Memorial Day memory
A Memorial Day that started with no special plans ended with a nice memory.
Early this morning, Carol and I decided to check with her mother, Helen Helt, an active 94-year-old, and see if she would like to do lunch or come to our house for supper. Her mom opted for supper and suggested that the meal might be primarily leftovers from the brisket and ribs barbecue we had enjoyed at her house Friday when family gathered to celebrate some birthdays and enjoy my nephew visiting from Tennessee. The leftovers sounded great.
Carol mentioned to her mom that her friend Wanda might be interested, and also suggested that we contact another family friend, Lynn, also a widow like Wanda and Carol’s mom. She, too, was eager to come, so now we almost had a table full. One more call to Max and Donna Craighead, friends of Carol’s family, and we had enough people to make serious headway on devouring those leftovers.
Of course, Carol was not content to focus only on the leftover barbecue, baked beans, apple-celery salad and fruit salad. She decided to cook some corn on the cob, add a loaf of French bread and put a relish dish on the table. Oh, she also made a homemade peach dump cake.
The meal was delicious and the evening entertaining. As the old saying goes, a good time was had by all. I’m not sure whose story topped whose, but we heard many an interesting tale of times and incidents past. When people our age get together, conversation becomes a memory fest.
One of the stories told while we were chatting in our living room prior to eating struck me as particularly appropriate for Memorial Day.
Right after Wanda told about finding a diamond ring years ago among some small toy items left behind on a restaurant table, Donna related her own story about finding a ring. She was waiting outside a restaurant restroom when her daughter came out with a class ring on her finger. She told her mom she had found it on the counter near the hand dryer. Donna asked if anyone else was in the restroom and her daughter assured there was not.
Donna explained the situation to a restaurant employee and left her name and contact information in the event someone returned in search of the ring. She kept it to be assured it was returned to the owner, not to the wrong person. Soon, a woman contacted her and was able to properly identify the ring.
The woman was more excited than one might expect her to be over a class ring. The reason? The ring was more than just a class ring to the woman. It was her husband’s class ring and he had entrusted it to her shortly before being killed while serving overseas in the military.
How appropriate, I thought, that this story from Donna’s past would come up in conversation on Memorial Day.
On this day, I offer heartfelt thanks for all those who have given their lives in defense of this country and the freedoms it offers its citizens. I also salute my fellow veterans and those now serving in the U.S. military.