There are moments in life that are engraved in our hearts that are never forgotten.
And even as the years go by, we remember them as if it was yesterday.
The death of a loved one is like a daily imprint that we carry with us and is not lost.
Memories can be ignited by the sweet smell of flowers or a familiar scent.
And just like that, we are flooded with emotions that make us smile, and at times become overwhelming moments of sadness.
Spring does that for me every year as I am reminded of the beauty and complexity of the loss of my father, W. Clyde, and my mother, Eleanor S. Lankford.
I am in the season of rebirth.
My father passed away March 19, 2000, which feels like yesterday. As I walk the funeral home today, I envision his footsteps through this building we called home.
Memories flood my mind seeing images of him. His laughter, tears, and love for his family and community fill my heart with gratitude.
He taught me to be strong, yet sensitive.
What it means to face adversity, and most of all how to care for others.
On March 8, 2006, I lost my mother.
She taught me grace and the art of compassion through the eyes of a woman.
March marks the anniversary month of both their passings, making the month of March and the turning of the season a difficult time for me – yet a rebirthing period for me in so many ways.
I miss them both so much.
Today, I close my eyes and breathe.
I know they would be so proud of how we continue to serve the community.
I can see them now smiling most likely saying, “You did it, kid!”
I know what it means to lose a loved one.
It is painful. Sometimes messy, and sometimes something we all understand was inevitable but never ready to accept.
As a new season in all our lives unfolds, spring reminds us of that rebirth and the ability of how we can all grow.
May this season bless you and your loved ones.
May it be a time of rebirth for you all.
I leave you with this quote in hopes it motivates the rebirth within you to wake up reborn each day.
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
May we all rise each day ready to embrace another tomorrow.