Monday, May 26, 2008

Memory Day

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Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
~From a headstone in Ireland

Aaron Sverre Harkness - 30 years old

Bruce Daniel Higginson - 16 years old

My brother, Bruce, is actually buried in Missouri. This is where we lived back when he passed away. When Aaron and I were dating, Aaron came on a trip with my family to go back and visit some of the church history sites and go to the Nauvoo Temple open house. We stopped at Bruce's grave and this photo of Aaron and me was taken there. (side note: this was also the day we 'officially' got engaged with a ring. I'll tell that story sometime)

This was our first Memorial Day spent together. Here we were taking a break after playing croquet with some of my family. We weren't 'officially' engaged yet, but we were secretly engaged. We even had our date reserved at the temple by this time.

This was our last Memorial Day spent together. We went hiking with some of my family up to Donut Falls. In this photo, while everyone else is hiking up to see the falls, Aaron is standing there on the right contemplating if that is the way he wants to go...

... then he headed up the other direction... the more dangerous direction... and John (my sister Lisa's husband) followed right behind him. We were both very nervous watching from down below. But this is SO like Aaron... he always tried to go his own way. I guess you would call him very adventurous. Thank heavens they both made it to the falls okay.

Here are most of the other people around the falls. Aaron and John are at the top...

... here is a closer shot of them. I didn't see it happen, but all of a sudden, I was told that Aaron jumped into the freezing cold water fully clothed. This is another thing Aaron always seemed to do... jump into any body of water whether he had a swimsuit or not.

This is Aaron coming down afterwards... soaking wet.

Here we are... our family.

Aaron and Aaron Jr. on the hike back to the cars.

Later in the day, Dave and April called to see if we wanted to go to the Jazz playoffs game that night. So, we hurried over to their place and we all drove into Salt Lake to go to the game. I had no idea it would be our last Memorial Day together, but if it HAD to be, it was a really great day. Between the hike and the Jazz game, we managed to squeeze in a bar-b-que with my family and also Aaron went horseback riding with my brother-in-law, John. It was a full day and it has a lot of great memories. I am grateful that we were able to do so much so that we have such fond things to look back on.

Now... on to today. We woke up to pouring rain. We went to the cemetery to visit Aaron's grave with my parents. Thanks Dad and Mom for going with us. And thanks to anyone else who was able to make it out there.

Aaron Jr.

Leslie and Aaron Jr.

It was rainy and very wet, but the sun did manage to peek out a few times through the rain while we were there. Later in the day, we were able to go to a bar-b-que with my family and it stopped raining. It was a nice day... considering.

I was quite disappointed when we woke up to rain today, but as I thought more and more about it as the day went on, I figured that it suited the day pretty well. I figured that as long as there were going to be so many of us weeping for our lost loved ones here on earth today, why not have the heavens weeping right along with us?

I am so grateful for our memories of Aaron and Bruce.

Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth; Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth... ~Thomas Moore

We love you Aaron and Bruce...

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Anonymous said...

Love to you and little man.



Anonymous said...

Love to you and little man.



LL said...

it's fun to hear your memories of Memorial Day last year. I'm glad you have SO many sweet memories and pictures to go along with them.
Thinking of you.

Kristi said...

I wish we could have been there with you. We love you guys. We love and miss Aaron right along with you.

Kim Hacking said...

You are a beautiful storyteller and a fabulous photographer. You capture every detail.

Jyl said...

Beautiful Leslie! Not only YOU but everything you have to say! Love you!

Seesalou said...

i opened up your blog and immediately saw that top picture of aaron. it really tugged at my heart because i totally recognize that look on aaron's face. we really miss him, les. we really felt the loss yesterday and were glad to be able to go to the cemetery. it rained hard on us the whole time. it is still so hard to believe. i did remember the hike last year. and the crazy thing john & aaron did. john has definitely lost a friend. things aren't the same. i had forgotten that they went horseback riding after that. i'm sorry we didn't see you yesterday. we love you. all three of you.

Seesalou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brent said...

The feeling that starts at your feet and works it's way up and out through one's heart, it comes in such a rush you feel your eyes tear. We love you. I know you are still looking for the calm, it will come.

Tammy said...

Thank you for sharing your memories and your pictures. You truly are the epitomy of strength.

Joann said...

Thank you so much for this post, Leslie. I really enjoyed it! I remember the story of how you and Aaron got engaged. You really should post it. It's wonderful! I love the picture of Aaron and Aaron Jr. walking down the trail together. Aaron Jr. definatel has a good example to follow in his daddy. And, like in the picture, I am sure Aaron will be walking right alongside him when Aaron Jr. needs him. Love you, Leslie, can't wait to see you Friday!

Emma-Kate Castricum said...

Oh Leslie,
what a beautiful post. We don't have a memorial day down here but it sounds like such a bitter sweet day.

The picture of your two Aaron's walking away from the camera hand in hand is priceless. Sometimes it's pictures like that where no faces or smiles are involved that say so much.

Love to you,


amanda said...

Cherish those memories. They will get you through.
And A LOT of praying. You are definitely always in mine. Hang in there!

K&K&kids said...

Sad but sweet day. What a blessing to have all those pictures. Thinking of you and little Aaron. Love ya.

Karey said...

What a nice posting, Leslie. Memorial Day is a nice day to remember our loved ones, but I know we miss them more days than that. Last year, our family drove to Boise and put flowers on Grandpa and Grandma's grave. Gas was too much to go this year. We wish we'd have been close enough to visit Aaron's grave. He looks so happy in the pictures--especially the first one.

I love you. Give little Aaron a hug and a kiss.