Starting the Dialogue with Your Aging Parents: Memorial Day
It is amazing to me how many people don’t know why we celebrate Memorial Day. We all know that it is a 3-day weekend that kicks off summer fun and adventure. Many of my co-workers are out camping this weekend or holding backyard BBQs with family and friends. When I was a kid there was always a Memorial Day parade through town with the local veterans leading off, marching bands, drum and bugle corps, lots of flags, drill teams, horseback riders, and speeches once we reached the cemetery.
We all recognized that we were marching to honor those who had fought and died for our country in all the wars gone before. These parades were observed by the entire town. Spectators turned out to cheer and wave flags. It was a small suburban town, but we had many who were fighting in Vietnam at that time. Some who never returned. Many of our fathers had been in the armed forces. Some served during the Korean conflict and others in World War II. The veterans marching at the front of the parade included survivors of World War I. We all marched with pride and had tears in our eyes during the speeches honoring those who were lost serving our country.
I’m proud to say I’m a patriot. I love my country! I am grateful to those who gave their lives so that I could live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Those who fought in World War I have passed on. I hope their stories have been recorded in family journals and passed on to the younger generations with pride and honor. Veterans from World War II are aging rapidly. Many have already passed, some are living in nursing homes or with their adult children, others are suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia and cannot remember. Once again, I hope their stories have been recorded and shared.
Let this Memorial Day serve as a reminder to recognize the sacrifices made and also to remember those who are still with us with stories to share. Listen to them, encourage them to share their experiences and their sacrifices. Honor them with your full attention and presence. Be grateful for the sacrifice of others for our freedom!
I apologize for the lack of blog posts during this month of May. I had to take a hiatus and decide whether I would continue to blog and share despite the lack of dialogue and few readers. I’ve decided, after much contemplation that I have valuable information to share so I will continue to post (and hopefully on a regular schedule). I will commit to at least one post per week on Monday and will strive for two (Monday and Thursday).
Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend. I hope it is safe and enjoyable for you. Please remember to keep the spirit of the day though and acknowledge the sacrifice and give memory to those who have fallen on your behalf.
If there are particular topics you have an interest in related to your aging parents and how you can wend your way through the caregiver labyrinth please let me know. This blog is for you. My intent is to share the knowledge I have and to gain more from your stories and insights so please interact.