๐ŸŒทYesterday, I visited the cemetery on St. Patrick’s day, and thankfully my parents were able to leave work on time to accompany me. ๐ŸŒท

๐Ÿ€My boyfriend’s father passed away 17 years ago on St. Patrick’s Day, and I felt a tugging on my heart to visit his grave and leave him a flower on St. Patrick’s Day this year .๐Ÿ€ This would be my second visit to his grave. My boyfriend was unable to visit with me due to a prior commitment, but I made sure to tell his dad that he missed him, loved him, wished he could be there but was there in spirit and promised to visit more often. I also said that I wished I could have met him in person because he raised an amazing man, and I catch glimpses of his father as I spend time with my boyfriend.

We finally set up a small memorial for his dad in our house with a scrapbook and diorama from the last trip he took with his father to the Indy 5000 ๐ŸŽ. If my memory serves me correctly, they almost postponed the trip a year. If they did, the trip would have never happened due to his father’s passing. I’m so happy he got to go on that last trip with his father ๐ŸŽ.

๐Ÿค” I remember talking to my boyfriend about his father and discovered that his father was buried where many of my mom’s family is buried. It is really a small world. My mom was raised in the same city that my boyfriend was raised in so our lives have a few minor, interesting connections. ๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ’We were able to visit not only my boyfriend’s father’s grave but several members of my mother’s family as well, including her parents, which was very special ๐Ÿ’.

๐ŸŒนWe picked out flowers and a balloon to leave on the graves. I remember looking at the flowers, and when I saw this particular one, I KNEW this was the one for my boyfriend’s father. It was white with a green hue on the edges. The flower perfectly bloomed.๐ŸŒน

๐Ÿš‚ My boyfriend’s father’s grave –

My mom helped me set up the flowers and even found some pine cones to leave on his grave. I think this was a bit emotional for my mom since her brother, who passed recently, is also named Tony with his formal name being Anthony. My parents were happy to join me for this moment.

The train ๐Ÿš‚ on the grave is a nod to the theater that him and his family were actively involved in. My boyfriend still to this day is pursing his love and passion for the theater ๐ŸŽญ. This is one reason why I love him so much โค๏ธ.

๐ŸŽI am a very sentimental person by nature, and I love making personal connections. Phil’s father was born on the 21st and come to find out, his father’s father was born on the 21st of a different month. Interestingly enough, my boyfriend and my anniversary is on the 21st of yet a different month. I told my boyfriend that we needed to get married on the 21st ๐Ÿ’, whenever that time comes. My boyfriend responded “Sure”, which definitely made me happy ๐Ÿ˜Š. This to me was a special discovery and so uniquely my sentimental nature. ๐Ÿ’•

๐ŸŒผNext, we visited the graves of my mom’s family. I did edit out names and dates (as nicely as possible) out of respect for my mom and her privacy.

โค๏ธMy mom’s mother. My grandmother who died over ten years prior to my birth due to cancer. My mom lost her mother at the same age that my boyfriend lost his father to a heart attack. โค๏ธ

๐ŸฆŒMy mom’s father. My grandfather. I loved my grandfather and going out driving in the golf โ›ณ๏ธ cart. He was an adventurous man who traveled, went hunting and golfed and was quite a hoot!! My mom with the help of my dad made sure that his headstone was absolutely perfect and fitting for my grandfather. My mom always has an eye for detail, creative and has a fierce love and respect for those dear to her. I definitely got these qualities from her and my dad. ๐ŸฆŒ On a side note, my parents have actually seen deer ๐ŸฆŒ on a few visits to the cemetery. Maybe I will catch sight of a deer one day.

The balloon that my mom left for her parents:

โค๏ธI have a huge amount of respect for my mom who lost her mom so young and has survived through the loss of many loved ones โค๏ธ.

๐Ÿ’My grandpa remarried after he became a widower and married my grandma who became a widow after her husband died from a sudden heart attack.

๐Ÿ‘›My grandma’s grave. She passed away only a few years ago. We bonded when she became ill. I had health issues, minor in comparison, while she was struggling with her health. She loved hearing my stories about working at Disney and always encouraged me. I brought her a Minnie doll to keep her company and as a reminder that I was always with her. She passed away while I was working at Disney on an overnight rehearsal for a show. I almost called out, but I knew she would want me to be at work living my dream. My parents waited to tell me after work, and I drove two hours bleary eyed to get home to my family. My grandma and I had created such a special bond through our adversity. I still regret it to this day, but I didn’t attend her funeral. I was in a very bad place in my life and could not emotionally handle going to the funeral. Sadly, if I went to her funeral, I would have had one last chance to see my uncle before he committed suicide. I’m crying just writing this and have a lump in my throat. I feel like a terrible person.

My parents and family did something that meant the world to me. They allowed the Minnie plush that I gave my grandma to be buried with her so I would always be with her. She was SO PROUD of me. That’s one reason why walking away from my dream job due to medical reasons is so hard – I feel like I failed my family who were (and they would argue…still are โค๏ธ) so proud of me. Talking about my grandma always makes me emotional. ๐Ÿ˜ข

๐Ÿ’•Here is a picture of me holding the Minnie plush I gave to my grandma and that was buried with her๐Ÿ’•.

๐ŸงกHere is the grave of my grandma’s first husband who died from a heart attack before she got remarried to my grandpa. He died before I was born ๐Ÿงก.

๐Ÿ’œFinally, here are the graves of two of my mom’s aunts and one of her uncles.๐Ÿ’œ

๐Ÿ’™This particular aunt of my mom’s died tragically of a car accident at a young age on Christmas Day of all days. She wanted to be buried by the train ๐Ÿš‚ tracks and her wishes were respected. She also died before I was born and even before my mom was born. ๐Ÿ’™

๐Ÿ’›I don’t have pictures of the graves of my uncle who passed away tragically from a staph infection or my uncle who tragically took his own life. They were both cremated. ๐Ÿ’›

๐Ÿ’žAlways remember and be proud of where you came from, your history and those loved ones who were a part of your journey whether physically or watching over you from heaven. Some taken far too soon. Being a part of a family isn’t always easy with disagreements, but they are family and are in the trenches with you. Life is about the journey not the destination. Cherish the precious time you have with loved ones. Don’t waste time on silly arguments and always remember to step away from your busy schedule to spend with your loved ones, even if it’s for a short time. On a gravestone, there is a tiny dash to represent our entire life. Something that seems so small is actually incredibly powerful, meaningful and significant. When I saw the Disney movie ๐ŸŽฅ, “A Wrinkle in Time”, a line of dialogue really spoke to me. The lead teenage female felt insignificant and worthless. One of her mentors (to put it simply) said something along the lines of “Do you know how many events had to happen exactly in the right order to create someone uniquely you…you are ABSOLUTELY important, significant and a blessing”. When you are feeling the way she did, remind yourself of how truly amazing you are and how unique you are. Embrace your flaws and eccentricities. That is what makes you YOU!!! I have to keep reminding myself of that very fact.๐Ÿ’ž

๐ŸŒผLife is about the journey and not the destination!๐ŸŒผ

๐ŸŽ€What are you going to do with that dash on your gravestone? How do you want people to remember you after you are gone? Make every inch of that dash count. Take a break from your busy life, slow down and don’t let life zoom by you. If I am grateful for one thing about having a chronic illness, it has forced me to take my foot off the gas and enjoy the simplest things in life.โ˜€๏ธ

๐ŸŒŸAgain, I ask…. What are you going to do with that dash that represents your life?โœจ

– The Dramatic Ginger

3 thoughts on “Paying Respects to Loved Ones Who Live on in Our Heart.

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