Went back to my 2014 remembrance post this morning, knowing that for too many people every weekend is memorial weekend.
It’s a typically perfect Memorial Day morning here, like so many from my childhood, when every year we could count on it to be raining or blistering hot and windstill, or freezing cold, or all of the above, in gusts, or maybe cool and clear after one of those rains. In Lawrence this morning it’s 79º headed for 82, sunny, blue skies, humidity has dropped from 89% when I went out at 7am to 60% five hours later, and it’s exquisitely beautiful out.
But life holds more than beauty – especially for those who will never see any of it again – and cloudy skies take over sometimes. By 2pm we’re supposed to be mostly under cloud cover here, which seems altogether fitting for the day.
In 2016 I reshare my family’s story out of gratefulness, and out of reverence for, and abhorrence of, unspeakable loss on all sides throughout the generations.
First posted Memorial Weekend 2014 (with edits 5/30/2016 – a personalized haiku for anyone who’s bored enough to find them all – link provided below.)
My grandpa enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 and served at the front as an infantryman during WWI. His six sons were all military men, Army, Navy, and Marines. The three Marines, 18, 19, and 21 were in the Korean Conflict at the same time, in the same general location, under miserable conditions. All seven Reese military personnel returned home intact in body and went on to raise thriving families of their own. Many of my cousins have also served with honor in the military. The only family member I’m aware of, without digging into the archives, who was directly lost to war, was my Aunt Bette’s husband, making her a teenage widow with a baby. The baby, my cousin Vickie, is standing in front of her mother and between our grandparents in the family portrait. My mama is top right in both the portrait and the thumbnail pics, somehow descriptive of her position in my life for all time. And kudos today to my Baby Aunt Barbara, lower right in both, who put this collage together.
So thankful to have four of the original Reese Dynasty kids – Vic, Jerry, Barbara, and Roger – present and accounted for, on this Memorial Remembrance in the year 2016. Hugs and kisses all around, beloved.
Ongoing family is priceless. Feeling deeply thankful right about now.
Okay, Constant Reader, the edits took on a life of their own, so don’t even try. If, however, you’d originally thought you might, for the haiku, throw me a subject and I’ll do it anyway!