We were visiting at Jessica’s sister Melissa’s house when Namine asked me a question. “Why does Auntie Mel have the same triangle as Aunt CR?”
Now, I should probably clarify that while Melissa is Namine’s aunt, being Jessica’s sister, her “Aunt CR” is actually her great-aunt, since she is my dad’s sister. For whatever reason, prepending “great” to any of Namine’s relatives has never really stuck. All of my dad’s siblings are just “Aunt” or “Uncle,” and my grandpa is still just “Grandpa.”
So anyway. I didn’t know what “triangle” Namine was talking about, so I asked. She pointed to where the flag rested in its triangular case alongside some family photos.
I explained that the flag was presented to the loved ones when a veteran died. The flag was presented to Namine’s grandma for her grandpa having serving in the military. Since she has now also passed on, the flag now has its home at Melissa’s house. Likewise, the flag which is now at my aunt’s house was presented to my grandma after my grandpa passed away.
Namine was never able to meet my grandparents on my dad’s side, nor Jessica’s dad. All we can do — this side of heaven — is tell their stories. Namine, and others, can know them through us; until we see them again, it is enough.