Monday, May 31, 2010

Visit to the cemetery

Today, we did something we've never actually done before. We (Merlin, kids, and I) went up to the Dallas cemetery and put flowers at the grave of Merlin's parents and our aunt. I know Memorial Day is established to honor war dead, but we are Mennonites, as were the Brandt elders before us, and so have no war dead of our own. But I remembered that Mom and Dad used to go up to their parents' graves on Memorial Day, and it seemed for once like we ought to honor them the same way. I suddenly wanted anyone who passed by the section where they and their parents lie to know we hadn't forgotten them.

I was surprised how widely decorated the (huge, beautiful) cemetery was, including the section near the road that contains the bones of Dallasites buried over a century ago. Many other headstones of folks we knew already had been visited and remembrances left. One headstone had little glass beads and stars arranged around the flowers. Molly had suggested we leave a few chocolate covered cherries (which, I guess, sounds a little "Dia de los Muertes" to me, although kind of appropriate to her grandparents), but I forgot to get them.

Not sure when we'll do it again. Not sure I know why we do it. But I think however we go about it, it's good to recall with gratitude the great cloud of witnesses who are no longer running the race, but who enabled us to run it, and who I believe still care how we run it.

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