Today is "All Souls' Day"…and my pastor emphasized today, in a nutshell, what this special day is really all about. She stated very succinctly,
"THEY AREN'T DEAD…THEY'RE STILL ALIVE!"
In honor of the occasion, my fellow parishioners and I had been asked to bring photos of our deceased loved ones. So after an unusually hectic day yesterday, I found myself at midnight, trying to get three small photos onto one large, adhesive laminating sheet. I figured that would be the easiest way, to bring three photos to church, in my backpack (I bike to church). Time is so scarce for me on Sunday morning, I decided it would be best to get it done that night, as it would be one last thing I'd have to do in the morning.
Unfortunately, this clever idea quickly turned into a disaster. Somehow the paper with the directions-which I was supposed to remove-got stuck where it wasn't supposed to be! Uh oh...I would have to relaminate. Which meant removing the already-stuck-to-the-adhesive photos. I got brave (didn't follow the directions warning) and removed all pictures so I could try again. God was merciful, and two of the three pictures were relatively unscathed.
But Michael's photo, would now have to be laminated over, two times. I then saw (directions) ink on Michael's hand...I briefly thought of leaving it-perhaps people would think he was just finished with a messy painting session? Ultimately, I snipped it off with a scissors. And then I saw all the air bubbles that defied all efforts to vanquish them…they just kept remorphing elsewhere on the photos. A sharp safety pin tip, finally took care of that, but there was still a kind of blurry effect I didn't like.
I mention this, because early on in my grief, this kind of thing would have sent me reeling in utter distress. I would probably have broken down into a very big crying session, in anguish, over the fact that their photos were irreparably marred. Even knowing they were copies, I'm sure what happened, would have sent me over the edge of near despair.
How things have changed for me…I felt a tiny twinge of the old familiar panic, but quickly reminded myself that all was really OK! That even though others may even bring photos of their loved ones, in elaborate frames perhaps (I had no idea since this was my first All Souls' Day at this church)...it didn't really matter... not in the grand scheme of things. My loved ones' worth and value, and the amount of love I have for them, is not dependent on the frame I have or don't have, or the condition of the photos I bring in. Although their photos may be less than perfect…they are perfect in person! That's all that really matters! Everything else is all fluff!
The final photo I took to church and placed on the altar, fit right in with all the other parishioners' photos. Some were in fancy frames, some taken right out of a photo album… but... the one common characteristic everyone shared, was love.