Of course when I became an adult I began to understand the reason for Memorial Day, first being to honor those who have paid the ultimate price as an American. My grandmother, and thousands like her, honor loved ones who have passed, whether they were service members or not.
Eight years ago in August my extended family experienced the loss of one too young. Every Memorial Day weekend since, his parents have honored his life by doing what he most loved to do: ride ATV's in northern Wisconsin, sometimes riding over 100 miles in one day . This year was the first time my husband and I were able to be a part of the experience. It overwhelmed me to say the least, seeing twelve ATV's lined up and each of their rider's wearing a blue shirt with Cody's picture on it.
The loss is deeply felt, and Cody's parents continually push through the sludge of loss and force themselves to find joy in the things their son did, while the rest of us stand around them in awe. They continue on for him because "he would want us to."
Cody's Dad making sure everything is set.
Cody's Mom passing out the shirts. My book was dedicated to this lady.