Friday, January 9, 2009

Where Memories Go

"I read one time the ancient Greeks believed that so long as a person's name was remembered, they were immortal. It's a certain sure thing we hope we're not forgotten after whatever time we have on earth is done. And a few people live the sort of life such that others are still talking about them decades after they're gone. Mostly that's because they did noteworthy or noble things, or they were a special sort of person all their lives. All their long lives, as a general thing."

Bob Sloan of Morehead, wrote the above words, along with this very special reminder:

"Not so long ago I got a gentle reminder some folks don't have to live long lives in order to be remembered."

That made me think of my brother, Ronnie, who was killed when he was just 18-years-old. I was with my dad and my older brother when we found him just five-tenths of a mile from our home almost 28 years ago. He had only just begun to live. He loved music. It was his world. He sang and played bass and sometimes guitar in the band we had. Ronnie did not live long enough to really do anything noteworthy or noble, but he sure was that special sort of person as Mr. Sloan mentioned. He did not have any enemies as far as I remember. Everyone liked him. He was friendly and outgoing and not the least bit shy. I never really questioned God as to why He chose to take Ronnie home early. I figure I'll find out the reason one of these days. The hardest thing I have had to face so far is the part where not a day went by that I would not think of him. Back then, I remember wondering how I was going to deal with that day after day afer day afer day, until one day I realized I had unknowlingly found a place to put his memory, and slowly....I began to live again. That was the hardest part of all. I guess it is true what they say about time healing all wounds. Not that mine was ever totally healed. I just learned how to deal with it. I learned where to put it.

I read obituaries for a living. I did the math and I can easily say that over the past 34 years, I have read over 6,000 obituaries. When the obit is read for the last time, and as I go to store it in a file, I can't help but think that not only am I putting their obit in a file, I'm also putting their life in there, too. Sad. A few times, I have actually caught myself shaking my head in disgust. I mean, I know this life isn't all there is. I have that promise. I know who holds tomorrow, and I know what lies ahead. Still, I can't help but be saddened.

"Some folks don't have to live long lives in order to be remembered."


The only thing I know about Bob Sloan is that he is a really great writer with a great sense of humor, and a wonderful delivery. Please allow me to insist that you read his story, The Lost Brother, or visit: Bob Sloan's Blog.

Thanks for your words, Mr. Sloan. They have brought me great comfort today.

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