Today I followed my usual Memorial Day practice of putting flowers on the graves of people who had none. I went to the older section of the Logan Cemetery and put flowers on four graves. As I did so, I'd say to each one, "This is for you, and for....." I have four names I put in the dotted section of that last sentence: Lucy Alice Smith Shook (mom); James Mitchell Shook (dad); James Walk Shook (brother. We don't know exactly where his grave is); and Walter Canby Shook (brother). None of the four are buried where I can get to them, and it's not probable that my brothers' graves get flowers at all, so it's kind of long-distance remembrance.
Today, I found myself adding things. I started looking for graves that would put the person therein interred in the same age bracket as my family member. Walter (Wally) was 11 months old when he died, so I looked for someone who was under a year when he died.
I've got to stop doing that. If I don't, pretty soon I will add other requirements regarding the age and sex of the person I'm giving flowers to, trying to match them perfectly with the family member, and so on, until what is a simple act of remembrance becomes a ritual. Add a few more flourishes and I'll get a religious ceremony.
I can do without that.