It is Memorial Day, and on this day I remember many things.
I remember the way the rain was falling this morning when I woke up, a sob caught in my throat. I remember thinking “the sky is crying with me.”
I remember the words of a dear friend, “there is no getting around grief. A person has to go through it.”
I remember warmth as I wrap myself in the wool Army blanket Grandpa gave me. The comfort I find in the blanket is the same comfort I found in the warm embrace of Grandpa’s hugs. I wrap the blanket tighter, and I feel the memory of his strong arms, as his scratchy, deep, voice said “keep your head on a swivel, Wink,” which really meant I love you in Grandpa speech. He didn’t say those words, but the wool blanket does. I remember that.
It is Memorial Day. This is a day we remember and honor all those who have been lost while fighting for our freedom. For those who have lost loved ones it seems there isn’t a day that goes by that isn’t Memorial Day.
I am new to this grief thing. I haven’t lost much before. I always appreciated this day because I understood the sacrifices made by those who have lost there lives. I understood it in a logical way, and it made me feel. Now I understand loss in an emotional way, and it still makes me feel.
Our country is made great by a great many. The wool army blanket I am holding tight is one my Grandpa got from his days serving in the military. He is counted among the Vetrans in our country, but he was a Vet of another kind as well. Doctor Norman Knispel was a Large Animal Veterinarian after his days of service in the Army. He saved a great many lives throughout his careers, and in doing so helped many people, including farmers and their families. Grandpa helped a great many in a great number of ways. He is an example of what makes this country what it is. That is something I remember on this Memorial Day.
We all have a reason to grieve. We all have a reason to remember. There isn’t a one of us that has any less of a right to grieve than the next one. There is no getting around it, there is only going through it. On Memorial Day we are given a blatant excuse to do so. A whole day to feel and to remember.
I have been wondering how to say this all day, but it is simple really, I’m sad. I have dreams about Grandpa, I see him alive. I wake up, knowing it isn’t true, and then I cry.
I feel the warmth of Grandpa’s wool blanket and it comforts me. I allow myself to go through the tears and sadness, and I remember.
Its Memorial Day. Be safe, be sad. Be free to talk, and feel, and cry. And please, please, remember.