It is the conclusion to August 14. For most people it was a day to find water, go camping, or relax the best they can at home. For me, I had one thought in mind: to honor my father’s memory at his gravesite. Three years ago today he died, entering into the presence of our Lord. I smile to think of the wonderful adventures he must be having.
There were very few people at the national cemetary, the largest of its kind in Oregon. I drove to the section where he is buried, far back in the outermost region of the property. I no longer need a map, having memorized the route from my frequent visits. It was a hot day. Blue sky, a stiff wind, and green grass. The regalia from the Memorial Day celebration was all gone. Most of the plots were now simply indicated by their grave markers. But I was prepared. I placed a small American flag at the head of Dad’s grave marker.
I was determined to have this be the time I would keep my composure. But who was I kidding? It exploded into the wind, followed only by my tears. I thanked my Dad for all he did for our family. Working so hard. Providing for us. Protecting us. Loving us. Owning up to his responsibility as husband and father, and later, grandfather.
I love you, Dad. I will never forget.