The three day Memorial Day weekend means different things to different people. We all know that the purpose of the holiday is to honor all the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. They went off to war and came home in flag draped coffins. Many parents, wives, husbands, children and friends will place flowers and flags on the graves of their beloved this weekend. A time for remembering and a day to offer prayers of protection for all the soldiers currently stationed in far away places and hoping they will come home soon.
To many people the long weekend spells fun. Spring is slowly fading and summer is almost here. There are get togethers with family and friends, outdoor barbecues, picnics at the lake and endless other possibilities. A few days to relax.
For my family Memorial Day brings back other memories. My father died on Memorial Day weekend in 1981. It's hard to believe 28 years have come and gone since that dreadful day. It came as quite a shock. Dad was only 59 years old and had never been sick. Well, maybe the occasional cold or flu but nothing serious. In the years since he passed I have come to realize how lucky he was to go so quickly instead of growing old and feeble. He was able to live life to the fullest right up until the day he died.
The greatest love in his life, other then my mom, my sister, me and my son, was sailing. On Memorial weekend he was sailing in a regatta at the lake where they lived in Missouri. We think he knew he was about to leave this life because he turned to mom and told her how happy he was to have been with her for their 35 years of marriage. He asked her if she was ready to go about. In sailing terms that means to turn the boat in another direction. That seems ironic. She said yes. As he pushed the tiller he fell forward into the bottom of the boat. He was having a heart attack. He died before he reached the hospital. He died doing what he enjoyed most. What a blessing!