Tag Archives: memorial

A Word From Peter Pan’s Wendy

9 Feb
© Peter Pan and Wendy Stained Glass by VanillaKeyblade

© Peter Pan and Wendy Stained Glass by VanillaKeyblade

Occasionally a friend comes to me with a grief story so powerful I ask them if I may share it here with you. Wendy is one such friend, and her story offers a wonderful example of a new kind of memorial… one of celebration and ongoing conversation.

When my mom’s Cousin John fell ill, we kind of knew what was coming. But it all happened so quickly that it was still quite difficult for the family to handle.

Over the past few years, I’d grown close with John, and I’ve been close with his brother Peter for 25 years. You might say he’s the Peter Pan to my Wendy.  Continue reading

Inspiring Minds: Johnny Cash

6 Jun

JohnnyCashStampIn honor of yesterday’s release of the Johnny Cash forever stamp, here are 10 reasons why he deserves it. Prepare to be awed and inspired.

1. He worked his way up from cotton fields at age 5 to a Grammy (his first of many) at age 35.

2. He was a devoted artist, writing 1000+ songs, 60 of which were penned in the last four months of his life.

3. He recognized hardships in others, often playing free shows in jails and wearing his signature black on their behalf.

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Loss and Legacy

27 May

Here are some of the many special people this community is remembering today, along with a little snapshot as to why.

I hope this project inspires you to share your own story of a loved one. Loss does not take away legacy. It simply leaves it in our hands to champion that tale.

I wish you a Memorial Day filled with the stories of a lifetime.

Want to add to this post? All are welcome. Simply post a comment below.

Shirley Drury

(She’s the beauty in the middle.)

Shorthand expert, bowling instructor, and military secretary. Always wore heels—even in her 90s. Her, her maternal grandparents, and all six of her grandparents’ children were married 50+ years.

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Reach Out

18 Jun

Besides my sister Robin, there’s no one in the world I’ve been friends with longer than Amber. And yet, even I had no idea what to say to her when I found out her younger brother had died in a car crash.

Four years later, this Castle Heart project finally gave me the nerve to reach out beyond the surface sentiments commonly accepted in our society. I asked her about how she is feeling now and what she’d taken away from that fateful night. I offered her this blog as a platform to open up, share, and say anything left unsaid.

This is the result, and it’s a message that—heartbreakingly—needs to be heard.

Thank you, Amber. I’m honored not only that you went to the trouble, but also that you bared your soul so honestly, so imploringly. I can’t help but think there’s someone out there that needs to read this today. And if they do, you and your brother will make a life-changing difference in that person’s life. Know that. Take comfort in that.

If Amber’s story reaches out to you, please let her know in the comments below.

FROM AMBER:

I can see the episode play out before me as if I was a third party watching it unfold. It’s been engrained in my mind. It was a cold Sunday morning in February 2008. The phone rang. My heart started to race a little as I said hello for the third time; the silence on the other end was deafening.

Through the sobs, I was told disturbing news as I paced the bedroom floor. I remained strong on the outside, pushing awake panic for what seemed an eternity. When my parents hung up, it I felt like I was coming up for air after being submerged in water. I collapsed to my knees, trying to make sense of what I just heard.

Cory was gone. How could this be?

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Arroz Con Pollo

4 Jun
Jennifer Pasinosky, Angela Hylland, Angela Taylor, kayaking, Lummi island

Jen and I, before embarking on the uncharted waters of motherhood.

As most of you know, since my mother-in-law’s death I’ve been on a mission to find ways to keep the memory of Sue alive for my baby girl. That desire, in turn, sparked a passion to help other families in the same situation.

Unfortunately, I have many close friends mourning the loss of a parent, right at the time when we’re figuring out how to be parents ourselves. The idea that our little ones won’t know those special people—people who would’ve been such integral parts of their lives, our lives—is simply unfathomable.

That’s why I was intrigued when my friend Jen told me about her continued connection to her mother through food, particularly the native Colombian dish, arroz con pollo. I asked her to write about it, so I could share it with all of you. The result is this beautiful guest post.

Thank you, Jen, for your support, understanding, inspiration, and willingness to share. You, like your mother, make this world a better place. I’m so glad I know you, and through you, her.

Without further ado …

FROM JEN:

Nothing brings back memories of my mom better than food. It’s been nine years since she passed away, and I can still taste her arroz con pollo.

As early as I can remember, I loved spending time with my mom in the kitchen.

She taught me how to make patacones, papas choriadas, pan de yuca, arepas, ajiaco, and on one ambitious day, empanadas. We would sing along to Colombian music playing from the family room. Yo me llamo cumbia, yo soy la reina por donde voy… Or of course, to Julio Iglesias.

She would tell funny stories of learning to cook in the early days of her marriage to my dad, an American. Here’s one of my favorites:

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Memorial Day Remembrances

28 May

Here are some of the many special people we’re remembering today and a little snapshot as to why.

I hope this little project brings a bit joy to your day and spurs you to share a story of a loved one with those around you.

If you’d like to add your own memory here, it’s never too late for that. All are welcome! Simply post a comment below.

Marjorie Henderson

(Pictured on her wedding day with her husband Donald.)

Confirmed sweetest woman on the planet. Avid photographer.

Loved Paris and anything blue and white.

Richard William Gabrielski

Thumbed from Maryland to Massachusetts to give me, his little sister by 9 years, a heart-shaped locket with the Coast Guard insignia on it … ON my birthday! When the sun came up my parents put him on a bus back to Maryland before he was AWOL!

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Memorial Day Project

21 May

Let’s do something together for Memorial Day.

Let’s memorialize someone.

Here’s what we’ll do: In the comments section below, just write the name (first only is fine) and a memory or two you’d like to pass on about them. Even just a phrase or sentence is fine, though stories are welcome, too! You can even e-mail me a picture to include, if you’d like: syntaxsorceress @ gmail.com

Then I’ll wrap up all the replies in a special post for Memorial Day—a post written by all of us for our fondly remembered loved ones.

What do you say?

I’ll get us started …

Martha and Philip Groves

Had square-dancing date nights.

Sent a family of seven to Catholic school on a railroad engineer’s salary.

Continue reading