Every Day a Memorial

Every Day a Memorial: (Audio)

Every day we live means something, to someone, somewhere. It’s the arrival date of some long-planned event, or it is a memory date of something from the past. The longer you are around, and the more you document those important dates, the fuller your calendar is of things worth memorializing.

A year or so back I wrote 31 days of blogging taking special note of all the history that occurred on every day of the month. Since I love history, and since dates are harder for me to remember than reciting the alphabet, I had to research archives to find something special about every day.

Every time I write, speak or even think about a day, I realize that it is important to someone, somewhere. 

Today. It has been a year since we walked over to the graveside of my in-laws. He passed away 14 years ago just last month, and she passed just last year. Now. They are together again, just 13 years apart. I met them both back in 1972, the year I graduated High School, started working full time and began taking college classes. Just thinking of them over these past 45 years and I realized all the major memorial dates we celebrated.

Last week, I remembered the deaths of two of my favorites: James Michener (10/16/97) and John Denver (10/12/97), both gone just a few days apart. It was a tough week in 1997. I was shocked and dismayed, and I have never felt like this with any others that I enjoy. Princess Di? Nope. Elvis? Nope. Michael Jackson? Nope.

We cultivate what we celebrate, and we treasure most what we remember. Click To Tweet

If I dig much further, I’m sure that more dates than an ant hill have ants will scurry out of my memory bank and into the conversation. Before I realize it, my day is focused on the past, and I still have a future to plan.

The sad thing is how we let these dates slip into history and then scramble when we need to know. How do we fix this? It used to be the Family Bible that recorded the history of the family, but that’s a long time gone book of history. Yes. Much of our past can be Googled (now that’s a new word to use for research!), but there are memories of each person that we may never know if we do not document them, somehow, somewhere.

My sister created a needlepoint of all the birthdays in mom and dad’s family tree. My tree. She patiently adds in names and dates as additions come. It’s getting full, and fuller by the year. Mom can send me a snapshot, and eventually, it will find its way into someone else’s life when we reach that point of saying our final goodbyes.

Maybe this is only important to me.

I find, especially as I age, that knowing the history of my past is very important. To me. Maybe it’s the way of reliving that is the most important thing, but it surely cements my relationship with who I am, and what I find important.

Now. It’s not that we want to memorialize the hurts, but there are victories in remembering the good things about certain dates. Even when those dates hurt the most.

The other thing that it reveals to me is the fact that I have something I belong to. My family. My country. My friends. My history is secure as long as I have something to connect me to my place in the world.