First let me start off by saying that I really don’t know what Memorial Day is. I never really took the time to find out. I think that it’s when we as Americans take the time to remember those lost to us in battle for our country. If that is incorrect, please forgive me. When Memorial Day comes around, I like to take the time to remember all of my loved ones who have been lost to me. I just want to take the time and do that here.
My great aunt Gladys raised me from the time i was a few months old until I turned seven years old., She taught me how to pray, ride a bike, read, and tie my shoe. She was firm but fair and I know she loved me and my brother. In 1996, she started getting sick do her diabetes that went untreated due to the fact that she didn’t believe in taking medication but in the healing power of the Almighty. I remember coming home from daycamp and finding her in her room laying down. i went to kiss her but she asked me not to because it hurt too much. I don’t remember how much time passed before I came home from camp and she wasn’t there. I thought she had gotten better and decided to go shopping because that was one of her favorite things to do. Her best friend told me that she had passed away. I didn’t cry but all i could think was ‘My mother is dead’.my brother and i were later adopted by my aunt who loves us more than anything in the world.
My uncle Jessie was 15 years old when i came into his life. When my great aunt died my brother and I were placed with my aunt. It was a little scary to have an older male in the house because all i was used to was me, my little brother, and my great aunt. My uncle Jessie had his own room and to me at 7 years old that was the coolest thing in the world. He was 15 so hanging out with a seven year old and a six year old was uncool but whenever he got grounded he would spend his time with me and my brother. he taught me my five boroughs and told me that teenage boys were idiots ( a lesson which would definitely prove itself to be true). He was wise beyond his years and eventually he started dating a woman 14 years his senior. He spent all his free time with her and my aunt decided to let him move in with her. He got mixed up with a gang and eventually went to jail for grand theft auto. When he got out, his girlfriend had died of cervical cancer which we later found out she really died from AIDS. by then it was too late because my uncle had already had a new woman in his life and they had a beautiful little girl. eventually, we fund out that he had HIV and it was a devastating blow to my family. but every time i saw him, he was in good spirits and alway happy to see me. he was very over protective of me as i approached my teen years. On December 31, 2005, my uncle who was 25 then, died of a heart attack. the previous day was his 25th birthday. his death was the first one i had now as a young adult and it hurt like a son of a bitch. I alway wonder how he would be with my daughter but i know he’d love just as he loved me.
Two months ago, a distant cousin of mine passed away. She was 25 years old and a death is a mystery. she was home in her bed when she died. her mother and brother were there in their own bedrooms and her brother found her in the morning. it’s a small comfort to me that she was not in the street but at home where she was loved. i didn’t know her well but I could only imagine the pain and heartache her mother had to endure.
Apparently, the pain was too much for her mother because just last week, she was found dead in the same bed that her daughter had died in. She apparently killed herself with pills. Her son (the same one who found his sister) found her as well. She was a distant cousin as well but i felt so sad for her that she was so messed up by her daughter’s sudden death that she felt she could not live this life without her. She raised my oldest brother and there was animosity between my biological mother and her but when news of her death came to us, my mother seemed genuinely hurt by it. Her, my adopted mother and my bio mom had all grown up together as children and as they became adults, they had grown apart.
So for me, Memorial Day is when I think about the loved ones who are no longer here in this life but hopefully in peace in another. Yes, it makes me sad that I can no longer feel their hugs and kisses or hear their laughter and encouraging words but I’m also happy that God thought that they were so special that He had to have them back to Him.It is a great comfort to me on days when I’m feeling sad. Happy Memorial Day