Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Doings

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.

12 comments:

佳琪 said...
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somewhy said...

I do the same thing, only I have 'settled' upon a little girl's grave near my home. It is surrounded by other little ones, but never seems to have the same attention, old flowers, ornaments as the others.

I suppose it is a ritual, but who cares - it makes me feel 'better'.

And I have enjoyed reading your postings over the past year or so. Please accept my thanks.

David

On both your houses said...

I don't really know when something becomes a ritual. I think that perhaps it's when it becomes somewhat of a compulsion?

Becky Stauffer said...

I think it's a sweet thing you do. And I think it could be called a ritual, though not necessarily a compulsion.

We have lots of little rituals in our lives that offer us moments of pleasure or satisfaction, or in this case, a bit of peace. I think if they become compulsive, they take on a more negative aspect and could become something we actually resent doing. Clearly this annual observance of yours is not that.

怡潔向霖 said...
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ElwoodK_Rank佳玲 said...
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huntb said...
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RochelleP_Higginson瓊文 said...
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聖妃 said...

Man proposes, God disposes...................................................................

千TatianaCallan惠 said...
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千TatianaCallan惠 said...
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On both your houses said...

Two things
1) The post "Man proposes, God disposes" is kinda puzzling in this context. What's it supposed to mean? I mean, we're talking about flowers on graves here. I'd argue the point if I knew what it was.
2) My stand is: If I can't read it, I won't post it. All the deleted posts were in (I assume) Chinese characters, which I don't read, illiterate Western linear thinking slob that I am.