Sunday, November 14, 2010

Roadside Memorial

Roadside Memorial
(by R.P.Edwards)

Teddy bears and flowers
And candles by the way
A placard filled with sentiment
The things that loved ones…say
How sad it took a tragedy
Before the words were said
For measures, dear
That comfort, here 
Bring nothing to…the dead

It was a peculiar sight.  An out-of-the-corner-of-my-eye…sight. You see, nearly a week back, in my usual two-wheeled traverse towards home I thought, as I pedaled quickly towards leisure, that I caught a glimpse of, just across the street, one of those road-side memorials.  You know, the kind we all see from time to time.  A certain “spot” decorated with flowers, and often…a cross.  Always signifying a tragic accident in which someone…died. “Peculiar,” I thought, since this “memorial” --if that’s what it was-- was next to a building and, certainly, since “I travel this road all the time” if there were an accident of consequence…I’d know about it.  “Perhaps it’s just the leavings of the homeless, or an unusual gathering of refuse…awaiting the “truck.”” And on I went. 

The newspaper gave the account.  A young man of only twenty lost control of his car and hit, literally, a brick wall.  And, such was the sturdy construct (brick “and” block), that, although the vehicle was able to break through the barrier; such was the force that the near-teen…died.

And so, having learned, I made my way to the “memorial.” I paused to read some of the inscriptions and take in the sight of gentle things.  I observed, if you will, the desperate reachings of loved ones to somehow convey, if they possible could, affection or care, or simple friendship, to the deceased.  And, as the Holidays approach I am mindful of the adage that pleads… “Give me flowers while I’m still living.” Yes, that’s when they should come.  When arms and hands are warm and able to receive…and then…give back.

The “memorial” lasted perhaps six days.  Carefully tended.  After that…gone.  But I know, out of sight, there are many, because of the loss, who are suffering.  A prayer for your comfort.  And a reminder…to us all.

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