Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memoriam

Today is Memorial Day in the United States.  It's the major holiday of the year where we all take time to think about, thank, and reflect on all of those people who served our country in any capacity. This post, in it's entirety, is about those we wish to remember.

Maybe it is coincidence, or maybe it is because of the timing, but I found myself thinking yesterday for a new topic to make a post about.  It had somewhat slipped my mind that this weekend was Memorial Day weekend, and as per usual I was driving along as I scoured my mind for ideas. Before I even met up with my friend, whom I was attending a baseball game with, I realized I wanted to talk about remembering people who we have lost in our lives.  It wasn't until I was at the baseball game that I realized Memorial Day was today.  I knew I had to write about it at that point. There is no more of a perfect day than today to talk about remembrance. 

Saturday is when all of this started for me.  Of all things, I was cleaning my friends list on Facebook.  I came to the part of the alphabet where I knew there was a long-lasting deactivated account I would never delete. It belonged to a dear friend* whom I had known since grade school. In an unfortunate accident in 2008, a lot of us lost a wonderful friend. It was one of those things that no one would have ever expected to happen to a person of her character.  As a testament to her impact on others, the ceremony to honor her would rival any community event I've ever witnessed.  My entire High School class was there, as well as so many others whom she had touched in some way. It is something that still impacts me to this day, which is why I find myself writing about it now. 

When I came across this friend's profile I stopped what I was originally doing. Instead I took a moment to remember her again. It wasn't the anniversary of her passing, just another day in my life, but it mattered to me at that moment.  I've been in a contemplative mood the past several days, and I decided to take that moment to think about what I've done since 2008.  I came to a very heavy realization; I wasn't holding up my end of the deal. I've taken far too much for granted, and not reciprocated enough to validate myself.  I asked myself an honest question, "Why have I been given these opportunities when my friend wasn't?"  Man, talk about a really hard punch to the gut.

It was with those thoughts that I attended the baseball game on Sunday. It was a beautiful day(although hot and humid.)  But when realizing it was Memorial Day weekend, a process repeated itself inside my head. Every person I passed on the street, or at the ballpark, continued to fuel those thoughts. "Is that person taking advantage? Is he? Is she? Who has mattered to him/her?" 

Four schoolboys sang God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch. One Army veteran stood in a position of attention right next to them. It wasn't as if it was a never before seen moment, but that exact moment would matter a lot to the Veteran and hopefully to those boys too. That lead me to one final question...

What matters to you?  Do you know what made it possible? Do you know who made it possible? Today is Memorial Day. It is certainly meant to remember those who served, but no one ever said it couldn't also be used to remember all of those who have impacted our lives in one way or another.  I'd like to ask you to take a brief moment, remember everyone in your life who made some sort of contribution in your life. I know I am.

In Memoriam:
All Veterans
Uncle Casey
and many more I would list, but don't have enough time in the world...

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