I grew up in a small town with a big Memorial Day Celebration. We housed the only National Cemetery in our state, and we honored our Veterans with dinners, ceremonies, and our annual parade. Every year during school, we lined up by grade and practiced “marching.” (We really just walked, but we knew it was important stuff.) I remember wearing all white and carrying a bouquet that my mom always hand-picked, with wild daisies (still my favorite), purple irises, pink peonies, and if they were blooming, a little rose or two. The flowers were carefully wrapped in a wet paper towel, covered in aluminum foil, and tied with a ribbon.
Heidi ~ Ready for the Parade ~1984
Our parade had bands, floats, royalty, tiny cars, horses– everything that makes a parade perfect for children– yet I never watched it until after I graduated. I walked with my school, marched with the band, rode on a float in my cap & gown, and it never occurred to me that I was missing the parade, because we were raised to appreciate the sacrifice our veterans made for us.
Today, we talk about the “ultimate sacrifice,” but do we really understand what that means? During World War II, my great-grandmother saw my great-grandfather and all three of her sons off to serve in the Navy and Merchant Marines. During that time, her hair turned from black to white as she worried and prayed. By some miracle, all four came home safely, but it was just that: a miracle.
My Grandfather Home on Leave from the Navy.
One year, our Memorial Day theme was “All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” and I think of that so often. I can tell you the names of my mom’s classmates who didn’t return from Vietnam, because she would talk about the lives cut short. I can tell you the names of my friends who went to war, and who were blessed enough to make it home. I can tell you that we can’t thank veterans enough for their service.
What does this have to do with essential oils? I don’t know, but it was on my heart this Memorial Day. My mantra for Essential Oil Boost is Raising Wellness, and to me, it encompasses so much: health, family, environment, mindset… today my mindset is nostalgic and grateful. Nostalgic for small town Memorial Day memories and grateful for big reminders that freedom that is anything but free.
My kids with the traveling Vietnam Memorial in Grafton, West Virginia