On March 20, 2015, I posted the following…
Wayne Roberts Abernathy died on this date in 1995. The years have not, cannot dim my memory of the enormity of his talent as a pianist and an organist and, even more, the merry music of life he created for countless folk through his generosity of spirit in his kindly care, his authentic love, his unassailable optimism, and his titanic sense of humor.
Yesterday, March 20, 2016, my dear friend and a dear friend of many, Louie Clay, a great soul, a grand incarnation of love-and-justice activism, and a gracious embodiment of personal and institutional memory, re-posted my post, to which I wrote in response…
My dearest brother Louie, you are generously kind to recall my fond remembrance of my beloved brother Wayne. As I’ve oft said, in his death, one of my great regrets is that many I have met along my life’s journey have not and will never meet Wayne who, on my best day, far surpassed any fair measure of my humankindness.
Funny, not humorously, but rather ironically, yesterday I forgot to remember the anniversary of my brother’s death. I was and am grateful for Louie’s caring commemoration.
Still, I was saddened, verily grieved by my lack of recollection. I wondered. Was my memory of Wayne beginning to lessen? Had he begun to recede and, worse, had he already receded without my conscious awareness into the shadows of my active reminiscence, thus, metaphorically, but no less truly dying once more?
I shared my woe with my wife, Pontheolla, one of the sagest people I know. She listened with care, then shared how she mourned for her father Leo and her grandmother Mazarine, remembering for years the dates of their deaths. Now, she readily does not reflect annually on those times of her first sorrowing. Rather she remembers, never failing to forget their birthdays; those moments when they first entered time and space, those moments, which, having occurred, granted her the blessing of having known them. I drew immediate solace and strength from her wisdom.