Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Yesterday we went and placed flowers on the grave of my grandfather, who died when my mother was eighteen. It rained and rained in Logan, but finally stopped when we got up to the cemetery in Preston, Idaho. Then later that night, grandma pulled out her photo albums and we looked at pictures of her and grandpa from back in the 40s and 50s, as newlyweds and young parents with five little girls. Then grandma showed me her high-school yearbook, and opened it up to the fourth or fifth page in. There was a message written by her husband. They hadn't known each other in highschool, but as newlyweds, when he was about to go away to war, she asked him to sign her yearbook, and in it he wrote the most amazing love letter. You're an answer to a prayer, he wrote, and even though a long period of separation lay ahead, he'd come back to her. And he did come back, and they raised a happy little family out in the Idaho countryside, where he was the superintendent of a reservoir power plant for many years. It's been thirty-eight years now since he died, and my grandma has not remarried. It's been a longer separation than war-time, and no less hard I'm sure, but she knows she'll be with her Marvin again eventually. She spends her days living in a cute brick house in Logan, tending her rosebushes and going to the temple.

My other grandma, my dad's mom, was buried on Friday in the Logan cemetery. Her funeral was beautiful and wonderful. We miss her, of course, but everyone knows that she has been reunited with her sweetheart, my Grandpa A. who died 8 years ago. Grandpa A. wasn't in the service, but worked for Lockheed in California, building aircraft for the war. When the war was over and their family was larger, they decided to move to a small town in Idaho, and raised their kids on a dairy farm. At the funeral, my aunts and uncles shared stories about their mom, we sang songs, and my dad played his bassoon. We all cried, but felt happy about lives well spent, and the legacy that good parents leave behind.

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