Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorials

HI everyone and welcome to Memorial Day weekend!

I know you've probably already been warned to party responsibly and drive carefully. Those are givens. This weekend is always a mix of emotions for me.

It's the unofficial kick-off to summer...YAY! I love summer. It's my favorite season and it goes by too quickly up here in NH.

It's also time to remember the fallen, including my parents--both army officers and my brother, a naval officer.
But the way I remember people has changed over the years. (I've had lots of practice.)

My parents loved birds. Their backyard was full of feeders and various devices to keep squirrels and racoons out of them. When I visit my parents' graves on Memorial Day, I make sure two things happen. First, I make sure I have plenty of bird seed with which to decorate their headstone. They were practical people. My mom didn't like receiving cut flowers, knowing they were going to die sooner. She preferred plants. Since the cemetery doesn't allow permanent plants, and I know my parents would prefer money for flowers to be spent on feeding the local birds, that's what I do.

The other thing I have to do is check for TWO flags. My mom was in WWII as well as my dad. She flew planes for heaven's sake! One of the first female pilots in our country. Se flew "errands" domestically (since that's all women were allowed to do in those days,) and she was also the OIC of an all black WAC attachment. That's something black women weren't allowed to do back then. I still have an old autograph book of hers. She was a much loved officer, and knowing the kind of person she was, it doesn't surprise me.

If the town puts one flag out, there's hell to pay. Let's just say, it happened once. My folks raised a woman who doesn't suffer fools gladly. So, wish me luck on Monday. I'm getting to the age where my blood pressure can be a problem. Hopefully, I'll be able to spread my birdseed and whisper my gratitude in peace.   

Do any of you have unique ways to remember your loved oes?

16 comments:

  1. Great post, Ashlyn. I'm inspired by your mom, and I never even knew her. I hope there are two flags at the memorial site! She certainly deserves to be recognized for her service.

    ~Melissa/Macy

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  2. Whata beautiful, beautiful story about your mom. She must have been a well-respected person to have become such a beloved officer. Thank you for sharing her story.
    Amelia

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  3. Thanks, ladies.

    She was incredibly special. After I looked at this, I realized, "Ih, wait. They didn't use the word 'black' back then. I wanted to change it to African American, but they didn't even use that designation. I won't change it to what they did call it. Man, we've come a long way, baby!

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  4. What a wonderful tribute to your parents! Your mom must've been a woman of strength as well as integrity. You've made me misty eyed just reading about her. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Wow! Thank you for sharing information that I never knew! Sounds like you had a fantastic family, my thanks to you and your family for your service.

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  6. I'm so happy you all appreciate what I've been lucky enough to know for years. Women in WWII rocked!

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  7. I have my flag out and my daughter and I have been counting flags whenever we're out.

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  8. What wonderful memories you have of you mum. I remember my dad, who was in the Air Force and wanted to be a pilot (like everyone who joined) but wasn't allowed to because he had "flat feet". Imagine that! So he became the best darn radio operator that he could...and telecommunications became his life long career. I often wonder how his life would have turned out if he'd been able to be the pilot he dreamed of. I might not have been born for one!

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  9. Wow - what an amazing woman your mom was! Thanks for sharing, and thank you for reminding all of us the reason for memorial day is much more than BBQs and yard work. Sounds like you have a family of heroes! I hope you can have a special remembrance (with two flags please!) of your remarkable family.

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  10. Great story, Ash! I'll think of it when I feed the birds today!

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  11. I love the birdseed tribute--it becomes part of the big, wide, beautiful world that way. My dad's a WWII vet too, but he's still very much here. One of his happiest memories was being the communications officer on his ship, thinking they were going to spend an eternity fighting off the shore of Japan when the Asian theatre came to an end and the orders came over the wire: Proceed with all haste to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
    Words to celebrate for a lifetime.

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  12. Wow, what an amazing honor to be the first to hear orders like that, Grace! Maggie, I imagine your dad also heard some pretty interesting stuff.

    I for one am very glad you're here, Mags! If it weren't for my parents meeting in Ft. Reilly Kansas, I wouldn't be here either!

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  13. Wonderful post about your parents, Ash! My mother was an Army veteran, and my dad was in the AF. She met my dad at the post office at Fort Sam Houston. They were both from the west coast, and it was a case of true love. After six months of dating, they married--46 years together, before my father died. I loved hearing her tales of her Army training fiascoes and how different mine were from hers. LOL I salute your mom and dad for their contribution in the military!

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  14. Thank you, Terry!

    I'm glad you shared their love story.

    My parents made it to their fiftieth and then some. The military has loads of interesting love stories for inspiration!

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  15. Amazing about your mom, Ashlyn! I think you take after her quite a bit. Great post!

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  16. Thank you, Kathryne,

    I wish I was even more like her. There was only 1 flag this year. I was so mad, I had my daughter call to remind them two veterans needed to be honored. They said it was a mistake and wouldn't happen again.

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