A few days ago, on another blog, I posted an update entitled “Did you ever wonder…”
It started out with “As you drive down the roadways of this country, have you ever seen something on the side of the road that gives you pause?”
Anyone who has driven down a highway in American has probably seen a roadside marker, cross or memorial to someone who died at that location.
Some curves, hills and blind turns seem to have a lot of these markers, attesting to the danger associated with that portion of the road.
Yesterday, I was driving between Tucson and Phoenix, and stopped at a marker that I pass regularly. This time I decided to take a picture and read what it actually said.
I met Juan Carlos Mendez. His family has built a wonderful memorial to an obviously beloved son. Juan was only 25 when he died, on Jan 29, 2005. But he had already served his country in the US Army, with a tour in Korea, and deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Juan Carlos was a family man, and left behind a wife and two daughters.
I know where Mr Mendez worked, but can only guess at what happened to cause this little part of Interstate 10 to become Hallowed Ground for his family.
The little plaque has been updated since it was initially put in place. There is a note at the bottom commemorating two other family members who have also gone on ahead.
Juan’s memorial has not been forgotten. All over it are little keychains, keepsakes and mementos that mean a lot to family and friends.
Juan Carlos Mendez, you have shed the pains and tribulations of this mortal life and passed through to be with The Lord, but you are not forgotten on this side of the veil. Your friends and family remember you. And everyone who passes your memorial will carry a piece of you with them.