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March 21, 2009

The Roadside Cross


The rude cross is nailed loosely to the telephone pole.  The nails that hold it are crooked and bent indicating a hammer held by hands unsteady with profound and painful grief.  There are scraps of handwritten notes, signs and diminutive statues of angels, smiling or crying cherubs and artificial flowers.  A shirt had hung on the cross for a while.  Around the foot of the pole are the remains of cigarette butts and half burned candles that once contributed meager illumination for many nocturnal vigils.

A 16 year boy died here late one night last fall when he lost control of his parents car on the dangerous curve and slid into the unforgiving telephone pole crushing the drivers side and extinguishing the life just inside.  Some said he was high on prescription drugs but it really doesn't matter now.  What does matter are the lives that have been changed forever, the dreams that are no more, the pain that will lessen over time but never goes away and the touch that will never be felt again.

We pass these roadside crosses all the time...memorials to lives and loved ones that are so nameless and faceless to us that they usually are just a blur as we hurry on with our lives.  But I know this one; know his parents and his brother.  I know where they are right now and where there will be in the months and years ahead.  I know that the numbness is replaced by pain which in turn is replaced by melancholy. And if they are lucky over time, memories that once caused heartache may become treasures of warm remembrance sometimes punctuated by a single tear.

I know that because that is how I feel about losing Dave when ever I pass by a roadside cross.

March 21, 2009 at 07:13 PM in The Odyssey | Permalink


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Thanks for The Roadside Cross -- one of the best.

Posted by: Rich | Mar 28, 2009 1:45:50 PM

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