The sunlight teased in and out of the treetops and fell like drops onto the dirt pathway we carefully navigated our feet along. My son gently placed the stones he had painted just thirty minutes prior in my hands—both covered in a rainbow of polka dots. Rainbows mean a lot to me, and I smiled proudly at his good taste.
Gathered with other spouses and kids, we strolled along the special operations memorial trail at a leisurely pace to accommodate little legs and chatted comfortably in community. My little one darted ahead, searching for the perfect place to leave his stones. At five years old, he understood we were there to remember people like his daddy’s friend who had died while serving our country.
It had been a long time since I’d been on a walk to remember, and I’d forgotten how good it felt to recall sacred memories while breathing in the fresh, crisp air that seemed to help cleanse and heal the wounds grief left behind.
My mind flashed back to almost a decade prior when my husband and I and our behemoth of a dog, Opie, first walked to remember. Our hearts were raw with grief over losing our daughter. I desperately fought to remember her and felt so fearful of forgetting. That day we walked a short, somber mile. At the end of the walk my hands cupped a small, folded envelope that contained a butterfly inside for us to release. Before flying off with the wind, the butterfly lingered a moment on my hand.
God’s faithfulness in that devastating season would linger and lift and carry me like the wind under that butterfly’s delicate wings.
Remembering soothes the aches in our souls.
But we can be forgetful, can’t we?
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