This Labor Day weekend is not one soon to be forgotten by our church, and hopefully never to be repeated.
A week ago, we received word that a boy who went to our kids club for many years was tragically killed. He and his family were particularly close to one of my three friends on Laurel Street.
Then a few days ago, the father of another of my friends from Laurel Street–Paul, the one who made my wedding reception floor plans– stepped from his terminal illness to eternal health.
Never before have I had two memorial services to attend in one day.
So this morning, I was baking bars for the memorial service of the boy from kids club while doing laundry so I would have a sweater to wear to Paul’s funeral, when my phone rang.
It was a church hotline message, the recorded voice of one of our pastors. He announced that the daughter of his fellow pastor had passed away during the night. This little girl, Savannah, chronically ill and bedfast, is in my small group at church and is the niece of my third friend on Laurel Street.
Sometimes, the grains of sand falling through the hourglass of life seem to hang suspended, neither falling nor staying, as if gravity has been paused for a second. Little moments take on an elastic quality, and for a moment they are the only thing that matters in the world. It’s hard to imagine that the rest of the world is going on like normal. It’s hard to imagine that the sand is still falling through everyone else’s hourglasses, when time stands still for us, when moments become larger than reality.
I’ll share a piece of the email our dear friend Paul addressed to Marnell and I last week just days before his death. I still have the large sheets of paper with floor plans for our wedding reception lying around my house.
Marnell and Katrina
I sent some drawings with wedding things for you last night
Here is another layout at the culinary mill just as examples
Several things to remember…
Emergency rapid egress
“how does a mom and crying baby get out?” How do servers get in and out?
Anyway, when you are finished “drawing’ in , or “cutting and pasting in”, return the drawing to me, and I can create a new drawing for you in several sizes. Makes it nice for ushers, hosts, planners.
I hope this helps
Paul, I would wish you good luck too, but I know you won’t need it. You are in that place where buildings are never too tight and laundry never needs to be done. You are in a place where there are no hourglasses, no gravity. Perhaps you caught Savannah in your arms as she came, running… Running!
Perhaps that’s why when we heard you were gone, our lives were also timeless and weightless for a moment.
We will never forget this weekend, but most of all we will never forget the people we lost.