Happy Memorial Day Weekend
I know that a lot of you out there have big plans for this holiday weekend here in the United States. It’s Memorial Day on Monday, but I’m going to talk about what that means today, before we get to the weekend. Mantra Monday is for posts about discipline and fitness, so a post about remembrance doesn’t seem appropriate there. However, it is appropriate today, so that’s what we’re gonna do.
What is Memorial Day
If you’re not from the U.S. (many of my readers are international – thank you!) then you may not be familiar with Memorial Day. Officially, it’s a holiday set for the last Monday of every May. It was created to honor the armed services veterans who died in service. It’s been around since the years immediately following the Civil War, and it’s become a lot more in a century and a half.
For many people, it’s another version of Veterans Day – the November 11th holiday in which we honor all veterans. Like I said, however, it’s officially only for the veterans who lost their lives while serving.
Let’s be real, though. Culturally, Memorial Day is the first three-day weekend of the summer season, and for most people that means camping trips or cookouts. Which is fine. That’s what holidays are for, too.
A Few Minutes to Remember
My grandpa, LaVerne Mantei, passed nearly ten years ago. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army in Korea, and obviously he didn’t die in combat or service, but he was a veteran and he’s no longer with us. So, I’m going to spend some time in remembrance this weekend. There’s a video below that I recorded last night. It’s a song I wrote the morning after Grandpa passed away. The song is definitely somber, and it’s made people cry more than once in the decade since I wrote it. There’s your warning.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Sad, Though…
The word bittersweet exists for a reason. Remembering loved ones we’ve lost is how we keep them alive, but it’s not easy. I’ve heard tons of people say things like “I want everyone to just have a big party when I’m gone!” I like that sentiment; but really, when was the last time that happened? I’m not saying it never happens; I’m just saying it’s rare.
We should be happy, though, when we remember our loved ones, shouldn’t we? After all, we loved them because they made us happy, or maybe it was the other way around. Either way, however, our love for them and the happiness they brought us are linked forever. The more time goes by, the easier it is to remember the sweet things without feeling all of the bitterness of the loss.
I hope you enjoy the song, and I understand if it’s a little too sad for you on a Friday afternoon. For me, though, the song is a celebration of the life lived by a man I loved very dearly, and it’s a way of being thankful for all he gave me while he was here.
Like I said, I hope you liked the song. It’s somber, but I think it’s appropriate to listen to those songs every once in a while and remember those we lost.
If you want a fully recorded audio version of the song to listen to in your car as you cry your way to work, or some other such reason, you can stream it from all of the major services, or you can buy your own copy on my Bandcamp site. You can also just scroll to the bottom of the page and find it on the music player widget to listen to it right here on Brandonia.
Enjoy Yourself This Weekend!
Okay, you see what I just did there? I gave you guys five minutes of seriousness and remembering. Now you can have a completely guilt-free weekend going camping, barbecuing some chicken or steak or burgers, or maybe coming out to see me play tomorrow night with Buffalo Jones at the Bartlett. Whatever you’re doing, please enjoy yourself and stay safe. See you on Monday!