This Memorial Day we went to Oregon to visit some of my family, the living...
(Camden and Joe)
(Tia Ines and Pochito)
and the ones who have gone before us.
My Grandpa Tony
My Abuelita Tina
My Other Tia Ines
Growing up I remember my abuelitas cutting flowers from their yards and arranging them in vases or jars and taking them to the cemetery. They would put them on the graves of my grandpas and my tia Ines. I liked going to the cemetery, it didn't freak me out. You can see the cemetery from the front yard of my Abuelita Hernandez's house. You can look down from the hill that she lives on and see the general area where my family members are buried.
Now that my girls are older I am glad that I get to share this with them. They were very respectful and tried really hard not to step on "people's bones". They had lots of good questions like, "Are you stepping on someone's head?" and "What happens to their clothes?". But what I noticed most of all was how reverent they were. They talked softly and took their time walking around reading the headstones. Maya was especially touched by all the flags and the soldiers that were buried there.
Some people might think it's strange to take their kids to the cemetery but I think going to the graves of my family members while I was growing up gave me a connection to them. I want to give that same feeling to my children.
So on memorial day not only do we take time to remember those who died serving our country, we also honor our family members who made great sacrifices so that their posterity could have a bright future with endless opportunities. My children will know where they come from and the legacy of hard work and love that is theirs to live up to. Gracias.