What is a reunion? So many things come to mind these past couple of months as I have received telephone calls from former high school classmates who are informing me of our 40th High School "reunion" in July, 2011. The reunion of a friend of mine I had not seen in over 15 years this past summer and two of his young adult children, reunions with friends that I have known over the years while in California at a mutual friends wedding and celebrating the joy of her marriage and commenting to one of them "I find it so moving that we have known each other all of these years and have had the privilege of growing older together." It struck me, we, I were growing older......together. What richness, what a journey we have all taken individually and together. The joys, sorrows, laughter and tears that make up this beautiful experience called life. I am privileged.
This weekend I travel to Boston to have a "reunion" with Rich, his wife Carolina and their daughter Gabriella. Rich, as you may remember is my dear friend who gave me one of his kidneys so that I might live. I look forward to this meeting and all the joy it brings to my heart. He is truly a brother to me in so many ways.
Thanksgiving is coming and I was on the telephone with my close friend Steve of Steve and Leslie whom I have spent the past two decades at Thanksgiving with except for last year for obvious reasons and we were discussing our "reunion" for Thanksgiving this year. The memories, what we are going to do, who will be there and being thankful for our years as friends and they too are like family to me. I know all of their immediate family members and had a pleasant "reunion" with one of his brother's and his wife while they were visiting San Francisco for the day. Although time may pass, our hearts remain close.
I have also heard of the passing of some friends in the past few months and the passing of relatives of friends; brothers, daughters, parents and how this was such a hard time for them. Also how they were remembering those who have passed on before them; reflecting, remembering, contemplating if you will who they were, who they are and for a moment they too had a "reunion" with those they love(d).
I will be facilitating a "Day of Remembrance" on October 30th and it is also entitled "So Great a Cloud of Witnesses Goes Before Us." As I prepare for this I am moved by the memories I have of those who have gone before me and that they too are alive but alive through that thin veil. I will be sharing more about this in a future blog and what that means to me, how real and how we so often only see the temporal but how in reality there is so much more, more than meets our eye but is seen within. I will invite those participating to write a letter to that person, what they would like to say, to catch up with them, anything they may have left unsaid. At lunch we will eat in silence partaking of the various foods that each person brings that the one they remembered used to like and imagining all of us with them or they with us at that "banqueting table." In the afternoon all will be given the opportunity to listen, to listen perhaps to the heart, to the stirrings and think "What might they reply to me?" and then write it. We will also do a litany for them remembering the little but yet not insignifficant things that brought we and them joy.....together. We will then place their names in a bowl with some incense and for a moment remember their sweet fragrance. Join with me if you can and if you physically can not then perhaps take a day and remember.....them.....and think about the "reunion" that we will someday have. Behind that thin veil, in that great cloud of witnesses.
All Souls and All Saints Day
October 31, November 1
Blessings to each of you,