Monday, October 24, 2005

Speaking of Human Nature...

Humans are interesting creatures, to say the least. Figuring out why we do what we do when we do it is some people's profession, and with good reason: It is a job that will never end.

For instance, humans and death. While it varies between religions, countries and ethnicities, death is a tremendous force of emotions for humans throughout the world. I'll just focus on death in our country. Specifically, the roadside crosses adorned with fake flowers for a death or deaths that occured there.

Who started this? Who makes the roadside crosses? How long does one leave a roadside cross? What is it's exact purpose? Should it really be decorated during the holidays? If it is a precarious curve in the road and other people lose their lives, do roadside crosses just get added or do those who lost loved ones there first get dibs?

I'm really not being callous, I'm just totally curious about this strange, though somewhat understandable, memorial I've seen throughout Texas. I could not put up a cross on the side of a road where a loved one was killed because then I could never drive by that part of the road without feeling great sadness. I prefer to remember loved ones, no matter how or when they died, with good memories. But maybe that's just me.

A friend of my husband's lost her brother in a car accident 15 years ago. The cross is still there along with a new "updated" one that has his picture and name. It is on the property of an Exxon gas station. Will they leave that there forever? If road work had to be done, would they try to notify the family to pick up the crosses? Wouldn't it be horrifying for a family to drive by and see that the area which once held their beloved's cross(es) was now a sidewalk? I think I'd obsess about driving by the cross just to make sure it was still there and hadn't been vandalized.

Yes, I'm probably overthinking the whole concept of a roadside cross, but don't some things humans do make you overthink occasionally?


jes said...

wow. i've never thought this deeply about roadside crosses, though i do pass by them often and wonder about them. and i think to myself, "if i stopped on the side of the road, would that cross have a name on it?" "would it be sacrilegious to walk on the space occupied by the cross?"

these are the questions that plague me at night.

Jennboree said...

SO glad I'm not the only one. Whew.

Trinity13 said...

I found a little info about the crosses. You can read about it here. I thought it was interesting to find out it is actually illegal to put up a roadside cross.

But I agree with you, I would rather remember the person alive instead of reliving their death.

Amanda Sue said...

roadside crosses and memorials on the back windshield of your pickup truck are both things that strike me as unnecessarily SAD.

remembering is one thing - dwelling on it and proclaiming your inability to move on to the world is another.

there, how is that for callous?

Jennboree said...

We are cut from the same cloth, lil' sis. :)

Not too surprising re: crosses on roadsides being illegal...but what's a cop to do? Yank it up? I imagine many would just wait to be struck down immediately following!