The upcoming Memorial Day opens the door to remember the fallen soldiers during our American history. It was initially called Decoration Day, and we have been celebrating since spring 1865. It is a beautiful tradition based on respect for our heroes. It is an American holiday, filled with a deep appreciation of all the sacrifices made and our obtained freedom. That freedom would not have been possible without our heroes, and they deserve our respect and gratitude.
Not taking anything away from this particular day, I felt this year I wanted to expand it to my heroes. We all have heroes in our lives, and they deserve to be honored and remembered. What better way than to place them in the company of our national heroes? Thinking about it, my mother comes into my mind. She was a strong and independent woman who was a master in picking up pieces and putting them together into a new life. I learned a lot from her, although she spent a limited time with me. She lost her mother, my grandmother, at age ten, then her son, my brother, as an infant, finally her husband, my father, when I was ten weeks old. I am sure she didn’t live the life she had dreamed of; no one did who lived during WWI and WWII. But she made the best out of it, and I have a deep admiration for her. To my deepest regrets, I lost her when I was seventeen years old, and I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with her as an adult. I sincerely feel the loss.
I will have my personal Memorial Day celebration, light a candle, and thank my mother for her sacrifices and love. I also will expand my celebration to other heroes in my life and feel deep gratitude.
Please celebrate your heroes in whatever way and fashion meaning the most to you. We all are where we stand because of loving people, supporting us, and assisting in our daily lives and growth. My first memories are from “Kindergarten,” where the nuns tried to instill values and respect into us. It continued during my school years, with some teachers standing out above the expected norm. And then my professional life, filled with amazing colleagues and clients. Yes, I have a vast Memorial Day list, and I feel so blessed. I could light a valley of candles, and in my mind, I see this sea of light that made the life I live possible. Like we wouldn’t have the freedom and independence we so much enjoy without the courage and sacrifice of our fallen heroes, we neither wouldn’t have our present lives without our champions. My ocean of light and my gratitude expands to all of them. I will not visit our warriors in a cemetery but will celebrate them in my heart.
I wish you a meaningful Memorial Day filled with your memories and gratitude.
Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com