Memorial Day is a day that I have started to take more serious as I have gotten older and matured. Growing up, I never knew much about it or really thought much about it. I just thought of it as a day off of school, a day for BBQ’s, a day for big deals at the mall, and a day to lay flowers on my grandparents graves. I just never took the time to sit and think about what it really meant. As I have gotten older, it has had much more meaning to me. I realize now it is a time to remember. Unfortunately we take so many things for granted in this beautiful country we call home. It is the land of the FREE! I didn’t think much of that when I was growing up. It’s just the way things were. It took going on a mission to Taiwan for me to see just how different the world is out there. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Taiwan! It was amazing! But it was there that I saw things ran differently. Traffic was a mess, there was not much order. My first bike wreck happened just a week after I got on Island because someone was going the wrong direction on the road. Better yet, I remember hearing ambulances often trying to race to help someone and NOT ONE car would move out of the way. It would just be stuck there behind people. That one shocked me. Although Taiwan is considered independent, there was a lot about the culture that I considered not being very free at times. The woman were very controlled by their mother in law’s and husbands. It was difficult to see at times.
Fast forward a few years. 6 weeks after Andy and I got married, we travelled to China to work as English teachers for 6 months. It was there that I really learned to appreciate freedom! There were things we weren’t allowed to talk about with our classes. There were times we would be on social media and it would just cut off. While there the huge earthquake in Sichuan happened and there were things we weren’t allowed to see on the news. It was just interesting to see the difference in our countries.
With all that being said, I have certainly learned to appreciate my country! I am so grateful for those that have died while in the fight for my freedom! I continue to be grateful for those fighting for others freedom and that continue to fight for ours. My goal as a mother is to help my children learn to have that appreciation from a young age. I want them to understand memorial day and know that it is not just a “Day Off”. I know it’s difficult to help things sink in, but my goal is to try.
I have a friend that for a good reason has made a valiant effort in helping her children to understand the meaning of memorial day. I have learned from her and have picked up on her tradition of going together as a family to put flowers on the graves of those that died fighting for us. This year was our first year going. It was neat to see my boys get involved as they picked out flowers for those that fought for us.
As we got to the cemetery, we tried to find a grave that didn’t have any flowers on it already. The first grave we went to, we stood over it to read the name. As we were standing there, I was concentrating and not paying attention to the little man next to me screaming ANTS, ANTS! Poor Watson was getting bit by fire ants. He stepped directly onto the mound. Both Andy and I went to grab him and it was then that Andy realized he was also on an ant pile. Andy has big reactions to fire ants and the area where the bite is will get very swollen. We ran over to the car to wash their bites, in hopes that would help a little. We now know why that particular grave had no flowers on it. 😉 After washing the bites, we decided to continue on our journey to find some graves. It was a great experience. I’m glad we did it.
After the cemetery we decided to have some family fun time and went to a bowling/game place and had a good time.
While there we found a fun photo booth. It was friggin expensive so we thought the photos would come out clear… well we were wrong. ha! Joke was on us! Still fun though! On our way home, we decided to rent a movie. I remembered there was a video store that I had spotted recently and suggested we go there.
The boys thought they were in a movie heaven! Ha Ha! So sad that was there first experience in a video store! Turns out we still got a redbox. Yikes! They didn’t have what we were looking for. But we will be back!
We had a good Memorial Day and look forward to many more to come!