Memorial Day Weekend Re-imagined

Yesterday, dad and I went to his friend’s house to have our hair cut by his wife. I needed a trim, as it has been three months, and my undercut needed to be done, as it’s been two months. Andrea did a lovely job and it felt great spending an hour with her. Dad is quite pleased with his hair too.

For the past two years I’ve been going to Atlantic City on the Saturday before Memorial Day. In 2016, I went to Washington, D.C. and before that, I would just spend the weekend in Philadelphia, going to museums, then spend time at my uncle’s pool.

My aunt and uncle moved to Marco Island, so a swimming pool was out this year too. I remember in 2017, I didn’t do anything because Memorial Day weekend was the weekend that I submitted my residency application to Canada and I needed to make sure I had that $10,000, which I did. However, I had something to look forward to and I ended up going to the beach a few times that summer.

I thought about my sadness of not going swimming this weekend and the sadness of others on Instagram and I thought to myself, “why am I so sad?” While Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer, the true meaning of the holiday is to pay homage to our Service Members and their ultimate sacrifices. We’re still celebrating with bar-b-ques, and why not reach out to military members and thank them?

Here’s a piece I wrote in 2006 for a zine project I did for an English class. I was really into the American Civil War back then and my zine was all about the Civil War. The Real Origins of Memorial Day

We still have the rest of the summer to enjoy. Mom and dad are going to Cape May in June and as Andrea and I were chatting yesterday, staying at an Air bnb or hotel might be the best time this summer with everything sanitized. I thought about it and I was talking to mom earlier, if anything, I would go to Asbury Park towards the end of July and stay with Jim and John if they’re taking reservations. They were meticulous and clean, I could feel safe with them. If not, I would take a day trip to Brighton Beach or a long weekend and maybe stay in Manhattan. I would only be comfortable with 2 or 3 days at the most. The more I think about it, the more I would just take day trips to the beach instead of staying. It would be cheaper too. I’m still on my budget and I’m saving for a new tattoo (upper arm) in the fall or early next year… when it is safe to do so.

Memorial Day weekend and the summer has not been ruined. We can still have fun in the sun, at a distance, and smartly. We may have to change our plans a bit, but we can adjust. Remember that while Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, why not take a moment to thank our service people.


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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Memorial Day Weekend Re-imagined”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Wow, Andrea is a skilled stylist! Your haircut looks very cute. If I were you, I’d be delighted with it.

    I read and appreciated your essay on The Real Origins of Memorial Day. I get a sense that a large percentage of Americans are tired of sheltering in place by this time and are starting to gather in public places and attend group functions again, in spite of the common sense warnings from medical experts. For those of us who continue to stay home, Memorial Day 2020 allows us more time than in years past to reflect, reminisce and remember the sacrifices of fallen heroes of all stripes.

    I think your idea to take a series of day trips this summer makes sense. You keep the risk of infection lower and save money on lodging.

    Dear friend, tomorrow, May 26, is the date for us to remember another departed Shady Dell VIP. I will publish a special tribute post first thing in the morning. I hope you will come over and write a few kind words. Thank you, dear friend JM, and have a peaceful Memorial Day!


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