Tailswishing Continues Without Offensive As Memorial Day Approaches

Increasing hostilities between the cat and squirrel continue unabated.  The cat has taken up a defensible position among the shrubbery ever closer to to the squirrel’s maple tree stronghold.  The squirrel has declared it will continue to munch maple tree helicopters until the supply is exhausted, and has layed out future plans for nesting.  

Resolution to this situation seems far away.  

When the dog was asked to comment on the standoff, he would only say that both combatants looked pretty tasty.  

Other than that, not a whole lot happening.  I’m told that it’s Memorial Day weekend.  And it must be, gas went up ten cents this morning.  That’s a sure sign.  

I’m not even sure that I knew that Memorial Day existed when I was a kid.  My a-folks were in retail so at least one of them was working that day.  My a-family has remained untouched by any military deaths since the civil war that I ever knew of, and they weren’t big picnicers.  So it was just another day for us.

It wasn’t until I married thatthe concept of decorating graves was even known to me.  I grew up far from any extended adoptive family, and other than losing my adoptive maternal grandfather in my early teens, I never attended a furneral.  My husband’s family had a much closer connection to family and community in both life and death.  

My mother-in-law, as well as other extended in laws, visit and decorate graves.  The first time I went with them I was amazed at how they could walk through the cemeteries and have some connection to the people buried there.  Family, friends, business associates, or someone who had died in an interesting manner, were all recalled and discussed.  these stories stretched back to well before even the oldest among them could possibly remember.  Some of the stories had to have been from those whose stories were being told.  

Visiting these graves was not a sad excursion.  It wasn’t an extension of mourning, it was simply recollection.  Stories of childhood, spouses, off hand comments they had made, both cutting and complimentary, anything that recalled that person.  Some graves were stopped at, some only noted as we passed by.  

That feeling of connection was alien to me.  It was something that I had never been exposed to.  It wasn’t just a family connection that I had missed, it was the connection to people in general.  My a-family wasn’t social which had to have a lot to do with this, but there was more.  Nobody in my a-family ever seemed to have a desire to have any connection like this.  They just didn’t seem to need it.  They were satisfied with only their own company.  

I still have no graves to visit.  In the last few years, both of my adoptive gandmothers have passed on, as well as my natural mother.  I could find the graves of my a-grandmothers, though I have never visited them.  The grave of my mother is still a mystery to me.  It really doesn’t matter because I won’t visit any of them.  I don’t feel any connection.

I think maybe a sense of family and community has to be learned early in life.  Once we are grown, it’s too late.