Sunday, December 4, 2011
Not The Luminary Night We Planned
Tonight we put on a Holiday memorial service at work, which was supposed to include one lit luminary for each of the 354 people we cared for this year. I missed lunch and dinner as I worked for hours with our volunteers, folding bags, filling them with sand, placing them around the building where we held our service. Hours of seriously back-breaking work. The weather guys promised that, although it rained this morning, the rain would be over before noon, and the winds would die down. We set out our 354 bags and went inside to get the lighters.
And then it began to rain. And the wind began to blow. When the rain finally stopped, the bags were soggy and sand was seeping out of their bottoms. We lit and re-lit candles, but only a few remained lighted even for long enough for a photo. And I noticed, when we were trying to light the candles, that dozens and dozens of geese flew over our heads, far better symbols of those 354 souls than a candle could ever be.
But the families gathered, and hugs were freely given and received. So honestly, the weather didn't matter at bit. The lights of those 354 lives shone brightly on the faces of the people who loved them. It was so good to see their families again, to celebrate the lives and memories that consume their thoughts this year.
The service is over. The clean-up is done. I am exhausted and my back will hurt badly tomorrow. But, all in all, considering that everything possible went wrong, it was a very good day.