Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day... sorry, it’s been some time

I had a hard week at work, generically speaking. One of those weeks where I felt like the list is too long, the tasks are far from easy, and the people aren’t hearing me right. So I came home and we went to the movies, I fell asleep watching Disney’s Earth. I’m not sure that is commentary on the movie but that’s what happened.
In the middle of the night, around 3:30 I woke up to a party breaking up down the street and I worried for a while. It’s a bad habit I’ve gotten into lately, worrying at 4am. I worried about work mostly this time, sometimes it’s the kids, sometimes it’s the lack of a sprinkler system, sometimes it’s the economy, sometimes it’s the family, sometimes it’s the squirrels in the attic, but there’s always something to worry me.
After consulting my husband I decided I needed something to look forward to. And I thought that perhaps there would be a parade for Memorial Day. Denver has them on Saturday – the Memorial Day parades. I like parades. I went back to sleep thinking about the Memorial Day Parade.
So in the morning we went, me in my so-so mood and Eric leading the charge. The kids are always up for a parade, someone might throw candy. We parked and had a nice walk, backing our way through the parade route until we met the parade and then we stopped and watched.
The thing about the Memorial Day parade is that it is a parade in the older sense of the word, in that militaristic sense of the word. Mostly its cars, Corvettes, Plymouth Phantoms, Cadillacs, Model Ts and Model As, or its motorcycles and the Patriot Guard and its also vets marching. No balloons, no clowns, not much nonsense. We waved to the vets, we waved at the Girl Scouts, we clapped for the cheerleaders, and we liked picking out the WWII vets, not as many of those anymore. We got flags, candy, flyers, and a pencil to take home with us.
There’s this thing about parades and me. Almost always they make me cry, especially these kind. Not in a bad way, I’m not sad really at least I don’t think I am. I’m pretty sure that I’m touched by the humanity in it. Here are all these people together doing this thing and they aren’t getting paid and they aren’t grabbing power, they are just remembering something and helping me to remember as well.
And it isn’t like I’m thinking about all these folks who died in the war and feeling particularly sad about it. That is sad, and it’s amazing too, but that’s not what’s getting me. It’s that there are these people, and I don’t know them, but they are all doing this thing and they are doing it together. They are all walking together, driving together, riding together, and being together because they care. And it touches me that they do that.
And mostly that cheered me up.

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