Sunday, June 5, 2011

Memorial Day

"Waving flags are beautiful, the call of the lone bugle is tender, and the sharp report of a gun salute is a great honor, but to be held in sweet remembrance is the finest tribute of all."

Carl and Stephen working together
Last week this quote from "Music and the Spoken Word" with the Tabernacle Choir grabbed my heart. "To be held in sweet remembrance is the finest tribute of all." I hold many loved ones in sweet remembrance. The older you get, the more people there are to love, and many of them have passed on. As a family, we particularly remembered my daughter Rachel and her girls this year. First we had an outing at Thanksgiving Point, once again enjoying the Dinosaur Museum and lovely grounds there. It was our granddaughter Addie's favorite place to visit with her grandparents. Then we met again at the Rachel Stubbs McTeer Memorial Park. There a lovely monument stands to honor Rachel and we had some plans to do the same.

At the park's dedication in 2006, our family planted a tree in Rachel's memory. However, it didn't survive the winter. I felt that it was time to replant. The season was right and the ground has been prepared by our heavy spring rains this year. We bought the same type of tree, a flowering pear tree that will blossom in the spring, provide shade all summer and then show beautiful red autumn foliage. 

Olivia, Andy and Amanda celebrate the planting.
I couldn't help but ponder the symbolism of our replanting. The season of Rachel's death was difficult, but we pulled together in love as a family. The last six years have been hard on many of us and there have been heartaches and divisions. However, I believe the ground has been prepared for a season of renewing our love and family unity. I'm looking forward to basking in that love and enjoying the beautiful "foliage" of family life that surrounds us. 

Amy and Stephen compare ribbons as Tommy looks on.
An especially sweet moment occurred at the tree planting when both Amy and Stephen pulled out their pieces of ribbon from the original ribbon cutting at the park. They had each carried those little white ribbons with them for 5 years. Amy also had her little rock from that day with her. Each of us had been given an small apache tear. These little rocks look black, but when held to the light, they are transparent. This Memorial Day 2011, after the tree was planted in that beautiful spot, Jim led our family group in prayer to ask God's blessings on the park and on our family.

Park monument as it is today
We also noticed that Rachel's dreams for this piece of ground were being fulfilled. Many people were enjoying the park, its walking path, playground and basketball hoop and athletic field. It's a small park, but it has been used and enjoyed.  The monument reads "Rachel Stubbs McTeer: Alpine City Planner; A cheerful, outgoing, positive personality; Adelaide, Elizabeth (in a heart); A loving Mother." We totally agree. 

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