I haven’t posted anything for nearly a week. It isn’t that I have simply been sitting around watching the Mariner’s loose and win (occasionally), but somehow writing about cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and planning a memorial service doesn’t seem as if it is very interesting reading. The time is drawing near as my brother from Albuquerque, NM and his oldest daughter (also a Lutheran pastor) from Chicago arrive tomorrow afternoon and then more arrive the next day. So the time is drawing near.
It still feels so surreal. I’m going through the motions, but …but it doesn’t feel “real.” How often do I think, “I want to tell Diane this” or “I need to ask Diane.” Following the advice of Basil Pennington, a Catholic writer that I am now digesting, I have placed a Bible (one of Diane’s old ones) in a prominent place in the living room. I did so for three reasons: 1. It is a reminder that God is present with me ALWAYS, even now; 2. That I need to listen to the Voice of God speak to me through the varied means that God uses; 3. And that as I deal with grief I am not to bury myself in the TV, but face each moment for what it gives to me.
Our thirteen months following Diane’s diagnosis of cancer was quite a remarkable journey, full of surprises, full of gifts, full of love and of life. This next part of my life’s journey will be full of one thing for sure: God!
Diane’s memorial will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug 2nd. It will start with a worship service in which the focus will be on our God who gives us life and even life eternal. Then in the Fellowship Hall, we will have a celebration of Diane’s life which will be full of sharing and laughter and perhaps tears also. Diane’s desire was that part of her ashes would be spread at a cabin belonging to her extended family and so Peter, Paulie, Andrew and I will head to the Gallatin River in MT on Aug. 4th, followed by a number of days together in Yellowstone Park, which is only about 30 miles from the cabin. Then Diane’s desire was that half of her ashes also be spread at Immanuel Lutheran’s cemetery, and so on August 17th we will be in worship at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Everson, WA and following their second service (approximately noon) we will have a “graveside” service with the spreading of her ashes in the church cemetery. Those who would like to join us are definitely welcomed.
One more date: August 24th, ready or not, I will be returning to Grace Lutheran Church and am scheduled to preach on that date. I am glad that I have a definite date to be back at Grace and am looking forward to returning. So now the journey continues, one day at a time, one moment at at time.