Memorial Day Traditions

grave stone

My grandparents gravestone

Every year since we have returned to Maine we hold fast to the same Memorial Day traditions.

Back in the early years

When I was young, growing up in Maine, I would accompany my mother to the most beautiful serene cemetery – Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco, Maine. We would plant flowers at the grave of her parents and make return visits from time to time to water and deadhead the blooms.

Parades were always part of the Memorial Day tradition too- it went right by our house. The marching bands, the scout troops, the military veterans – you know, the typical collection of marchers. This parade wound up at Laurel Hill having speeches and remembrances at the end.

For the past several years

Now my husband and I travel to the same cemetery to plant flowers on that same spot- the spot of my grandparents and now, my parents as well. Visiting my grandparents grave and planting seems very natural . Because of those visits Laurel Hill is filled with memories of calm. Remembering times with my mother planting there and relishing the peace and quiet of that space. They are in a very bright and sunny part of the cemetery along an outer edge deep inside the vast expanse of the place. Even the tall faucets are still there where you can fill your watering can to water the flowers. Those same faucets! They towered above my head when I was small- now just about chin level.

Visiting my own parents gravesite still seems a bit surreal even though they have been gone since 1990 and 1999 respectively. They died when my own children were small and I was in the midst of travels to dance classes, baseball, softball, playdates, bedtime stories, homework, and the rest of what young parenting involves.

Little time to grieve- there were things to be done at home and you had to keep moving forward. Maybe that was a blessing- to have that time of business at hand.