Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

The Memorial Day tradition on my mom's side of the family is to make floral arrangements for each of our family members in the Goleta Cemetery. My grandmother used to do it, and when she was no longer able to, my mom took over. When my brother moved to Bali and we began to admire some of their customs, we started placing incense at each grave as well. I personally love the quiet, casual way we go about it—like stopping by someone's house for a friendly visit. It's not sad or somber or serious—that wouldn't fit our family's personality or style.

We don't have a lot of family traditions, so it means a lot to me that we do have this one. I like to remember my grandparents and wonder about the other personalities who share the space with them. What were my great-grandparents and other ancestors like as individuals? What traits of theirs do I carry? I think it's important to have days like this to remember and honor our family connections.

These photos were taken by my husband in 2001, with, of all things, an old Polaroid camera. Instant gratification before digital, but a little lacking in size and quality.


  1. Great thought and well said, Leslie. I think we all wonder the same thing about those family members who have come befor. And. I wonder about those who follow. Will they have the same thoughts and what can I do that they might have insight as to who I am and what I might leave for them and this world. Hopefully a better place. Thanks to recording devices our forefathers never had we are able to do so.
    God bless,

  2. Yes, the ones who follow. Seems there won't be many on this branch of the family tree. My mom is an only child, I chose not to have children, and my brother and his wife have only one child. I sometimes wonder how our particular history will continue, but as you say, there are many new devices (like blogs!) for recording our lives.

  3. Beautiful post!
    So nice to honor them with a positive attitude.


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