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Monday, May 26, 2008

Memento Mori - 2008

Porcupine's parents are buried here. At the National Cemetary in Bourne, mother and father are awaiting Eternity together. When Porcupine's mother died, his father made a military joke. "We'll be buried together - in Section Eight. You kids won't forget THAT in a hurry!"

True enough. The Bourne National Cemetary is beautiful, especially on holidays, when the entrance is lined with fifty flags. Porcupine likes to drive over to Section Eight (which refers to a discharge for mental illness - like Cpl. Klinger on M*A*S*H) and look at the flat stones. Porcupine's father fought in two wars - drafted for WWII and recalled for Korea. He served as a liberator of the concentration camps in Poland, a life changing experience, and was awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star for heroism. But his most heroic acts were in caring for his beloved wife, as she slowly died from a series of strokes, leaving him alone for five years. Now, they are together again in a beautiful setting, which he earned with his service.

But once again, Porcupine was not there on Memorial Day. Instead, he carried out an older obligation on their behalf, at older stones, up in Maine. As begun in early childhood, Porcupine visited the beautiful ancient cemetary at the top of the hill near the St. George River, and left flowers at the markers of grandparents, great uncle and aunt, and great-grandparents, just like he was taught to do every Memorial Day from early childhood, leaving for Maine while it was still dark, carrying geraniums in the back seat of the station wagon, to that same burial spot.

The bands, the flags, the ceremonies - all were there for Porcupine's parents today. Porcupine honored them by honoring their wishes, and keeping memories of family alive for another year and another generation.


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