The Merry, Merry Month of May
The month of May brings a rush of emotions to me. That’s the month many in the United States celebrate Memorial Day and Mother’s Day.
For twelve years, I’ve celebrated those holidays for their traditional meaning and for another reason.
A woman who was more than just Gramma to so many. More than just Aunt Fran.
She was a vessel of God sent to make every life she touched better for having known her.
I call her one of my greatest loves.
She came to us on New Year’s Day.
And left us on Memorial Day.
She raised me like her own.
Meanwhile, my mom searched for her place in a world that did not embrace minority single mothers.
Mary Frances stepped into the gap to make sure mom could find that place.
And if I were dealing with a problem and needed to talk, I knew I could always call her. She’d be on the phone with me for two hours if necessary.
Until I could say I felt at peace with my circumstances.
As a matter of fact, Mary Frances was so special to our family, my dearest cousin, Nikki, called her, “My friend.”
Even now, I can hear Nikki walking in Gramma’s door saying, “Hey friend. How are you doing today?”
And when Good-daddy (grandad) passed, yeah, she shed tears. But she was still everyone’s pillar.
For 18 years, I watched people go in and out. I saw them get fed spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Aunts and uncles came through. Best friends, girlfriends, and boyfriends stopped by for encouragement.
Some for the day…the night…the week…the month.
And while I know I could never fit her shoes, I endeavor to honor her legacy.
Because I have second cousins who claim they stay on the right path to honor her.
What a light!
And what an honor to have sat at her feet for those years.
Understanding that, makes Memorial Day and Mother’s Day even more special.
Because my mom did all that she could to make sure I was supported.
And because Mary Frances did all she could to make sure my mom felt supported.
I think that’s motherhood at its finest. And the legacy they’ve left for me – of loving kindness – deserves to be honored.
Memorial Day and Mother’s Day
So, I decided every year I would honor Mary Frances on Decoration Day (now Memorial Day).
And I would do it by doing something dear to her heart.
Placing flowers at the graves of family members who died in service to the United States.
While it might sound over sentimental to some, I think it’s the perfect way to honor her memory.
Mary Frances gave her time, energy, home and finances to be there for her children, and the children of many others.
And she was always sensitive to the needs of those in the armed forces.
Especially since she had so many nephews join the military.
She had to make sure she took care of her babies.
Even if indirectly.
So, this year, as I remember our family’s fallen heroes, I also remember you, Mary Frances.
Memorial Day and Mother’s Day.
For my hero. And my Gramma.
One of my greatest loves.
For me, it seems fitting to combine Memorial Day and Mother’s Day. How do you honor your mom on Mother’s Day? How do you celebrate and honor Memorial Day?
Here are some ideas that I’ve seen on the Internet for both:
- Make sure to involve the kids. These fun projects will let them express both their creativity and love for Mom.
- Because the best gift you can give her is quality time together.
- These DIY gifts will bring a big smile to grandma’s face.
- Here are 20 last-minute Mother’s Day gifts under $50.
- An encouraging article for those who may have just lost their mother.
- For Memorial Weekend, the team at Vivid Seats compiled a list of the hottest events in top destinations.
- If you will be relaxing at home, watch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS.
- You can also take a look at all the worldwide Memorial Day Weekend events.