While old-timers might remember Decoration Day, my guess is you will know it by the modern holiday: Memorial Day. It’s a time to decorate the graves of those who have gone on before, a time to remember and reflect.

Every May, I hop in a car with my sister Barbara, and my cousin, Bonnie, and begin a multi-mile drive from Danville to Perryville to a country graveyard between Perryville and Harrodsburg, and finally to Harrodsburg to visit the graves of my father’s side of the family. We tell family stories along the way and have lunch together. It’s a day I look forward to every year because it causes me to pause and remember my ancestors, their sacrifices, their losses, their faith and their joys. Some of them died before I was born and it’s the only connection I have to them, this place on the earth where they were laid in the ground.

Here we are in Perryville at the grave of my paternal grandparents, Mecie Willis Gibson Crouch and Demetrius Marvin Crouch. We are the only surviving grandchildren of this dear couple. I never knew Mommy and Poppy, but after spending the day with my sister and cousin, hearing the stories and asking questions about them, I feel like I know them well.