As we approach Memorial Day many things come to mind but at the forefront of my mind is our beloved Mariana. No she never served in our nation’s Armed Forces but she had the privilege of being buried in the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. How might you ask is this possible if she was never a veteran as only veterans are allowed to be buried in a national cemetery or the veteran’s spouse. Well there is one loop-hole that my husband Keith and I found out the hard way: If you have a child that passes away and they get the privilege of being buried there if they are still your dependent (I believe under the age of eighteen).
Our daughter was only eight-and-a-half years old when she passed. Who ever thought that a little bacteria could be so deadly. Not Keith and I. We found out the hardest way anyone could ever find out when our daughter contracted E-coli 0157:H7. No, technically the E-coli did not kill her but it is what the E-coli did to her little body that ultimately took her life (to read more about her story, click here).
But I am off track. Memorial Day is a day to remember those loved ones we’ve lost. In other words, to preserve the memory of them. To remember them always. This is a special day. I don’t think it’s a day any of us really want to have as this means we have lost a loved one. I know I don’t. I would much rather have MarMar here than just the memory of her and remembering how she used to be, but that’s all that’s left are our memories.
All of us remember Mari somewhat the same but all of us also remember her a bit differently from one another. Obviously for Keith and me she is at the forefront of our minds. The other spectrum is those that barely knew her but still remember her with such fondness. This is how she continues to live on in all of our lives. My true desire is that the light of Mari, the flame that she once had alive, will continue to live on for many years passed her short time on this earth.
We have a friend who was going out to the cemetery anyway and wanted to know if we would like her to put anything on her grave since Memorial Day is tomorrow. We were so grateful that she called and asked as Keith and I can’t go as we live too far away now. Here is a picture of the flowers and pinwheel that she put on her grave. The flag must have been put there by the cemetery as you can see there are flags in front of all the other cemetery markers as well.
Memorial Day is simply special as I know she’ll never be forgotten.
We miss you, Baby Girl, and Mommy loves you very much.