Let the crosses stand

Patsy Roy

To the editor:
Crosses: the meaning of . . . the devastating day.
I am writing in response to Tami LeBlanc’s letter asking that the cross on Highway 11/71 west of town be allowed to remain. I agree with Tami that the cross should be allowed to stay up in memory of the death of a loved one.
Through the years when travelling by the many crosses I have seen by the road, I have wondered who had died, what his/her age was, what he/she was like, and, most important of all, how the family was dealing with the loss of their cherished family member.
Even though I didn’t know them, I would say a prayer for them.
My family and I now know the answer to one of those questions—what it is like to go through such a devastating loss. On Aug. 10, 2007, our family lost Neil, our son and brother.
Neil’s friends built a cross for Neil and for his friend who also died in the same accident. They built it with their own hands, and much care and love was put into this simple act of remembrance.
Now when I visit the site, I notice everything about the experience. At night, the stars, the wind, the breeze or, during the day, the rain, the light, the air.
Even though I feel a profound and unrelenting sadness, visiting the cross gives me a measure of peace.
I read the letter of the man who said it is “time” for the cross on Highway 11/71 to come down. He talked of it being a “distraction” to him. Why is it “time” now to remove this one distraction?
Next time this man drives by a cross, I hope he takes some “time” to say a prayer for the person remembered there and the family left behind. It may open up his heart to the meaning of why the cross is there.
It is sad that there was not more “time” with this friend, daughter, granddaughter, niece, or cousin.
Taking down the cross is taking the last thing that we can hold onto of our loved one. It marks the last spot on this Earth of the person who left us to begin another journey. It is a sacred spot—at least to the family and friends of the one who has left.
Please have it in your heart to let the crosses stand.
Respectfully submitted by a mother who is trying to live day to day with the loss of her son.
Patsy Roy
Fort Frances, Ont.