This Waynedale News issue is perfectly timed between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. It is fitting to honor mothers who brought us into life as we also remember those who gave up their lives for our freedom in the same issue.
This Mother’s Day was different. My mother didn’t recognize me no matter how I tried to jog her memory. “Mom, it’s Lois. You like my quilt shop and touching the pretty fabrics.” Even speaking to her in German did not bring a response. All I could do is read our Mother’s Day card to her, stroke her hand and speak to her of things we did together not knowing if she could comprehend what I was saying or not. Although God may grant her many more days, our sharing time is coming to a close. Reaching out to her with patience and kindness on good days and bad is now my greatest gift to my mom, my first needlework teacher.
Memorial Day comes early this year and I’ve marched in all the parades since becoming a Waynedale writer. This year Memorial Day will be different too as there will be no parade due to the pandemic. I always enjoyed the number of people who would come out to cheer and clap us on, but what I liked the most is the parade’s final destination: The Prairie Grove Cemetery. The ceremony at the cemetery is powerful in its simplicity. The Wayne High School band plays patriotic music and the names of the recently departed veterans are read while a bell tolls for them. Then, there is a speech reflecting on the day, and a 21 – gun salute, all amidst veteran graves marked with American flags. It is a somber reminder of the gratitude we owe not only to the fallen but the fathers, wives, children and especially their mothers who mourn their ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Even though there is no parade I’ll still drive out to Prairie Grove to reflect on what it means to live in freedom and the ultimate price so many have paid for it.