I am fortunate, I know.

None of my family or close friends have lost someone to a war, past or present.

And though I detest war as a means of settling disagreements (I’m not in favor of any kind of violence against our fellow beings, human or otherwise), my heart goes out to the parents, children, partners, relatives, friends of those killed in the line of duty.

As the ads for Memorial Day sales swirl around us, I notice that this somber day has devolved to shopping status. Another holiday gone commercial (see also: Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July – US holidays in general, actually). I admit it. Sometimes the entire day passes and I have forgotten to take even a brief moment to honor the veterans of all wars in all countries.

How ironic. Memorial Day was set aside to remember, yet I forget. I can’t blame this on ADD (I can’t blame anything on ADD for that matter).  I simply need an appointment, a ToDo, to remind me to remember.

So for the next 15 minutes, I will sit quietly, breathe, allow the spirits of those passed on to fill me with their wisdom, prick my sorrow at their absence and be grateful for their lives, however brief. I will broaden my focus to embrace others who have departed this earth – my dear friends and relatives whose lives played out in another era.

And I will humbly remember that life is a gift for which I can be grateful each and every day. My skin is still warm, my heart still pumps. But it won’t last forever. I will join the ranks of those we honor today. I only hope someone will notice I am gone and remember, with a smile.

Life is a pass-along gift. I need that reminder on Memorial Day. And every day thereafter.