On Memorial Day we remembered my grandparents at Rose Hills. It's been an annual tradition for us. I used some bathroom cleaner that worked pretty well to remove some of the white calcium buildup on the gravestones, and I finished it off to a mirror shine with some Windex.
Hikaru is the "fourth-generation" descendant (Yonsei), since my grandparents arrived in the United States from Japan in 1920. To contemplate a history of family lives and past events is something to wonder about. There's so many "what ifs"!
What if my grandfather never worked for the Santa Fe Railroad in Clovis, New Mexico? What if the Japanese American Interment never happened? What if my dad never returned from his service in the US Army during the Korean War? What if I didn't grow up in Cleveland, or move to LA? If a single life event in our family histories happened differently, would we be the same people, or even be present to see this written?
Hikaru has no memory of his great-grandparents, of course, but I hope he'll know of his roots in the family tree. The history of our ancestor's lives can give a certain humbling perspective to the actual control we can exert to the dynamic flow of events and life decisions. But one thing for certain, though, is that our family stories and our memories is what remains to be "passed on" before we pass away.