... to summarize this past week in any way that would do it justice. It was a horrible, wonderful week, for all kinds of reasons, some more obvious than others. The service for Kathy on Thursday turned out to be an extraordinary event--Carrie, her daughter, delivered a wonderful, poignant message, as did Kathy's brother, Tom. I made it through my homily with only one bought of having to choke back tears or gather my composure. What was amazing was how the music integrated itself into the service, which was nothing short of Grace. I finished writing my homily about 45 minutes before the scheduled service of Eucharist that the family attended prior to the inurnment, which was scheduled before the memorial service. The last word of it was "Alleluia," a suitable Easter and resurrection word! The organist had substituted a choral anthem in lieu of a selection of music the family had chosen, and it followed the homily. Guess what it was called? "Alleluia," and the words were nothing but Alleluia. And then the closing hymn echoed themes from the homily, such that it sent shivers down several of our spines. It was eerie and magical and wonderful, and from where I was sitting up in the chancel I could exchange looks with Carrie and Scott (Kathy's son) and smile and nod our complicit "isn't this cool?!!!" reactions.
There were other things, too many to write now, that made this is a special time. One of those things, though, is captured in this picture. Kathy had saved the cards she had received since her illness was diagnosed last October. The good wishes and get wells and "thinking of you's" number closer to 300! We strung them up on ribbon and hung them across the doorways of the rooms in her house for the reception that followed the memorial service. This picture shows what that looked like. Imagine seven door ways, facing each way, filled with these cards! It was really extraordinary.
I am only now really beginning to grieve, and that, too, is wonderful and terrible. I'm sure that more will dribble out from my fingertips over the coming days and weeks, but I wanted to share this picture as a tribute to the love that Kathy received from so many. She was truly a special, wonderful soul.
And so, by the way, are all of you!!!!!