Monday, October 06, 2008

Remember: Catherine Ann Norton

The Remembrance Series: When I walk among old graves, I think about the voices struggling to endure. Someday not even stone will hold our memory.

We can give these voices a little more life in a way they never could have imagined. So please take a moment with me to remember....

April 27th 1850
Aged 38 Years
1 mo. & 23 d.s.

Mourn not for me
My husband and children dear
For I am not dead
But only sleeping here
~E.H. Shands

When compared to the loss of the dead, the loss of the living seems twice as tragic. The power to listen, the power to love another. How often we throw these things away or deny them. The monuments of our anger and fear seem so insurmountable, but they fall with no more force than the air in our words.

One day a different monument will close over the ones we love. And a lifetime of words will fail to cut that stone.

Time is streaming through your fingers. Don't squander it.


Miladysa said...

Certain events in life, particularly death or the realization of the closeness of it brings home to us the need for us to change our mindset completely.

When my grandson had leukaemia I remember leaving the hospital and having to call in at the supermarket for some milk on the way home. There was a couple arguing in on of the aisles about dog food and I felt as if I was from a different planet. I just looked at them and thought "get a life" and then as a family we did.

Every single one of us changed our outlooks on life as well as our own careers. Life changing moments :-D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. You have reminded me to call my mother tomorrow. Things have been strained between us for a few months (long story). It is time to forgive and forget.

Aine said...

Wiser words have never been spoken. The loss of the living... is what I most heard as the greatest regret when I worked in nursing homes. And yet, I still fall prey to fear and anger at times. Blocking the flow of love in either direction.

Thank you for the reminder of what life is all about.

Sarah Hina said...

Look at the power of your words, Jason. Reading Selma's comment made me feel like another wall is falling. That Catherine's impact, 150 years after her death, is still profound and very real. Because you chose to see her, and share with us.

Time is streaming through our fingers. But sometimes I feel like we cup it in our hands, and recognize its worth to us, too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Such recognition seems to come fairly naturally with aging. I never thought much about it for real until here lately. Scares me. But you're right, not time to squander.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

That's a much needed reminder in times like these.

Geraldine said...

Very good advice Jason. These are such touching and thoughtful tributes you bring to us via this series. I'm enjoying reading them very much.

So many people I miss, already passed on....I'm glad I told all of them I loved them, when I could.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

I love these remembrances, Jason. There is something so right about reaching across the arcs of time to give honor to one who was never known to us. I recently read this passage by Walt Whitman. I think it fits.

"What is it then between us?

What is the count of the scores of hundreds of years between us?

Whatever it is, it avails not - distance avails not, and place avails not, I too lived..."

Anonymous said...

Miladysa, I was thinking about how often negative energy eclipses positive energy. How negatives so often make us feel justified to withhold the positives.

Selma, thank you. Thank you for making me feel like this post made a difference. :)

Aine, so often we convince ourselves of the many reasons not to love. Love becomes a rare gift. I hope we all have the wisdom and strength to diminish the rarity.

Sarah, I like the notion that I've helped reach back so many years to Catherine and that together we've made a difference. Cupping hands...yes, I do believe that we can hold life long enough to breathe it extra deeply.

Charles, either the ticking gets louder, or we get quieter. Yes, that's probably the nature of things.

Sameera, that's a good point. The harder the times, the more we must reinforce our humanity.

Geraldine, and what a great gift you gave them all. The gift of yourself.

Kaye, beautiful words and sentiment to share with us. Thank you! I've always felt a powerful kinship to these people gone long before us. Even more so recently, I've thought about how so much of my life is relearning what multitudes of people already knew. But we each carry a spark of something more. Perhaps the transcendence comes when two sparks reveal themselves and shine brighter for the time together.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, she was so young.

ChrisEldin said...

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
(I'm sorry I'm short of words, but really that's all I have to say. This is simply very nice.)

Anonymous said...

Great post and timely reminder Jason. When we do lose those we love there is an absolute certainty that we would give ANYTHING to have them back again and say all the things we failed to say when they were here.
Time evaporates quicker than any of us realise. No time to waste at all.

Anonymous said...

Kat, I was thinking about how she was my age.

Chris, thank you for the sentiment. :) It means a lot. You don't have to say any more.

Aggie, you've said it better than I have. Thank you for the passion in your response. It's the truth.