forget me not

A heart-warming incident occurred at our recent Ash Wednesday service. Everyone had already come forward for the imposition of ashes, and our priest had settled the container back on the table. Silently, a little girl walked up the aisle and stood patiently. It was as if her very presence was saying, “Don’t forget about me.”

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that the plant Myosotis, with the common name of Forget-Me-Not, symbolizes remembrance, love, and respect. Its tiny bloom, typically blue but also showing up as pink or white with yellow centers, consists of five petals and is less than half an inch across. One writer describes blue Forget-Me-Nots as tiny pieces of blue sky dropped into a garden.

The phrase “forget me not” has been on my mind since last week when I visited an elderly loved one at a memory care unit. On my way to her room, I passed a common area where a pianist was banging out lively show tunes. While a few of the residents surrounding him were tapping out the beat with their toes or clapping along with their hands, the majority of them sat still with their unfocused gazes seemingly looking at nothing.

My heart ached for those silent ones. I wanted to hug each of them and tell them that no matter what they may have forgotten, they themselves were not forgotten.

But I can’t know if that’s true, of course, because I know neither them nor their stories. But I want it to be true. I want a world where every person is loved, cared for, and remembered. Whether we’re young or old, isolation is a killer.

Let’s forget them not.