Today is Memorial Day, which used to be known as Decoration Day. I didn’t realize until I was an adult that the main focus of this day was the armed forces. Growing up, it was a day to decorate my grandparent’s graves and the graves of other relatives who had passed away. Often we would come across aunts and cousins at the cemetery as they were coming to add their flowers of remembrance, too. I liked having that day to think about family.
I now live far away from the graves of my relatives, and the day seems to lack something for me because of that. But, recently, I found a different way to remember my family.
Grandmother Martha was the affectionate name we had for my great-grandmother. She was a favorite of anyone who knew her. She was short in stature but not in spirit or spunk. I loved her, probably because I knew so clearly that she loved me. I could tell you more stories, but I’ll save those for another time.
Grandmother Martha’s name was Martha Fereday Harrison. She lives in my novel, The Apple of My Eye as the character Martha Fereday. Without giving anything away, she is a loving, wise, gentle soul who mentors and loves my main character, Brea. This is the finest tribute I can think of. Those who read my book may never know that she is based on a real person, but maybe when they hear the name “Martha” they will think about this strong, sagely character, and in so doing, they will be thinking about my “Grandmother Martha.”