Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Short Pump, Virginia
Margaret's Memorial Service

Portraits of Margaret stand amidst flowers on the communion table at Cambridge church this evening. To the left she is pictured as a young woman with her husband Fred when they were married in North Carolina during World War II. To the right is a photograph of her as a mature woman of 85. It is a favorite of her daughters.

Memorial services are about the living. The dead are past caring. There is perhaps none more living than the children who attend the service. There is a sense that something is passing from the oldest generation to the youngest — perhaps a candle — from a hand that can no longer grasp it into hands that are only now beginning to understand something of how they will illuminate their world. Keith, stepson of my nephew, Jay — who sits in the pew behind him — was a frequent visitor of Margaret's. He has recently lost two front teeth and is awaiting adult ones to grow in.

Olivia is my grandniece, Jay's daughter. Margaret is her middle name. A grandmother's name is a good thing to carry into the future.

My friend Craig's children — Craig Andrew, left, and Isabel, right — attend the service. There is nothing compelling them to attend, which makes their presence all the more special.

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