A friend mentioned recently in a passing conversation a quote that she read stating that life is not measured by time, but by memories.
This week, it has been two years since the passing of my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Kenneth H. Cohn, and I realize what was once the creation of memories in our relationship is now the extension of a beautiful legacy of learning and sharing.
Ken’s widow, Diane had her historic church light its steeple for one week in honor of both Ken and his mother Ann who passed the year after Ken. On the day after the viewing of the lighting, Diane posted a picture of the lit steeple on her Facebook page. What came to my mind as I looked at the photo of the quaint light illuminating the dark blue Newburyport night sky was a line from John Donne’s poem, For Whom the Bell Tolls (No man is an island). My mind paralleled a remembrance of the Parable of the Lamp Under a Bushel from the book of Luke. The parable tells us “not to hide the lamp but to bring it out and place it on a stand, that they that enter in may see the light. For nothing is hid, that shall not be made manifest; nor anything secret, that shall not be known and come to light.” Not even, I suppose, the ultimate secret we are all keeping uncertainly from ourselves; the inevitable answer to the non-event of our own peaceful parting one day.
There is a confidence in Diane lighting the steeple in Ken and Ann’s honor. An aspect of the Collaborative Legacy Ken imparted on all of us before his untimely passing. A memory of his real life theme; that is, to share the journey and learn from it, for life is truly for the living and all those who share in it may, in turn, benefit from it. In the case of Ken’s passing, each time we come together to pause for a moment to reflect, we walk away feeling a little more at peace.
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