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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Richard Grahn

Memorial Day 2018

Dad died two years ago today. How’s that for a Memorial Day memory? The park is filled with families and friends gathered together around barbeque grills, coolers, bouquets of large colorful beach umbrellas and a wide variety of pop-up tents and awnings. Like a field of tombstones, the lawn is littered with monuments raised to the fleeting ambitions of the living. I’m walking through a graveyard of the living.

The aroma of charred meat and the laughter of children permeate the muggy air. Adults are doing adult things. We used to do that…gather around the coals, drink beer, tell stupid stories, and…oh…and eat too much. It seems that’s all that’s left – memories of picnics punctuated with the reality only a grave marker can truly provide. As I walk past the graves of the living, I stop to ask myself: where have all the stories gone and where are all these children headed? Perhaps the best option, at this point, is to just reach down inside and try really hard to summon the courage to cry.

harvest moon…
the old ways keep
getting older