Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Places We Save

Forever in our hearts.

A black banner with white letters hangs at the Mall in remembrance of the recent victims of violence in our community. Seeing it made me think of Elizabeth Nass and Rose Mayr. My thoughts are full of community grieving, shared sorrow, memories of pain that cannot be changed.

A memorial is a place we set aside to honor the one we have lost. It can be formal, like a banner, or a statue, or a gravestone in a cemetery. A memorial can also be a gathering, full of life, shared by those united by a connection to the departed. A place to remember. A place to celebrate.

Some memorials are not so public. Just as the sign says, it is the love we keep forever in our hearts that shows itself in a thousand tiny ways. Lighting a candle, making a toast, saving a space at the table. Wearing red.

I have to remind myself that not everyone who reads this blog knew Dennis Lane. It is his birthday I honor today by wearing red, joining with friends for a drink, and making a contribution to the Dennis Lane Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation of Howard County. Sometimes our hearts are so full with the forevers of those we miss that we have trouble looking outward. Today is that sort of day for me.

But even if you didn't know Dennis, I am pretty sure that you have loved, felt pain, grieved, and remembered. It is part of being human. And the places that we save, be they public or private, are sacred to us. Life is precious. Love is essential.

And although our hearts are full we must always make room for more life and more love. We need to save a space for that, for what comes next. Do I, today, feel tuned in to the exhilaration of being alive? Not so much.

But that's what is on the agenda. Today, at 5 pm at Clyde's Columbia. Come for Happy Hour, to celebrate the birthday of Dennis Lane, in a place he frequented and loved. A time to remember, a time to celebrate.

Forever in our hearts.


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