Each year my dad and grandparents take one day and spend it traveling up to Issaquah, Kirkland and Redmond to clean the family headstones and place flowers. This was the first year I participated in this tradition. It's not that I didn't care before, it just didn't seem like the most fun way to spend my "weekend off"...sounds awful saying it or rather typing it!
This year Brian and I went. It was a two part trip. One-they got to show us where they grew up and two-we were able to help with the headstones. There were a lot of people out visiting graves and putting out flowers. I was glad to see so many flowers on all the graves. We scraped of moss, scrubbed and placed flowers. All in all we visited three different cemeteries.
At one of our stops we actually ran into other family visiting the same stones. It was unexpected, but so nice. We usually only see each other at family reunions so it was wonderful to see them!
I of course had to look around for baby headstones as I still can't settle on one for Addison. The saddest stone we visited was one for two babies who are my grandma's siblings. They died shortly after they were born from the RH factor. Both babies were full term 9lb otherwise perfect babies! If that isn't sad enough, there was actually a 3rd baby, but there is no record of this baby...that makes me so incredibly sad. A whole little life cut short and yet we know nothing about him (we believe he is a boy).
I took a picture of the babies stone (who takes pictures of headstones?!? I do!). These babies are special to me because they matter. How different my grandma's life would have been had they lived. She had 4 siblings, but her brother died tragically in his 20's and all three babies died...her poor poor mother. Ugh!
Anyways it was a very interesting and important trip and I am so glad we were able to participate. I hope to go again next year. Brian was saying that he had never really been to cemeteries growing up so they are kind of strange to him...I just kind of laughed because now they are our normal...our future kids will not know it is strange to go because they will be used to visiting their sister (don't worry I won't make them spend all their time there, just some time on her birthday and any time they would want to visit).
I think people spend too much time worrying about death and dying. The more it is talked about the less scary it is (still shitty, just not as scary). I am thankful to be in a family that takes care of each other and doesn't forget the ones we love.
This Memorial Weekend I remembered and will continue to remember.