Tag-Archive for ◊ legacy ◊

09 Apr 2010 For love and honor
 |  Category: Celebrate 50!  | Tags: ,  | One Comment

full viewEaster Day…such  a perfect time to honor those who have passed before us and now live for eternity.

I made my first alteration to my working Celebrate 50! list in January when I was having lunch with a friend, Mark Young.   We were talking about how many years it had been since his teenage son died suddenly in an auto accident…11½ years.  He told me a beautiful story about his son’s roadside memorial.  He said one day he had stopped at the memorial and a poem had been attached to the cross.  Mark did not recognize the name of the person who authored and signed the poem, Kevin Michael Mooney.  He did some research, located Kevin, and contacted him.  Kevin said he had driven past the memorial every day on his way to work for years and felt compelled to write the poem and leave it at the cross.  We talked about not only the hardships, but also the amazing impact we can make on lives even when we have left this world.

I suppose, as I write this, that is also the lesson of Easter.  How fitting to stop and reflect on how we can contribute to changing the world, in how we live our lives and in how we live our deaths.

plaqueAs I wrote this post I contacted Mark as I wished to be respectful in what I wrote publicly, and wanted to know how much detail he was comfortable in my including.  He said to include whatever details I liked & then said something I will remember always…  “it is so special to know that after all this time someone still remembers and also wants to do something in addition”.  I wrote back & told him he would never know how often I think of Patrick and their entire family.  I would imagine Mark didn’t intend to change someone’s life or habits in what probably felt like a simple, heartfelt remark, but he changed mine.  When I read Mark’s note I realized all these 50 years that I have unintentionally withheld information that could bring such comfort.  So often in my days others come to mind, but in the busy-ness of the day, I don’t take the time to send a brief email or make a quick call to let that person know I was thinking of them.

Mark wrote to Kevin to ask permission to publish his poem.  Kevin mentioned in his response that he noticed something new had been placed at the memorial site.  I can only imagine what it meant to Mark and his family that someone who travels that road daily, thinks of his son, and noticed that the memorial had changed overnight.  Kevin went on to say, “I am truly grateful for that moment that I took - which is always a reminder that too many things in this world go unsaid, too many thoughts not shared. What blessings we receive when we just reach out… “  Amen, Kevin!

Drumroll..here is Kevin’s heartfelt tribute to a soul and boy he never knew.  The world needs more Kevin Michael Mooney’s!



Rainbows thrown through cloud fields white,
Alight they flow,
In through the heavens, gleaming eyes;
Emerald sunset smears with golden rash and indigo,
Sun splash through grass and wooden marker glows,
Illuminating this Patrick’s, life,
For whom such is love and sweetness pulls,
The heart, the eyes, the mind, the pulsing soul,
To decorate this spot with dancing spirit light heightened,
That speaks of compassion embraced and enlightened,
God’s omniscient echo fills, this air,
For here along this highway,
I am merely traveler daily in car on this road,
Passing this, gentle hallowed ground nightly alone,
While springtime ignites and the autumn trees throw down their clothes,
While summer birds spiral and butterflies hum,
While winter cold warms and hence again the cold comes,
Season after season the love and the memory remains young.

You are many things I am certainly sure of this,
More than just a memory to recall and reminisce,
For your loving presence passionately persists,
You have touched the fire in someone’s soul,
Who has let all who travel this road humbly know,
That there is, a Patrick for whom they grieve,
A wooden cross flowered by delicate wreaths,
Filling this atmosphere with quiet pleasantries,
Filling the air with a quilted peace.

So I stop here and step here and in silence here discreetly,
Within this sanctuary I press my shoes neatly,
Leaving a scribbling of mosaic of words,
Notice from a traveler that Patrick’s life has been heard,
Though death has ended a life,
This relationship, like the rainbows pressed into wispy clouds,
Alights and onward flows.

Patrick, indeed your life has been heard.  And you continue to affect change in this world even in your absence.  What a legacy…


Taking Chance

Taking Chance

If honor and respect of the deceased touches your heart, you might enjoy renting the movie “Taking Chance” starring Kevin Bacon.  “Taking Chance follows the journey of military escort Lieutenant Michael Strobl as he takes the remains of young solider Lance Corporal Chance Phelps back to his family. Inspired by Stroble’s personal journal that he kept following the outpouring of support he received along his journey, this story is a tribute to all the fallen and those who carry them home.”

I’ll leave you with one last, touching story about honor.  A friend of mine shared with me this powerful story of respect from her grandfather’s funeral.  He lived in a rural area in southern Ohio, and during his  funeral procession she noticed a fellow traveler on the road had pulled over to the side of the road, got out of his car, took off his hat, and bowed his head in honor.  What our world would be like today if everyone honored life and death with that much respect.

I would love to hear your special stories of honor and respect….