“Humans, not places, make memories.” ( Ata Aidoo)
Hoping most of you had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. As my family and I celebrated with some good friends in our backyard, I was reminded of how bittersweet this special holiday can be for some. Many of us, myself included, had come to view the occasion as a time to celebrate and remember all our veterans. In fact, it is the day we specifically remember those who have fallen in battle.
One of our good friends, Corey, a veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, took a moment to clarify it for everyone when he related how he personally had about 20 friends (brothers in arms) who fell in battle next to him. It is a day he celebrates to honor them, but it is also a very difficult day for him personally.
My 92-year-old grandfather, a veteran of WWII, has recently related some pretty gruesome tales of fellow soldiers dying right in front of him as well (for years he never talked about the war). The old saying “War is Hell” rings so true, but the ultimate sacrifices of these brave men and women have allowed us to enjoy the freedoms we have today in this great country.
As a kid, my family had a tradition of spending this holiday having fun and relaxing with friends in Palm Desert California. We usually rented a place close to a pool and enjoyed the time together, while also remembering the reason for this holiday. It was such a blessing, and those memories are what I think of when Memorial Day rolls around each year. While we don’t go to Palm Desert anymore, now we are making new memories and remembering with more clarity why we have this holiday.
My friends, whether or not it is Memorial weekend, I hope you have times of celebrating good memories. If you are short on those, I encourage you to begin making new ones with those family members and friends that mean the most to you. Love is the only thing that lasts forever, and it is in nourishing and celebrating our key relationships that our lives find their true meaning. Remember with hope and belief that the best is yet to come!