Tuesday, May 26, 2015

keep your eye on the grand ole flag

yesterday was Memorial Day.

a day to remember.

a day to think of our beloved USA; where we've been, and where we are thanks to so many who have fought to protect our freedom.

a day to think of all of those we love who have passed away.

in 2013 Ellie was in Mrs. Perona's preschool class where she learned "You're a Grand Ole Flag." man, she loved that song! she sang it in the morning while she took a bath. she sang it to her dolls. she sang it every time she saw a flag blowing in the wind. so of course when we went to the cemetery that Memorial day to honor little Max, she saw all those flags blowing there and marched around in a circle singing "KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE GRAND OLE FLAG" at the top of her almost-5-year-old lungs. and you'd better believe that her little shadow Alice wasn't more than three steps behind, marching and yelling the wrong lyrics right along with her big sis at the top of her lungs.

and so, it's become tradition. we did it last year with newborn Jack screaming his guts out in his carseat ready for a feeding (oh the glamour of newborn-dom). and this year, 1 year old Jack was with us in daddy's arms while we marched around in a circle, waving our flags (more like whacking dad in the face with the flag in Jack's case), singing for our sweet brother.

 we look like a bunch of crazy weirdos doing that, i'm sure. but i like to think that it makes Max smile knowing we are thinking of him in the small way we can. and the truth is that us being weirdos like that gets me all sentimental.

Mike and i had this this somber moment where we looked at our kids skipping happily through that cemetery yesterday; they laughed and threw rocks in ponds....Jack picked grass and crawled through the lines of headstones. and we couldn't help but comment on how strange it is that they'll grow up in that cemetery and won't know any different. cemeteries aren't creepy to them. they don't get freaked out or weirded out by people visiting the graves and paying their respects with flowers and tears. all of that is normal and a part of their life. and i know this will all be a blessing to them, but i also can't help but ache for them, too-- having to experience and sort out the puzzle of life and death at such young ages. Alice is especially inquisitive about death right now. "but how many days will i live until i die?" "but isn't it so wonderful that i am going to die?" "when i die, will i go be with Jesus, just like Max is with Jesus?" it hurts to open up these archives over and over ... and honestly, i don't want to talk about death that much! it freaks me out! but i am truly so happy that we get to be so connected to heaven; it has blessed our family so much and i know always will.

and so, we remembered Max yesterday. i love that brave boy and his brave life. "the cutest baby in the whole heaven!" as Ellie always says. these kids sure love their brother Max. and that makes this mama's heart so happy.


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