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It’s a cool 69 degrees today with a stiff Arctic breeze. The sun finally peeked out from behind the clouds bringing with it a promise of summer. Summer is all I can think of. I can’t wait for summer.

I can’t wait for
pool parties
tan lines
the spicy smell of sunscreen
making soda for the kids with the Soda Stream
sleeping in
lounging in my sanctuary (gazebo)

Last summer I did nothing. Every summer I do nothing but last summer it was a defense mechanism. This summer I want to do nothing and finally enjoy it.

Memorial Day kicks off summer. Heath and Gavin cleaned the grill yesterday and we had our first tri tip of the season. It was so good. So very tangy and tender and yum yum yum. The cheese bread was fantastic and the corn on the cob was juicy good.

As a kid Memorial Day was the first barbecue of the season. We swam at a pool in Midway, Utah. Some years it was quite chilly and we only played inside. No matter what we always met back at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for an extended family barbecue. Lots of people, lots of food, lots of fun.

We never really talked about Veterans or past generations. It was a day off from school tailored for family fun.

A Primary Presidency member mentioned the holiday to the children in Primary on Sunday. She said when she was a kid they also remembered family members who had passed in addition to remembering Veterans. I loved how she said it must have been a Utah tradition! No, it was just her family tradition. Everyone celebrates differently.

Now that I have lost close family members, the day does bring up memories. Not in a I-have-to-do-the-holiday-justice sort of way. The memories just come. I have been reminded of my dad every single day for nearly a year now. The signs of summer alone remind me that my kids missed the last week of school when he passed. They had an extra week of summer and learned about a man I had never really talked about.

I think about that and I think about how different family barbecues must be now that my grandpa is gone. I think about the family I have rediscovered. I wonder why I never knew my other grandpa served in the Navy. I never knew until he passed last fall. We didn’t spend Memorial Day with that side of the family. It was always with my mom’s side. Thoughts of family swirled in and out of my mind all day yesterday.

Still true to tradition, the promise of summer and warmer days blows on every breeze. Memorial Day means school is almost out. The countdown is on. Summer is just around the corner.

If summer is as fun as this weekend has been with my own little family, it will be a wonderful season indeed. I look forward to guilt free late nights with my kids. I look forward to hanging out with them every day. Reading, writing, drawing, scrapbooking, floating. I always get so excited with so many plans for summer. This year I think my only goal is to be present. I lived in a fog last summer.

Memorial Day this year served as a reminder. A reminder of the past and also a reminder that things can change. The future is paved with sunshine and life is good.