Every Memorial Day I share this same story. The story of my poppy. . .
For as long as I have owned a car, a scarlet red corn poppy has always hung from my rear view mirror. I was seven years old when my grandfather, a WWI vet, passed away from cancer. At his funeral, members of the VFW handed out "buddy poppies" and I remember my own father, grieving his father's death, hung his on the rear view mirror of our baby blue Ford Fairhaven station wagon. The nights following my Grandpa's death, I recall vivid dreams of laying in never-ending fields of white poppies, that eventually became red, as though sodden with blood. Despite my young age, these recurring dreams were not terrifying, but somehow comforting. The poppy holds a very personal place in my heart, and, only with the wisdom that comes with age, have I fully understood it's special meaning.
Every Memorial Day, I make a few cards to send to those family and friends who have served, or are currently serving, to not only show my support and appreciation, but, to honor the memory of those whom they stood side-by-side with, who no longer stand beside them today.
So, if you are out and about this holiday weekend stocking up on your BBQ necessities and a VFW or American Legion member hands you that "buddy poppy" in exchange for your donation, kindly tip your hat, shake a hero's hand
and say "thank you."
Remember that the poppy is a symbol of hope to remember the living,
but also, of death, and to honor the fallen.
To see last year's post and patriot cards click here.