Remember the Name
I think it was 1996 and someone whose opinion I valued, asked me what my greatest fear was. I answered that outside of closest monsters, laughing hyenas or having to shave my legs, that I feared being forgotten. Granted it was a very common response, so I would guess its a common fear. Whether or not it is genuine for others is beyond me.
So for Memorial Day weekend I went (with my family) to one of the usual places I "vacation" (shop rather). Along the way to Chicago, we visited a family friend who is dying of cancer. Its one of those odd situations where there's nothing you can do and they do occupy a notable part of your thoughts, but outside of that? ... Everyone who's lost someone to cancer, feels connected. Everyone who's lost someone to drugs, violence or war, they feel connected. They remember.
Passing through the Michigan highway system I noted at least 1 dedicated portion of highway. Entering Chicago from the south, you're bound to see Soldier Field, yet another dedication. I can't help feeling how wasted some of these dedications are. They don't really connect people. I'll drive on the road and curse the potholes. I'll get stuck in traffic and curse the Chicago Bears for having a game when I'm arriving. But then at the same time, does a concrete slab with someone's name on it in the middle of an infrequently visited graveyard somehow imply those people are remembered any more or less?
The names will be forgotten but everyone who ever gave a damn and could see past their own wishes, will undoubtedly leave an impact on someone or something. Names, faces, tombstones - all fade, but the actions make the difference. At the end of the day (or end of the race), I just hope that I helped someone or leave a positive impact. As for wishing someone remembers my name? Well, that I can see, is just plain selfish.