20080523

Remembering

This coming Monday is Memorial Day in the US, a day commemorating those who died in our nation's service.  It usually takes the form of decorating the graves of those who died at war.

This morning I heard a story on NPR (National Public Radio, which isn't TRULY public, because they can receive large sums of money from private sponsors, but since they're non-profit they can call the sponsors "donors") about a man whose father took the time to remember people who had made a significant impact on his own life.  This was back in the day of canned coffee, and during the year, he would accumulate his empty cans in his garage and as the day approached, he'd decorate the cans and fill them with silk flowers.  On Memorial Day, he visited the graves of these people, many of whom no longer had friends or relatives alive to visit, and cleaned the graves, leaving one of the decorated cans at each.

After hearing this story, I thought about the people who have come in and out of my life, each leaving their mark, some large, some small, some full of joy, some pain, some I think of often, others not at all.  While not everyone has made a huge impact on me, they've all been significant to me in their own way.

But what I took away from my ruminations is that I need to focus on appreciating people while they are still in my life and letting go of those who have moved on.  Sometimes I wallow in regret, fret over situations beyond my control and care about the well-being of those who don't care about me a little too much.