“The First Sunday in May”
I thank my God upon
It never fails when the month of May rolls around each year that my mind is flooded with memories from a time in my childhood. The remembrances of one particular day stands out like none of the others. All I have to do is close my eyes and my senses become saturated with the sights, sounds, and smells of “The First Sunday in May”, when I was ten years old. Please come along with me as I journey to that day, so many years ago that made such a lasting impression in my life.
On that day, the first things to wake me up were the mouthwatering smells of breakfast cooking and the melodious music of the birds singing outside my window. It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the brightness of the sunshine spilling into my room. When they did adjust, I spotted the new outfit mother and daddy had gotten me to wear and it quickly dawned on me that this was “The First Sunday in May”… a very special day I looked forward to every year!
As was our practice we first went to church and then on to Cedar Tree Cemetery for “Decoration Day”. Afterwards, we all gathered at my Maw Maw Burleson’s house for lunch along with singing and the sharing of stories about those gone on. I can still see my aunts and uncles sitting around the kitchen table with my Maw Maw at the head. She would call on one of the adults to say grace over the bountiful spread of food and for our family being reunited one more year. The ones who didn’t sit at the table scattered all over the house, balancing plates on their laps, while enjoying each other’s company.
One of my fondest memories of “The First Sunday in May” was the yearly “Baseball” game played after the leftovers were put away and the dishes washed. We would all load up in cars and pick-ups, then head to the Hackleburg Elementary ball field. Those who were to young to play, helped some of the ladies baby-sit the little ones at the playground while the game was in progress.
You see everyone was very serious about that baseball game because the team who won got bragging rights until the next year. It was the greatest day for a youngster to be invited to join the game. Just like all of those before me, my aspiring dream was to be asked to play.
By now you’ve probably guessed my tenth year I received the invitation and eagerly, with a squeaky voice, accepted. I had practiced for this momentous day for a long time and now it had finally arrived! Along with it so had a dry mouth, sweaty palms, and shaky knees. Nevertheless, when it came my turn I stepped up to bat with my heart pounding so loud in my ears that I thought I would pass out. The next thing I heard was the cracking sound of a solid hit along with voices screaming, run! I did run with all my might and got on first base safe! My cousin Ronnie was up to bat next and hit us both home. After that, nothing could spoil my first time to play the “Baseball” game… not even getting my shoulder knocked out of socket when I was in left field!
That day is preserved in my heart and those memories will forever hold a treasured place that every “First Sunday in May”, I will continue to revisit. It wasn’t so much the game itself, but the fulfilling dream of the invitation to play that brings such joyful memories to mind each year. That long awaited invite taught me at a young age, just how powerful words of encouragement are to people, both young and old alike.
Memorials should always remind us daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly of the times God has touched our lives and how He is always encouraging us to be faithful, as we run the bases in the game of life. Remember that the Lord always welcomes us on His team.
God bless you until our next visit,
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