I have told you how Dad shared stories, from the depression and WW II, with just about anyone who asked. He wrote many of them down - some of which I will try to share in the time ahead of us. Meanwhile one of the stories, in connection with Memorial Day, is about his brother George.
Uncle George was shot down, over France before D-Day, and reported as "missing in action." From the first part of June until the end of August, when Paris was liberated, the family did not know what had happened. The French Resistance found my uncle, a radio/navigator, and the pilot before the Germans did. How they kept the two men safe is a story for another day.
The story for today is this story is one our family knows. AND my aunt, the younger sister, heard from the family - in France - who had helped our Uncle (her oldest brother). Our aunt stayed in touch with the family for many years.
What stories can you share? What stories at least make you smile - if not laugh?
It is hard to believe but we are "officially" starting into summer this weekend. Memorial Day weekend means a number of things to just about all of us but one thing is that "summer" schedule seems to start. A lot of us are also able to enjoy the three day weekend BEFORE the summer schedule starts.
Meanwhile it is good to remember WHY we have the holiday. Dad used to share some wonderful stories - especially how he and mother were married on a three day pass. We learned our uncle, his older brother, had been shot down over France (before D day) and rescued by the Resistance. There were a lot of stories they DID NOT share but there were quite a few they did. Are we asking about the stories? Are we asking for them to share what they can? Are we showing the love and support they need TO share the stories?
This weekend is a time to remember that while "all gave some".... "Some Gave ALL." It is a time to remember, to share, maybe even cry but also to laugh.
Sometimes, when we are traveling, there are a lot of memories to go with the traveling - a specially if there is a special celebration involved. Sometimes the memories are sad - either because of the reason for the travel OR because someone is no longer a part of the traveling. Sometimes the traveling is for a celebration which brings back good memories and laughter.
This weekend I have been traveling to celebrate a grandchild’s graduation from high school and the next’s child’s finishing his associates degree preparing to start into the last two years of college. (NEXT year the second grandchild will graduate from high school.) Celebrating these “ending” events, while encouraging the future events, brought back a lot of memories.
The biggest memory was of traveling with Dad and the time we came to celebrate my then oldest (first) grandchild’s first birthday. It was pretty exciting. I had even finishded a “family tradition” quilt by said birthday - pretty special for me! The laughter came as my son asked my Dad to play ping pong. He thought 30 something would be able “beat” 80 something. Dad ran him all around the ping pong table! Dad creamed grandson! Then Dad explained he had been the 2nd in ping pong in his high school - second to Dad’s big brother.
Yes, some memories are sad - but we celebrate the love they had for us and the Communion of the Saints. But there are also the memories of the laughter shared!
"Thou shalt NOT fall" was one of Dad's favorite sayings. He used to tell people he thought it was the 11th Commandment. The interesting thing is he didn't start saying this until after I fell cracking my ankle - it wasn't "quite" broken but close enough to require a brace and using a walker. Dad and I would take turns with the walkers. The one going to the kitchen, able to bring things back, got the walker with the "seat" on it.
What got me thinking about this is how often in the last couple of weeks I've told people about "not falling!" It happens pretty regularly depending on where we are. Where there are uneven sidewalks, unexpected steps or trying to cross uneven ground. In each case people will ask me "what did you see?" To which I reply "where I was putting my feet." I also will share about NOT falling and how Dad started saying it.
And....in case you are wondering..... Yes, I fell while on my recent vacation. I glanced up at the wrong time and caught my food on the uneven sidewalk. The bad news is I fell (with several interesting bruises to show for it). The good news is I was able to get back up BY MYSELF. You have to laugh or you will start screaming!
So.... from personal experience, and following Dad's advice.... "Do NOT fall!!"