Those who take on battles
They know they may not win;
Those who see the world clear,
Yet give it their best;
Those whose final strength
May they know peace.
My mother grew up in Tennessee. Her childhood understanding of Memorial Day was to decorate graves with bundles of huge irises, the type known as “flags.” To this day my image of Memorial Day is a small child running through fields of graves, hugging a bundle of twilight-blue flowers.
There are many types of battles. To take on something bigger than yourself, with the understanding that you may be subsumed, is a hard path.
I cannot reconcile with remembrance stripped of context. But at the end of a struggle, when loss bites hard and the world will never be the same, sometimes memory is the hardest stand to take. It is easy to say “remember” – it is hard to experience memory. But if this day means something to you, let it be an act of memory that is honest and true. And within that memory, may you find seeds of peace, like flowers on a grave.