Monday, August 26, 2013

Celebrating Life

"you shall celebrate"
Leviticus 23:41

We had a fun and interesting day today.  And surprisingly enjoyable.

After church we ran some errands, although not with success.  We couldn't find what we were looking for.  But we were enjoying being together.  It's actually kind of fun to do some walking when all four of us are together ~ me, the Apple of my Eye, and our Amazing and Awesome kids.  It's fun because we end up in pairs, but always evolving pairs.  Sometimes father/daughter, mother/son... sometimes mother/daughter, father/son... sometimes hubby/wife, brother/sister...  Then someone will stop to tie a shoe or something, and someone waits for them while the other two someones keep walking, and just like that, the pairs have switched up. 

So we chatted and laughed and talked as we walked and drove to a couple of destinations.  So there was some fun there.

Then we went back to church in the afternoon for a get-together.   There was music and laughter and good conversation.  We saw old friends and got caught up.  Oh, and we had amazing burgers and even more amazing fries from a food truck.

And then we had just-as-amazing desserts from another food truck.  Your choice of ice cream in-between your choice of warm cookies.

I had dark chocolate cookies and mint chocolate chip ice cream.  So delicious.

And we stood in the shade of the bounce house while we ate, and listened to bouncing, giggling children.

Oh, and did I mention we were at a funeral?

I have never been to a funeral like this is in my life.  And believe you me, I have been to a lot of funerals.  A lot.  I asked the Apple of my Eye, and we figure I've been to about 50 in my life.

I have a big family.

And a lot of friends, apparently.

Although who could blame you for wondering if I have any left...

But this was the first one I've ever been to, that had a bounce house.

The service was for Terry, the friend that died last week of cancer.  The family called it a Celebration of Life, and they certainly came as close as one can, at an event that causes people to cry.  Which we did.

But that's okay; sometimes crying is celebrating, too. 

We were encouraged to wear bright colors (no black).  The tablecloths were bright yellow, and there was a table outside with favorite things of Terry's:  chocolate donuts and chocolate cake.  And five different men, all chosen by Terry, shared the things that he had asked them to, and the things they wanted to share about his life and his friendship.

It was the culmination of the attitudes that Terry and his family showed from the day he got his diagnosis, and his prognosis.  Acceptance.  Peace.  Trust in God.  Terry's wife, my sweet and wonderful friend, had her own cancer diagnosis a little over a year ago.  She beat hers.  But only a few months after her clean bill of health, they found out that he was sick.  And in all that time, of her battling, not knowing what the outcome would be, and of his battling, knowing full well what the outcome would be, their faith never once wavered.

On the contrary, their faith was strengthened.

And so was that of their kids.

And so was mine.

And judging from the celebration, I wasn't the only one.

~ "this day is holy to our Lord.
Do not sorrow, 
for the joy of the Lord is your strength" ~
Nehemiah 8:10


  1. I'm glad that you and your family and friends had a good experience, but I truly have mixed emotions about this one. It does say in Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, that there is "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;" but it doesn't say these are all at the same time.

  2. You're absolutely right. I wonder if maybe the time span between those emotions differs from person to person. Certainly those that loved Terry are not done mourning; perhaps this was his family's way of "giving thanks in all things". Thank you for giving me something to think about, as usual!