The day after Halloween is All Saints day in the church. As a Lutheran Geek of the highest degree this day is marked on my church calendar and I look forward to it each year. It is a time to remember those whom we've lost, this year in particular. Now most years I have enjoyed this day in the church as a time to reflect on the promise of eternal life that God gives us and all of the saints who have gone ahead of us in a way, as it has been a while since I lost anyone I knew well. This year was different however. This year I lost two people who refocused this church holiday and moved it from the general to the specific. So today I had two people on my mind: My friend Emilie and Mr. Goat's Aunt Barbara.
I didn't know Mr. Goat's Aunt well but when we traveled down to her funeral I got to hear and know more of Mr. Goat's extended family than I had known before and it was clear to me that I am blessed to be a part of this family. It made me said that I hadn't had more time to get to know her before she passed. She never got to meet baby goat either, but in a way because of her funeral baby goat got to meet much more of his family more quickly than he otherwise would have. I admire her tenacity though, her commitment to her community, and her love of books.
The other loss this year is one I've talked about here before. On Christmas Eve last year my dear friend Emilie lost her battle with cancer leaving behind a husband, two small sons and a cathedral full of friends and family who miss her. I think about Emilie a lot. I've dreamt about her. I wonder what it would have been like to talk about our sons together, or to debate the merits of the H1N1 vaccine or the Lutheran Church assembly decision. I wonder about her family and how they are doing, not just in general but in the everyday reality of missing her. She has given me a picture of how to live a life of generosity, courage and grace and I miss her. I wish she could have hugged baby goat but I am so glad she knew that he was expected!
These are my saints who I remember today. They join the ranks of my grandmother, grandfather and countless others who have shaped my life and my faith. Who do you remember today?