Decoration Day

Decoration Day


by Thelma Reahm

Time was, when millions of Americans placed flowers on the graves of family members and war heroes...it was called Decoration Day. The custom was begun in 1865 in Waterloo, New York, to commemorate those killed in action in the Civil War. After WW I, Congress decreed May 30th a national holiday to honor the dead in all American wars. Disabled Veterans sold poppy's each holiday to raise funds for Veterans Hospitals (from the words about poppy's wave in Flanders Field). In 1971 lawmakers moved the holiday to the last Monday in May in order to give Federal workers a three-day weekend....I don't know for sure, but it was probably done at midnight on the last day Congress was in session.

In the Thirties I used to tiptoe across the granite markers at Loma Vista Cemetery as a child. Decoration Day was a whole family outing. The flowers we placed on our family's graves were fresh picked from our yards and gently placed in rusty vases set into the hard ground. Sweet Peas, Stock, Snap Dragons and even the lowly yellow nasturtiums that wandered over the edge of the wash out back of our house would make a colorful bouquet. We polished the marker until we could see our faces in them. Nowadays the fields of grass are strewn with plastic flowers. Not all change is good.

I, personally, have willed my body to the University of California San Diego (La Jolla Campus) for medical study. After any organs are used for transplant or study, the remainder will be cremated and the ashes scattered at sea. I find it a bit poetic that in life I couldn't swim a stroke, but in death I will become a water baby!

I am giving you a different kind of memorial. I give my book of memories "Tidbits of Time" and this poem penned just for you:

Scattered At Sea

I will be in the waves you ride, on the morning tide....

I will be in the warm, coarse sand you smooth with your hand....

I will be on the soaring wings, of the bird that sings.....

I will be diadems in waves As they flow in caves....

I will be in the night moon glade, And damp morning shade....

I'll be the wind that holds the crest, so you'll be blessed....

I'm now the beach in many ways, In sun or fogbound haze....

Then I'll be gone like ebbing tide, But memories will abide....

Just know in your heart, as I do mine, that Science will be aided in the study of those miserable Keloids of mine because I gave....

Know that my dimlit, pressure filled eyes may bring about a cure for Glaucoma....

Know that the cure for Muco-epidermoid Cancer will be nearer for someone else, maybe you....

And perhaps Hysterectomies won't continue to be performed on the young ....

And the never ending pain of Osteoporosis and Arthritis will come to an end....

That's what I believe.

I want my life to go on having meaning and purpose after I am gone, and because I believe that I will be home with the Lord in Heaven the instant my heart ceases to give life, I have no regret in giving my empty, pain ridden body for Science to study.

I am not here. I did not die spiritually. This is not the end. I have life everlasting.

Eternity is mine.

This is what you are to remember about me on Memorial Day.

About the author



Thelly Reahm, Storylady in Cardiff by the Sea, CA is a Christian writer of Life Stories, Dick's wife, Bruce & Kat's mom, Gramma to ten, Great-Gramma to three. She loves life story writing, travel, computer, crochet, photography, Seaside Church and drop in friends. Visit Thelly at http://www.lifestorywriting.net or join in the fun at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lifestory.

 

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