This weekend in the United States, we take an extra day off work to honor those who died in military service. “Memorial” – the name calls out our intention to use our memories in this way.
Memory looks backward, brings the past into the present, brings those lost into our immediate awareness, and makes them live again, for a moment, in our hearts.
It also provides a platform on which to stand and view the connection of the past and the future. We can ask ourselves: what will our memories be of this terribly sad, frightening, and unusual time?
Shall we look back with gratitude for what we were able to hold close? Shall we look back with regret for the care we did not take? Shall we look back with humility at what we were able to contribute? Shall we look back with sadness at what we refused to let ourselves see?
My hope for myself is that I make choices now that create the memories of gratitude, humility, and love. I intend to honor the lives lost by making sure mine is of use. If I am lucky enough to reflect on this pandemic in five, ten, or twenty years, I know I will recall the love and kindness offered to me.
May we all create beautiful memories this weekend, worthy of those we honor.