Surveying the littered ground of the remnants of Moore, Oklahoma, in the aftermath of Mother Nature's might and fury, the magnitude of the devastation lies in the details of loss. The pieces of wreckage and debris cast aside with no regard to wealth or social standing, age or ethnicity. The equal opportunity destruction of such width and breadth, a force so far beyond anyone's control, that to be spared is equally inexplicable. How difficult to feel blessed when across a street a home so similar to your own is now a pile of sticks and stone.
Like so many others a safe distance away, I watch the survivors return to sift through the debris for what can be saved, knowing full well that the hands they hold as they tiptoe through the ruins are their true treasure. How many of them longing only for the family photos, the familial souvenirs of love over time.
How many times do we see this in the remembrance of loss. Flowers surely. Bouquets wrapped in plastic gently placed, perhaps with a card or a note of farewell. A photo of a loved one. A candle. Tiny treasures selected with love to get right to the heart of the matter.
I remember you.
Your life mattered.
I miss you though I may not have know you well.
Every wall, virtually each inch of space decorated. Notes, pictures, ribbons, tokens. plastic flowers, dried bouquets, pots of herbs, here, there and everywhere. Decorations and declarations of faith and love and hope. There was a deep sadness and an uneasy pall over those of us standing in the damp quiet of the hidden cove. A desire to get away, to leave the loss. To shrug off the sadness. What were these visitors expecting? What were they offering? Why do they come day after day?
Why do we remember?
Who do we remember?
What is a Memorial for?
To not say his name was to lose him forever.
It is but a simple gesture to take the time to remember.
Take a moment to be humble.
To be grateful.
To say thank you.
To keep them forever alive...
in the hearts of the families who grieve...
and in the heart of a grateful national family...