Today is Mother’s Day, but, unfortunately, I’m not with my mom, who will be heading down to the cemetery in a few hours if she’s feeling OK.
Why? Because in the community where I grew up, Mother’s Day coincides with Decoration Day at our cemetery.
Sure, spending the day at the cemetery may sound depressing, but for us and most everyone else who had family there, it was a day spent not only putting new flowers on loved ones’ graves (we tended to use fresh lilacs, daffodils, hyacinths, quince, spirea and other flowers), but also visiting with old friends and relatives we might not see that much.
Like my grandparents were, my mom is one of the caretakers of the cemetery, and while visiting with other members of the cemetery association, she’s also collecting money to help with the upkeep.
I’m pretty sure she never threatens to break limbs, but I could be wrong.
Decoration Day is a distinctly Southern tradition, and ours was (and still is) pretty low-key. (It’s a country cemetery … what else would it be?)
When I was a kid, after spending time at the cemetery, our family would gather for a late lunch/early dinner to celebrate our grandmothers, my mom, and my aunt. Consequently, for me Mother’s Day and Decoration Day will always be synonymous.
More often than not, we’d all end up laughing about one thing or another (because we are a goofy people). It was never a day to be sad, but to remember good times past.
I wish I was there now. I did talk to her this morning, but it’s just not the same.
I love you, Mama!