Re­mem­brance trees event hon­ors lost loved ones



— The hol­i­days can be a par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult time for those who are griev­ing, but the Re­mem­brance Trees event on Fri­day gave many peo­ple a chance to honor and re­mem­ber those they’ve lost.

Dec. 12 will mark four months since Car­na­tion Short lost her hus­band Ted Short III to a com­bi­na­tion of lung cancer and liver fail­ure. Short and fam­ily mem­bers par­tic­i­pated in the event to honor Ted, who


was a hus­band, fa­ther and grand­fa­ther.

“I’m hop­ing it will heal me,” said Short, of North East. “I’m try­ing to heal my­self be­cause it was al­ways me and him; we were al­ways to­gether.”

Ted was close with his nine grand­chil­dren and one of them, Austen Huff, 7, said putting a rib­bon on one of the Re­mem­brance Trees helped him deal with the loss.

“It will be on the tree and Pop-Pop will see it,” Huff said.

The Shorts were one of many county fam­i­lies who at­tended the 11th an­nual event. Held on the first Fri­day of ev­ery De­cem­ber, the event al­lows sur­vivors to re­mem­ber their de­parted friends and loved ones, whether those peo­ple died from ill­ness, vi­o­lence or other ways. Dur­ing the event, peo­ple were in­vited to place rib­bons on two trees set up at the the for­mer of­fice of the Ch­e­sa­peake Hospice Foun­da­tion on Main Street in Elkton.

Car­na­tion Chad­wick, whose par­ents are Ted Short III and Car­na­tion Short, came to the event along with Charles DeSte­fano, her fi­ancé, and their son Bradley to re­mem­ber her fa­ther as well as a close friend, Jesse Veasey, who was mur­dered at the age of 16 in 2014. Veasey was like a nephew to her fam­ily, she said.

DeSte­fano said he has many fond mem­o­ries of Veasey.

“I re­mem­ber tak­ing him hunt­ing and we were in the woods 10 min­utes and we shot a deer,” he re­called.

While it’s hard around the hol­i­days, the event does help, DeSte­fano said.

“It keeps the mem­o­ries alive,” he said. “It’s dif­fi­cult for fam­i­lies to have a hol­i­day where their loved one is not there when they’re usu­ally nor­mally there.”

Delaware res­i­dent Am­ber Bur­ris said she and her Charles DeSte­fano and Car­na­tion Chad­wick both put up rib­bons on the adult tree, one for Chad­wick’s fa­ther, Ted Short III, and one for Jesse Veasey, a friend of the cou­ple.

fam­ily came to the event to re­mem­ber her brother, Gre­gory Sam­mons-Bur­ris, who was mur­dered at the age of 24 in Elkton last year.

She said she and her fam­ily par­tic­i­pated in the event to show him they still love and care for him.

“(We want) to let him know that we came here, that we still care and that

we love him,” Bur­ris said.

The Re­mem­brance Trees event dates back to 2005 and its goal is to give ev­ery­one a mo­ment to re­mem­ber lost loved ones be­fore the “hus­tle and bus­tle” of the hol­i­days, said Valda Ro­tolo, vic­tim and wit­ness co­or­di­na­tor for the Ce­cil County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice, which or­ga­nizes the

event along with sev­eral other agen­cies, in­clud­ing the Union Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion’s Pro­grams and Events Of­fice.

“Be­fore you start do­ing the gift-giv­ing and par­ties, you can just re­mem­ber your lost loved one,” she said.

For the event, one tree was des­ig­nated for adult sur­vivors and dec­o­rated with gold rib­bons. On the other side of the porch, a tree for child sur­vivors was cov­ered in white rib­bons. An es­ti­mated 300 rib­bons were placed on the trees this year.

As peo­ple cre­ated rib­bons, ate snacks and talked to each other, Elaine White and Quen­ton Clarke, mu­sic ther­a­pists with Sea­sons Hospice and Pal­lia­tive Care in Havre de Grace, played their gui­tars.

The event ended with a re­mem­brance cer­e­mony, which lasted about 15 min­utes. The cer­e­mony in­clud- ed peo­ple say­ing the names of their loved ones. Ro­tolo, who led the cer­e­mony, said she lost her cousin, Joe Fayer, in Novem­ber.

Ro­tolo led the group in a “We Re­mem­ber” call and respond read­ing, say­ing, “Re­mem­ber me in your heart, your thoughts, re­mem­ber the close, lov­ing times we shared; the times we cried; the times we quar­reled; the times we laughed. For in these times that you gen­tly re­mem­ber me ... I am not gone.”


Dancers per­form dur­ing the Ce­cil County Christ­mas Pa­rade on Satur­day.


Car­na­tion Short, a North East res­i­dent, and her grand­son, Austen Huff, 7, make Huff’s rib­bon to put on the chil­dren’s Re­mem­brance Tree on Fri­day.


Santa Claus made an ap­pear­ance at the Ce­cil County Christ­mas Pa­rade on Satur­day.



Stormy Oleo, a Ris­ing Sun res­i­dent, and Cy­lus Oleo, 15 months, put a rib­bon on the chil­dren’s tree for Cy­lus’ fa­ther, Corey Oleo, whom they lost in May of this year.

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