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Losing Our Heritage, One Memory At a Time
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 • Posted November 18, 2009

During the last few weeks, Mason has had numerous deaths. Most of these citizens were able to claim decades of lives well spent, and in the case of one, a century of accomplishments!

All of those we've lost have contributed to our lives in one way or another. We did business with them, attended church with them, dined with them, laughed with them. And now, we mourn them.

This week's paper has two pages of obituaries, as the number of those lost was too great to fit on just one page. But the memories these folks have given us, rather than pages, could fill volumes.

Maybe it was a hunting story told at the feed store. It could have been an arm bandaged at the Mason Hospital. There could be stories about learning to dance; or, about being fitted for my first suit. The folks we've lost in the last few weeks are not just names. They are an important part of our lives, even after their passing. The memories of what they have contributed, what they have given, and what they leave, will go on long after our mourning period has ended.

Ask Sean Reardon what "Uncle Hub" taught him through the years. Ask Johnna Bierschwale Townsend how it was to work with Jack at the store. Ask Leola Grote about the sly humor of Lorena Poynor at the hospital. Ask Margaret Persky about Norris' drives through the pasture, with detours to get the mail. Ask J'Ann about the smile of her Marvin.

Our memories of our loved ones allows them to continue living, long after they have shed their mortal coil. It is vital that we share those memories and make sure that the generations that follow know the stories, understand the sacrifices, and embrace the lives spent in making Mason thrive.

They need to understand that these wonderful people didn't just live their lives day-to-day. They were constantly finding us when we needed them and helping us to return to the path. They were our guides, our mentors, our friends and our family. They were the reasons we returned to Mason when we could have gone elsewhere. They are the reasons we stay in Mason when others encourage us to seek opportunity elsewhere.

They knew that our town was more than just the rocks and mortar; more than just the churches and the businesses; more than the schools and clubs. They knew that it was the web of family, friends and acquaintances that allows us to stand upright when we should have already fallen. They are the reason we smile when we could just as easily cry. And, they are the strength we have when we wonder where we will get our next breath.

I have, on numerous occasions, thanked the people who have made all us better, though I often forgot to thank them personally. Let us all thank them by not letting their memories fade.

Share your stories. Share your own lives. Share your love. Let the circle remain unbroken, and we shall continue the cycle of life that drives our community through good and bad.

Farewell to my many friends who have passed, and thank you to the ones who are still with us.

It’s all just my opinion.

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