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The sad and glad of Memorial Day is pressing on my heart this year as never before. The mix of emotions is due the passing of the people in the picture above.

Aunt Donna died in September of 2022.
Mom died in June of 2023.
Uncle Jim died in October of 2023.

This Memorial Day we will be honoring these strong, hard-working, exasperating people who loved their family above all else in this world. Our memories of them will not be enough to fill the holes riddling our hearts in the aftermath of their passing. Yet those memories and the emotions accompanying them are their legacy to their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And so this Memorial Day…

We’re sad to be without them.
We’re glad they and my dad are together again.

We’re sad they can’t enjoy bouquets of irises and peonies this spring.
We’re glad they taught their children to love and grow them.

I’m sad they will never read the the 5th book in my mystery series, in which characters based on them are prominently featured.
I’m glad for the rich fodder of adventures they took us on that make writing their scenes glorious and funny and joyful.

I’m sad knowing we will never visit and reminisce and eat together again.
I’m glad to have talked with each of them in the months before they died.

We’re sad. I’m sad.
We’re glad. I’m glad.

Above all, we are blessed to have been loved by them and to love them in return.