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Memorial Day Mortality

Monday May 30 is Memorial Day in the United States.  It is a day to remember our war dead.  I saw on Facebook someone said that they didn’t really have any war dead to remember, so she just remembered her family.  I guess I’m in the same boat.  After doing some genealogy, I discovered 2 of my ancestors served in the Civil War from Pennsylvania, but both lived long lives.  When Memorial Day comes around, I always think of my brother because Memorial Day always feels like the anniversary of his death.  Tuesday May 31 is the 10th, so Memorial Day feels like an unfortunate anniversary.  My sister died 18 years ago this coming October.

Kay Ricks

It’s been a sobering few weeks.  Kay Ricks, a Utah Transit Authority employee was abducted, taken to Wyoming, and killed a couple of weeks ago.  His funeral was yesterday.  By all accounts, he was an exceptionally wonderful Christian man who freely helped many in need.  I am good friends with an extended family member, and I am sure that this Memorial Day will be an unfortunately sad holiday for them.  As I drove by my friend’s house, I saw his wife was outside and stopped to express my condolences.  They have a 92 year old neighbor, whom I used to home-teach (before our wards split), and I said “Is he still kicking?”

“He died this morning.”

Talk about sticking your foot in your mouth.

To top it all off, I got call from my mother a week ago.  “How’s it going?”

“Not good.  Your father passed out twice after church today.  I thought he was having a heart attack.  He’s at the hospital, and they said he just has an infection.”

Apparently he had a urinary tract infection, and it caused his blood pressure to drop to 70/30.  He’s fine now, but it reminded me of my post from 2 years ago, Facing Your Parents Mortality.  My dad is 76 now, not in great health, but he is home from the hospital now, and I am quite glad he is one of the 2 of 3 elderly that lived longer than 12 months after a hip fracture.

I used to think of Memorial Day as a nice holiday leading into the summer months.  I’m glad my brother’s death is now a decade behind me, and I don’t really tear up like I used to, but I know that two families are hurting right now due to loss of loved ones.  We may go to the Lagoon Amusement Park to keep things on a happier note, but my heart goes out to the families who are grieving at this time.

What are your Memorial Day plans?

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