It is Memorial Day Weekend and yesterday as an extended family we visited the cemeteries. We started out the day at Sunset Memorial Gardens to visit Grandpa Bob's grave (Roger's father). The kids questioned why Maxine didn't have two dates like Grandpa Bob's. It was explained to them that she was still living and when she passes on, the second date would be added.
After we left Sunset Memorial Gardens, we picked up G.G. and went to Laurel Hill Cemetery, where my dad and most of my mom's family is buried. We only visited my dad's, though, because she can no longer make it up the hills to their gravesites. Tomorrow I will go back out there and plant flowers and clean up around my grandparents, great grandparents, and uncles and aunts sites.
While visiting my dad's grave, Mia notices the stone to his right with G.G.'s name on it. She asked if I was going to put flowers on that one also. I explained that G.G. was still living, to which Cailey, in her big sister voice, enunciates each word with an exclamation point at the end of each word, reminds her that we talked about this when we visited Grandpa Bob's and Grandma! Maxine! is! still! living! and! when! she! dies! we! will! then! place! flowers! there! It was so cute. I have to admit that I think Laurel Hill's military section is the prettiest of all the cemeteries in Des Moines at Memorial time when they have all the flags lining the street. My dad always loved it too.
From Laurel Hill we went across town to Glendale to visit Jason's grave, along with my Uncle Jack's and our good friend Dirk's grave, who was also my cousin's husband. It was getting too hot for G.G. by this time and she stayed under a shade tree near Uncle Jack's grave while we walked up to Jason's. His stone, along with all the babies' in the area, need lots of TLC cleaning them up as they are flat to the ground and the grass grows over them. I was cleaning up around Jason's and the baby boy's next to his. Luke started cleaning up some other babies stones and I think he would have been happy to stay there all afternoon cleaning.
Then we visited my brother's site at Resthaven Cemetery. We all chipped in and had Denny's name added to their military wall of honor, and they just finished engraving it the day before. Cailey was so fascinated and spent a lot of time in front of Denny's name tracing it with her finger. It was very touching.