This week is a bittersweet one for me. I am sitting here in my living room waiting for my sister to pick me up so that we can go up north for my Aunt Annie's funeral. And, yesterday was the last time I will see my friend, David, at least for a long time. It was his last day as our minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Flint, and I will miss his lively energy during services. The sweet part of this week is that on Saturday, I get to go to my newphew, Alfred's wedding!! He is marrying a woman that he has known for many years, and he seems tickled to be marrying a ready-made family.
Aunt Annie had the most incredible gardens. She died from bees who nurtured that garden as much as she did. When I was young, probaly 9 or 10 years old, AuntAnnie was shopping for a pice of land up in the Cross Village area, where so much of our family lives and loves. There was a pice of land surrounded with juniper bushes and grass and wildflowers. When she showed us the land, I thought it was nice, but didn't understand her excitement over it, then she told my mom and I a true story. She said that when she was looking at the land for the first time, she saw a rainbow. Now, I know that there is no end of the rainbow, in a natural science type of world, but there is an end of the rainbow, and she found it. She followed the rainbow and saw it touch down on that land. She figured that she had found her pot of gold. Her son designed and built her a beautiful house, and she has spent the past 30 years nurturing the land, the way it nurtured her. Aunt Annie will be missed by all of us who loved her.
David is leaving to take a position at a church in Baltimore. He has some social contacts there already, so I think it will be a better place for him to be. It had to have been really hard to come to a place where he knew absolutely no one ahead of time. The only contacts he had at first were in the congregation that he served. Walking that fine line between being a minister and being a friend has to be difficult. He did find friends outside the congregation, but I think his heart was still on the East Coast with his family and his history. I can't blame him. Also, I think that there is a lot of healing that needs to take place in our congregation that probably couldn't happen with him there. I will miss singing with him. I will miss his ability to call in spirit even though his theology really is that he has faith in human beings living, loving, working and playing together, transforming the world together to be better for all. He is very aware of his flawed humanity and believes that together, we are each better.
I don't know Krysten, Alfred's bride, very well, but I admire the way she loves him for himself and expects him to be the best person he can be. She knows that he has flaws and expects him to be aware of his flaws and do his best to overcome them. I think that he adores her and her children, and for that, I do too. Alfred is a funny and loving person who has had a much harder life than anyone should have to live. When he entered Mig and Tim's lives, he was only 8 years old, but I think that many had already given up on him. He was one of those kids that the "child protection" system failed, except when one worker met Mig and Tim and realized that Alfred was born to bring them the joy and challange of being parents. She also realized that Mig and Tim had the patience and ability to love unconditionally that a child like Alfred needed and deserved. I am ever grateful that she brought them together because I love Alfred and am so happy that he is in my life. And now, I am looking forward to seeing how he blossoms as a father and a husband.
Also, the tenth anniversary of my mom's death is on Thursday. I'm sure that she and Aunt Annie are laughing together and sending their love out to the rest of us who still walk this Earth in corporeal form. They will dance togeher, with Bud and Uncle Don, at Alfred's wedding.