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simple as that July 30, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in death, prayer.
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Aunt Dee Dee gave up her fight last night around 7:00 PM. When I last visited the hospital on Friday evening, I spent some time with her granddaughter (who is very close to my husband) who had been camped out for most of the week. I kept her company and invited her to tell me more about Dee Dee, and the thing that sticks with me the most is this: “She was – is – an amazing woman. All you had to do was tell her you loved someone, and then she loved them, too. You loved them, she loved them. Simple as that.”

O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day our sister Dee Dee. We thank you for giving her to us, her family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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“Simmering” is such an unattractive quality… June 30, 2006

Posted by introspectreangel in death, tattoos, worship.
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…yet one I am quite prone to. I’ve been quietly simmering since Easter Sunday over an incident that happened while standing in line for St. P’s annual Easter brunch. The early service was over. My husband and I were waiting in line and trying to entertain Gabe, and we were talking to some friends of ours who have a daughter about Boy-o’s age. After we had made our way up to the food, gotten our plates, and sat down, one of our friends asked me if I had heard the comments being made by the people in line behind us. I said that I had not, and he told me that they had been talking about the small tattoo I have on my forearm.

The tattoo itself is a Celtic knotwork tattoo that I had done about seven years ago. Like most knotwork, the design itself has no particular meaning, but in general, knotwork is a statement of beauty in simplicity – the path that never terminates except within itself. Knotwork also symbolizes the belief that all of life is interconnected. Perhaps I was being a tad rebellious getting it in such a visible location, but I knew full well I’d be wearing it the rest of my life, and I didn’t want to have to use a mirror or crane my neck around at odd angle to be able to look at it.

In any case, our friend told me that the people in line behind us had been whispering about the tattoo, and about HOW could my husband, a respectable member of the altar guild and the choir, be married to someone like that?! I laughed it off at the time, but I’ve been getting angrier and angrier over the weeks since. I don’t really know why – it doesn’t matter, and I know it doesn’t, but I guess there is just always that hope that the people you meet in church are going to somehow be finer human beings than those you meet outside. But that’s silly – walking through those red doors doesn’t magically make anyone shed all of our biases and preconceived notions, not even me.

In any case, I think I’m about ready to finally be over it. This past Sunday we had quite a few visitors at coffee hour. One of them was a woman that I thought was probably about my age, perhaps a little older, and she had some knotwork designs peering out from under the left sleeve of her shirt. I walked up and said hello, and asked if I could see the rest of her tattoo. When she lifted the sleeve, she revealed an enormous Celtic cross stretching almost from shoulder to elbow, with a girl’s name and birth and death dates on the inside. When I asked, she told me it was her niece who had died last year, and I simply smiled and told her, “What a beautiful way to honor her memory.”