Memorial Day. I don't know why but this year a light bulb switched. In the past, Memorial Day was just another day. A day where I was lucky to get a day off. It was different this year. My parents, Anthony, big brother Nephew and I took some time at the cemetery. I reflected on my blessings.
There are a lot of people that have helped to mold me into the person I am. My Grandpa Ray and Grandma Ether (Blondie) will forever be the most instrumental people in my life. I was so blessed to have my Grandma around for 20 years and my Grandpa for 24. As I looked at their grave site I felt such a sense of happiness that I got to be their grand daughter. They were the most selfless people I have ever met. Their faces and silly memories pop into my mind almost daily and I'm grateful for that. I miss them and would do anything to sit down at their kitchen table and have a conversation with them again. We would talk about my future, about current events, items going on sale at the local grocery store, the animals on the farm, the garden, why I would choose to straighten my hair instead of embrace my curls. I can't wait to hug them, and be in their presence again.
Christopher Ray Hill is my older brother. He would be 31 this year. 4 years older than I. I often reflect on how my life would be altered with him around. Would we have a strong relationship? Or would he be closer to Josh or Kristi? Would he be a husband and father? College graduate? Would he have gone on a mission? I don't remember ever being little and having my parents sit me down and tell me about him, I just always knew I had an older brother that died at birth. As I have gotten older I have felt more and more pain for my parents. I can't imagine carrying a child for 9 months, with no knowledge that anything was wrong, planning to take your new baby boy home, and then having to plan a funeral instead. It breaks my heart. I picture my life after I have passed. I picture us catching up and what a moment that will be. What an incredible gift to know that I will get that chance some day. I am so blessed.
After the cemetery my Mom drove home and the 4 of us went on a hike. Dad had promised Jaden. Nothing was going to get in the way. I remember taking this same hike with my Dad a couple of times back when we were in middle school. We had to do the dreaded bug collection for our science class. All 3 of us kids did. When I came of age my Dad knew all the best spots. Scorpions, bumble bees, beetles, butterflies, fire ants, nothing was off limits to my Dad. It was fun to walk behind and listen to Jaden being taught about the rocks and history of our surroundings and of course about birds, snakes, mountain lions and the many lizards and bunnies we saw. It was a wonderful time. I of course wore hiking shoes in preparation.....sandals. Dur!
After our hike we went home and prepared dutch oven dinner and spent the remaining time with the entire family, we even got lucky and had our cousin and her boyfriend attend.
I am grateful for this holiday to take the time to appreciate those not only passed, that have done so much for us, but for those still here. I still have much to learn.