Reflections for Memorial Day 2013
Stooping low, she kneels into an unsteady crouch. Fingers seasoned from years of service extend to caress mossy etchings. Letters. Symbols arranged with intentionality. A permanent tribute. Polished granite resists her touch, reconfirming the coldness of death. Warmth from a shaft of Spring sunshine needles its way through a freshly-leaved Maple, penetrating her loose-knit sweater. A bit of light to balance the dark.
The woman’s delicate tracings of a stone-carved name enliven her face. This day, like many before, she resurrects a life. His life. Her soul heaves and swells as the past is released afresh. Grief seeps like blood through a dry, cracked wound. Happy, satisfying, pleasant tears blend with those of sorrow and loneliness. He was a good man. Her man. Faithful.
Remembering is good, and right. Our lives are more than this moment, this fleeting wisp of finitude. Still, even the smallest increment of our existence is of infinite value. Through remembering we collect and replay and savor a long parade of “right nows.” Melded together, every day moments paint a uniquely expressed portrait of humanity across the canvas of time. They craft a story.
My story has chapters about first days, first love, and a first kiss. Excerpts on lost teeth, being lost, and loneliness. Tales of the broken and the mended and the defeated and the rescued. Cancer. A sacred union. Procreation and recreation. Diapers and dancing and training wheels. Spilled milk and sanctification. Friendship. Digging stumps, baking bread, midnight movies, and belly laughs. A touch. A word. A look.
Memories. All of them good, because they are mine. They are my story. Through them I mourn the loss of the wonderful. I crave second chances. I celebrate grace.
Along life’s unpredictable and variegated path, remembering brings perspective. History offers clarified wisdom for the journey forward. Memories bind our hearts together. They are treasures that cannot be taken but for mental fragility. To remember is to love.
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
“Do this in remembrance of me.”
I will remember.
“But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations.” (Psalm 102:12, ESV)