We’ve all got ways of remembering, most very personal. Several friends refuse to delete the contact info of the friends that have passed away from their contacts or Rolodexes (the classic analog card catalog) even though some think the practice slightly macabre.

Coming across the phone numbers and addresses randomly of people who have informed their lives sparks long-dormant memories.

Sally Schneider


For some, Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor people who perished fighting in America’s wars; for others it simply means “the beginning of summer”.

Years ago, we renamed Memorial Day Memory Day for ourselves. We remember people who have been in our lives and are gone now, the power of all they taught us still resonating. We find it heartening to revel in the first days of summer while privately keeping in mind these amazing people, and to celebrate them.

Our dear late friend Gyo Fujikawa‘s wonderful children’s book illustrations seem to say it all.


Gyo Fujikawa, Oh What a Busy Day


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7 replies on “A Secret Celebration for Memorial Day Weekend

  1. Nice! Thank you. For me it has been one of these really hard years that most people in their 50s or 60s eventually have to endure. To plod through. A lot of deaths: my Dad, uncle, nephew, 2 friends, plus a favorite aunt and dear friend lost in dementia. Now my Mom’s death looming any day. My siblings and I will now be the “Elders”. We don’t feel ready. I am not ready to remove those people and that generation from my Contacts. They contacted my life and deleting them would feel like erasing the memories. Thanks for the lovely idea of turning Memorial Day in Memory Day.

  2. “Happiness is a gooey mud puddle!”

    ,..folks like this are truely ‘memorial’.

    Have a fine weekend.

    ,…find a nice juicy puddle. ?


  3. I, too, keep the addresses of those that have passed in my address book. It is nice to be reminded of these people, and at least for a moment when I come across their names, remember them fondly. It is a bit sad, yes, but I like to think that it keeps their memory alive!

    By the way, I absolutely love the illustrations by your friend Gyo – they remind me of sweet books that I have read over the years that give me a “cozy” feeling, a reminder of when the world was a “safe place” and much simpler.

    Thanks Sally!

  4. Ohhhh. I’m so sorry to hear your news. It seems that these sad events often happen in clusters and become a big challenging, heart-rending epoch in our lives. I know it’s no consolation that these people remain in our memories and hearts, but, I think down the line, that is the thing that helps heal us.

  5. To remake Memorial Day into Memory Day is another one of your great ideas. Thank you too for using the illustration by your friend Gyo Fujikawa. We had many of her lovely books when my children were small a long time ago. This brought back sweet memories of bedtime stories.

  6. Hello I just tecently purchased a reprint of ‘Oh What A Busy Day’. It was a childhood favourite, but I no longer have my original copy. Many of the pages in the reprint are in black and white. Could you tell me if the originsl is all in colour. I seem to remember it that way. Thanks so much!

  7. Hello, I’m sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. Somehow I missed your comment.

    I no longer have a copy of Gyo’s original of Oh What a Busy Day but I never knew any of her books to be in black and white. You might try to hunt down a vintage copy.

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