At the graduation ceremony at Forsyth High School yesterday, we presented the Josh Heser Memorial Scholarship in our son’s memory to a very fine young man who will be attending trade school. That makes seven scholarships to young people who are now pursuing their careers and let us know every now and then that they appreciate the “leg up” in getting their education.
I am not “tooting our horn” – these scholarships are available because people throughout four counties in Montana who loved Josh plus friends and relatives from all over the United States contributed money to endow the scholarships. This choice was made because Josh himself got an Across America scholarship which helped him to go to diesel mechanic school.
As anyone who has read my book or blog knows, I am definitely an advocate for organ donation and like to encourage people to sign up as organ donors because we know a number of people who are alive because of donated organs. However, I am also very aware that some people cannot donate organs and other people have reasons, including religious ones, why they will not do donation. That is their right, and I would never imply that others’ choices are not worthy.
The important thing here is that we understand that in many ways loved ones can “live on” through things that we recognize and/or encourage. Scholarships are one of my favorite ways, simply because I love to see young people get a chance to pursue their dreams and to consider themselves worthy members of society. All of us needs to remember that the quality of our lives is affected by society, and the more people with fulfilled dreams and promising futures, the healthier society is.
Inn what other ways can people’s legacy live on? My mother was a dedicated Sunday School teacher, and we used memorial money for her toward the purchase of Bibles for third and fourth graders at the church where she and Dad attended. When a little boy recognized the footprints on the cover of the paperback Bibles as “Thy word is a lamp onto my feet and a light onto my path,” I could see my mother smiling.
Assuaging grief by doing something in a loved one’s name has to make Jesus smile. Amen.
I just want to continue to share ideas about grief and life with people who long as I do for comfort and understanding.