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Monday, May 29, 2017

People, Memories, and Life.

Memorial Day, and I think of the people I lost. A parade of faces, memories, has it really been that many? You don’t really notice, it just kind of happens, but when you stop and think about it, really think about it there are too many. Each holds a special place, each carries their load of history, your history, my history. Too many faces, too many people. It is overwhelming. A lot of times the thing you remember the most is finding out, when someone told you they were gone. It was a punch, fast, unexpected, painful. It is a feeling that can last a lifetime.

In a lot of ways, though, the real sadness is when you think of the people who are still alive and you never see anymore. Times change, people change, places change, and people change places. But, deep inside there is always a part that remembers the people who are still alive and are long gone. They are the ghosts of modern society. And they haunt you too.

It is the ultimate revenge of mobility. We can move farther, faster and more efficiently but at what cost? Looking back, the friends who helped me through life are scattered around the country, and if I see their smiling mug on Facebook it always bring a pained smile. A smile because I see their face, the pain knowing I may never see them in person again. Some of these people were so close, so good to me they passed from friend to family. And some people are lost so completely I don’t even see them there.

But, it is a time of celebration. My parents are buried in a little cemetery close to where they grew up, so many years ago. It is a long way from where I live. My cousin and her husband make the rounds. Decorating graves all over, in small, almost hidden graveyards. It is a joyful practice, and they do it with love, and admiration, and respect for the people they knew and loved. It brings some peace knowing my parents are not being ignored. I can’t really explain why but it does. This year they even sent me a picture, and it brought a tear to my eye. I can never thank them enough.

One year we were fortunate enough to be there to help them go and gather the flowers and decorations, it may have been one of the most spiritual moments of my life. Watching them, driving from place to place, paying their respects, sharing their memories.

Memories are important, but don’t forget to remember the people who are in front of you, they are important, too.