Why?by Denise Novaky on 05/26/15
I pitched the idea of a Memory Garden to the township administration and the Become Awesome Foundation was generously provided with help from our town. I sat there today watering and weeding and marveling at its beauty. The Garden celebrates all the young people from town who lost their lives too early. It was a group effort of township support as well as work from friends and family. It is done.
Then, I had the brilliant idea of an expansion to the undeveloped land adjacent to the Garden. Once again, the township administration gave me permission to ride forth with watering can and seedling plants at the ready. So, here I am. Starting again. I made 5 cement stepping stones with plans for at least another five. The RH (Hildebrandt) farms donated tons of mulch. We are planning a Garden Party for June 13 when guests can plant in the expansion in memory of their loved one. I plan to have small plaques made for each plant to commemorate the person celebrated.
In my usual way, I could not leave well enough alone. We made a Garden. It was done. Hooray. Move on. No. The adjacent lot is undeveloped and shabby. It made the Garden look lost. So, forward I moved. As I sat there today, I realized all the work I had ahead of me. I lowered by head and asked, 'Why?" Why do I need to take everything to the end? Besides that, does anyone care? Do the young who passed away even know? Will anyone come to the opening? Will they be bored? Will my entertainment work out? Will people bring plants for the expansion?
I do not know the answers to any of those questions. I just know that I am driven to ensure a place of memory for the young who were not allowed to finish out life in this realm. Their life was heard here once; life that made itself known with uproar and clamor. I do not believe those lives are dead. They are somewhere else, they live in a spirit-place that cannot be touched or completely known. In the last century, Henry Scott Holland, an Oxford professor of Divinity, wrote, "Death means nothing at all...Life means all it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is an absolute and unbroken continuity...Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?"
Our friends, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and all those who left this realm too early are waiting for us in that elsewhere place. I feel the strength of the unbroken continuity. The Garden is a stamp upon the world that these young lives, these energies, are here still. And so, if the Garden opening day is a flop, I will be sad but it really does not matter. The Garden will expand and it will grow. The young who we grew up or grew up with are still here. The continuity is unbroken. I believe there is at least one place where we can know them. We can know them at the Garden.