Yesterday was Memorial Day here in the United States. It came at a good time. I’ve been keeping so very busy that I’ve been able to stay ahead of the sadness, the heaviness. Yesterday, it caught up with me.
Mike, Annabel and I drive by the Los Angeles National Cemetery all the time. I have always wanted to go pay my respects to those who fought for my country, and I knew Memorial Day would be a good day.
It is is amazingly peaceful at the cemetery, especially when you realize it is completely surrounded by noise – a freeway on one side, city on the other sides. I sat on the grass several times, and tried to breathe while I thought about my Madeline.
Growing up, TV and movies taught me that cemeteries are scary places to be feared. Not this cemetery. I listened to birds chirp and the wind blow, and the calm helped me when I was overcome with sadness.
The rows and rows of resting places left me awestruck.
My great uncle was a POW during World War II. He was in a camp in Germany for many years. When I see a POW flag, I think of him.
I’d never been to a cemetery and thought, “this is some one’s child” until yesterday. And even though the majority of the men and women buried there bravely fought wars, at one point in their lives they were little babies that their parents cradled to in their arms.
On the day we remembered and honored veterans, I also remembered my Madeline, and wished desperately that she was walking with me, holding my hand.