There is a sweet quaint tradition that takes place here in the deep south each year starting the first weekend in May. It is what we call "decoration day". I am told that it started during the civil war when families placed flowers on soldier's graves in remembrance. My first memory of "decoration day" was when I might have been around five years old......my grandmother Mamie making these beautiful paper flowers, then dipping them in melted paraffin. Then on the first Sunday in June we placed them on family graves at the Dilworth Church of God cemetery. It was an all day family gathering, with dinner on the "grounds" at the small country church and the afternoon was spent walking across the cemetery. The more affluent families placed live flowers on their loved ones grave.
It was so beautiful to me, honoring the dead, with those incredible flowers. As the years went by,
my grandmother's homemade flowers went "out of fashion", live flowers were placed on the graves and then later on, silk flowers.
Today was "decoration day" where my parents, brother, and my mom's family are buried.
Usually, I see other family members there, cousins that I only see every once in awhile.....but today we had monsoons, absolute pour downs of rain. But even that was quite beautiful, the grey skies, the rain, and the brilliant flowers decorating the graves. As I walked from grave to grave,
placing flowers in the rain......I remembered them all.......and even though it has been years.......missing them, my mom, dad and brother especially......it was a reminder......life goes on ......and at some point......all you have are the memories.