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My son just blurted out, "Tori, it's going to take us 120 minutes to get to Ottumwa." He used his math skills to figure out that 2 hours was 60 plus 60 and asked for the answer to the equation. He clearly remembered math facts that will help him, but I wonder if he will remember the people that we've lost.

A few years ago we lost my grandpa, then we lost my grandma, and then my best friend passed away in 2017 - the night of the Metallica concert. Two weeks ago, my Papa passed away and Grandma didn't want my kids to see him in pain. She didn't want their memories tainted by his lifelessness at the end.

Death is as certain as taxes in life, but it doesn't hurt any less for those of us still living. It probably, in some ways, hurts us more than the deceased. This is because we're still trying to figure out how to move forward in our lives with the void of that person.

When I think back to Memorial Day weekend two years ago, I was able to see my friend for the last time. She was in a hospital bed, clearly not very coherent, and clearly struggling, but the last time I saw her, she still had hope. Just a couple of days later, my friends, the same friends that I will see today, saw her. By that point she had lost hope - and she was ready to leave this physical world for the beyond.

As we celebrate Memorial Day today, I wonder if my children will continue to remember those that we have lost or if they will continue on their childhood journey without regard to losing those around us.

I hope they'll continue to remember all of the special people in our lives. I hope they'll continue to remember the friendly face of their surrogate aunt and the happy memories shared with their great-grandparents, because after all the memories of our loved ones are the only things left we have of them.

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