When I was growing up, Memorial Day was a super time! It signaled only a week or so left of school. There was a parade in the morning. A trip to the cemetery at some point in the day. A cook out with family or friends at lunch and then it was the kickoff of the Little League baseball season. There were six teams and we played twice a week so a total of six games. We would have two games a night on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. But on Memorial Day, it was a triple header! We would start around three and go into the evening. A great ending to a great day.
But as I sit here thinking about this year, a movie ending comes to mind: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas! Think about it, all of the trappings and activities that were associated with the day were stolen, but not the spirit. Taking away those things altered the day, but not the underlying purpose of the day. The Whos all came together and still sang the Welcome Christmas song. All of the “stuff” associated with the day had changed, but the day had not changed at all. A great ending to a great movie.
As we ease into this Memorial Day weekend, a Grinch called the coronavirus or COVID-19 has come in and stolen all of the trappings. No baseball games to attend, be it the kids at a local ball park or heading down to Tiger Stadium. Schools closing? Well, they have been closed for a couple of months now. Sure you can gather in your backyard and have a cookout, but not with a big group of friends or a large extended family gathering. Cemeteries can be visited, but the Boy Scouts will not put out flags like they have in the past. On one hand the day has been stolen.
But Memorial Day is about more than all those events, it is about a heritage and a time to remember those who have gone before us. We can still celebrate these things in a smaller setting, maybe simply talking with family about family. The heritage of what led your family to where it is today. Remembering fun times from the past or that relative you enjoyed so much. Look at some old photos and take a trip down memory lane. We are usually too busy to take the time to do some of these things. This year we seem to have more time, because that is one thing that wasn’t stolen.
We can also take the time to think about our spiritual heritage. Share with your family the events that have happened in your life that brought you to where you are today. What friends or relatives had an important part in that spiritual journey. Then there is the trip to the cemetery--or should I say empty tomb. Time to remember the sacrificed life that was the starting point of our spiritual heritage.
It can be the best Memorial Day ever. Not because of the events, but because nothing can steal or suspend what is really important: family. Remember your physical and spiritual families and take the time to make it a Memorial Day that wasn’t stolen, but enriched.
Grateful for the Day,