I had planned to stick to theme weeks Monday - Friday for the month of November, and keep weekends spontaneous and lighthearted. I learned some things about myself this past week, though, and I've got one more topic on the remembrance week subject for today.
I have a lot more to say about remembrance and memories than I ever realized. So this will not be the end of my discussion of that topic. Today I have one more thing to discuss, and then I will set it aside for now and revisit it after I have some time to think and process and regroup.
A great way to honor and remember someone is to find something that meant a lot to that person and support that thing, whatever it may be. It could be embracing a particular activity or hobby loved by that person. It could be funding research for a cure for a disease or supporting any cause or issue that affected or mattered to the person. It can be any number of ways to continue a legacy, limited only by imagination and creativity.
In my brother's case, he was an outdoorsy guy. He loved hiking, backpacking, camping, kayaking, skiing. He even dabbled in rock climbing and loved it. He was a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and he had big plans to hike the entire Appalachian Trail with his girlfriend, Aggie. She eventually completed this goal, this journey. They had this important goal set together, and she accepted the challenge and she hiked from Georgia to Maine for herself and for him.
My parents, Mike and I chose to honor Greg's memory through his love of the outdoors and for the AMC. We asked family and friends to contribute to The Harry Duren Memorial Fund, through the AMC CT Chapter, which provides scholarships for teenagers to attend wilderness camps and programs. The response was great, and we continue to support that fund and its goals.
The CT AMC took notice of the support, and talked to my family about my brother. They honored his memory with a tribute article to him in their Summer 2008 newsletter, which I shared here.
Recently they acknowledged my family's continued support and approved a renaming of the fund. The following is an excerpt taken from the CT AMC's most recent newsletter:
Donations to the Harry Duren Memorial Fund provide scholarships
to send one or two Connecticut teenagers to AMC’s Summer
Wilderness Adventures in the White Mountains. Over the last few
years the Simons family has made significant contributions to this
fund in memory of Gregory Simons, a young man whose life was
tragically lost several years ago. In recognition of their generosity,
and in remembrance of Greg, the CT-AMC Executive Committee
has approved a name change of this fund to: The Harry Duren
and Gregory Simons Memorial Fund.
The fund is a wonderful tribute to a lost friend or family
member who loved the outdoors. Each of the teenagers who
attend say that their Summer Wilderness Adventure was a
life-changing experience and is one which helps to produce a
future generation of stewards of the outdoors.
I hope you will consider supporting this fund; after all what
better gift can we leave?
Contributions can be sent to: Harry Duren / Greg Simons
Fund, c/o Eric Stones, 72 Sunset Hill Road, Bethel CT 06801.