This weekend I took advantage of the cooler temperatures and walked the trail at Blooms Park. It was an amazing experience! I took the opportunity to take pictures and reflect a little. I have heard many people talk about it since the naming of the park. There are mile markers dedicated to two of the most influential and inspirational women in my life and career – Catherine Morretta and Bethiah Shuemaker. Visiting Blooms Park had been on my to do list for the past few weeks.
Thinking of these two great women brought back a conversation I had a few weeks about grief. It was mentioned that grief is like glitter; you can never completely clean it up, and even days and weeks later you will still find remnants of it. I relate a lot to that statement. I have reminders of their lives all around me, like the trail, senior potlucks, and being in the Community Center surrounded by programs and photos they were in. Some days are easier than others, especially when you focus on all that they stood for and represented: their heart, passion, and dedication to the community.
Another statement I recall is that when we lose someone, it helps to accept that they have served their purpose here. As much as I would love to have them here with me and still receive the blessings of their presence, passion, heart, and knowledge, I know they did what they needed to do. As we approach our first potluck of the season, I remember all the lives that Shuemaker touched. We are also approaching our ten year anniversary of being in this building and it brings a smile to my heart as I remember Catherine’s vision and passion for the community.
The trail at Blooms Park now gives me something else to remember them by. Their love for the outdoors is embodied in the plates on the mile markers at the park in their memory. Although the sadness of them no longer being with us in person will never go away, there will always be ways to keep their memories alive forever. I encourage you to grab some friends and enjoy the new trail as cooler weather approaches! Take some time to read the signs and share your experience with us.
Sue Jurjevic is the Senior Recreation Specialist for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.