I planned to write a brand new post for today, but then I started checking out my posts from last year at this time. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I really do love one of last year’s Memorial Day posts. I know, I know, who am I to say I really like one of my own posts, but I do. It was about the life of a woman I never met, Vera Jane Clapper-Richter, but whose obituary inspired me.
A lot has happened since I wrote about Vera Jane. Most important and touching of all, was being asked to and then writing my Dad’s obituary. Who knew that was ahead?
But that’s the thing about life, we truly never know what’s ahead for us. There are so many experiences out there for us. I think the words I wrote just over a year ago ring even truer 367 days later. Here’s an excerpt from that post.
“The reason I am bringing this up now, is summer is on our doorstep. I know it doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, but when I was growing-up Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer, and I think summer is a great time to begin fully living the life I want.
This summer I will watch the moon rise and set from a mountain or a rooftop without interruption, or at least from my backyard with a really good friend. I will also watch the sun rise and set at least two days in a row, and I will run through a sprinkler.
I will sleep on a front porch or a patio, in a tent or on a beach, and with the windows open more often. (Yes, I know, it will be hot and sticky, and maybe I will sweat and the bugs may bite – but who cares, I will have more stories to tell and the teeny-tiny scars to prove them.)
I will spread more blankets out in the grass, and spend more time looking up at the trees, day dreaming and listening to the thoughts and wisdom of people under the age of 10.
I will ponder theories large and small – relativity, the chicken or the egg – without worrying about the answers.
I will be kinder and gentler; listen more and speak less; give more hugs, and send more hand-written notes. I will give people what they want, not what I think they need.
I will read more books, light more candles, and sing out-loud more often.
If you are in the mood to join me, please do. Summer is a great time to be a bit more courageous about being us.
This weekend, find your sleeping bag, or your bike, or your racquet or your glove, or your paint brushes and easel, or the book you have been meaning to read or paper and pencil to begin the one you have been meaning to write.
Open an ice-cold beer or bottle of Coke, pour yourself a tall glass of Sangria or lemonade, sip it slowly or with gusto, and then get started on the rest of your life.
Do what you think Jane might do. Or better yet, what you would do, if no one was watching, or if they were and you didn’t mind – not one little bit, which come to think of it, might be exactly how Vera Jane Clapper-Richter lived.”
And, in honor of the true meaning of Memorial Day, special thoughts today for all who have served in the armed forces or have loved ones currently serving, and sincere condolences to those who have lost a loved one while he or she was serving our country. Your contributions and losses are in our hearts and minds this Memorial Day.