clearly did not inherit her farmer's daughter's green thumb. The farmer's granddaughter is hopeless at keeping plants alive. I resolve to try harder this summer not to neglect or over-water these flowers.
The flowers on her grave, in my planters, and in the flower beds at Dad's are all blooming in tribute to my mother. But even after those flowers wilt, her memory will live on. Thank God.
Happy Memorial Day.