Monthly Archives: January 2011

Loss of Life

This morning I am attending a memorial service for a very wonderful woman.

I met Bea Cobb two years ago when I was dating her grandson. Bea and my daughter hit it off right away and she was very kind and gracious to my family when we spent Thanksgiving with my then-boyfriend and his family. She was a smart cookie and surprised anyone who thought her frail-looking state meant her mind was frail, too. She played a game called “Shut the Box” with my daughter and on multiple occasions I saw her playing “Scrabble” with her daughter. She was a fine woman and I was blessed to know her.

Attending this service will remind me not only of my own mortality, but the mortality of my own grandparents. They, too, loved to play games with each other and their family. I have fond memories of playing Uno and Yahtzee and Upwords with them, among other favorites. Unfortunately, they do not have these memories. Not anymore. Grandpa still remembers a lot more than Grandma does, but it is very hard remembering every time I visit that these are not the grandparents I grew up loving. The Alzheimer’s has changed them, taken away my grandparents. And though they are still alive, I mourn the loss of the life they had together and the life they had with their family.

My church’s tradition in mourning the death of a member is not a funeral; it is a memorial service, a celebration of life. We celebrate the person that has left us and we remember who they were to their family and friends. And though we celebrate them, we also mourn them. We cry for ourselves and the rest of the people our loved one has left behind. Mourning together at a service does not ease the pain, but it does change it. It helps us to remember that we are not alone in our grief, but everyone around us grieves with us, no matter how long they had known the deceased. And when you look around the church, you see people of all ages both happy and sad for the one who is gone. Some are old and were life-long friends, some are old and had only recently established the friendship. Some are young and barely knew the person, and some are young but had known them for their whole lives. Some may not have known the deceased at all, but they attend the service to show their love and support for the grieving family.

I knew Bea Cobb for only a short while. But her family, the people she raised, have touched my life in ways I cannot express.

So today I mourn the loss of Bea. And I grieve with her family and offer them my shoulder to cry on, my arms to hug and my heart to break along with theirs.

In loving memory… Bea.

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Screamin’ for Screamin’

Em is officially 48 inches tall!

She’s been measuring herself on the Disney attraction height chart at my folks’ house every 2 weeks for the last 5 or 6 months. She just couldn’t wait to ride the last attraction at the Disneyland Resort that she was too short for. We measured her last week and she finally passed 48 inches! She was so excited she could hardly contain herself.

Mom and I took Em to Disney California Adventure after school today for her first ride on California Screamin’. We waited for the first car, as that had been Mom’s promise to Em: when she was tall enough they had a date for the first row togeher. She loved it! She woohood and yeahed the whole time! Then she wanted to go again! This time she had her hands up in the air the entire ride.

She made us go on the ride 3 times!

If she had her way, she’d go on it all day long! So exciting that my little girl is not so little anymore!

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Questions about your faith

Every Sunday night at 8:30 a group of young adults descend upon a classroom at First Christian Church of Orange. They pile onto couches and chairs, bring out the not-so-healthy snack foods and briefly catch up on each other’s lives.

And then they get down to business. The Bible.

They come from all walks of life: young college students, older college students, single parents, single parents in college, young married couples, young married couples with kids, full-time jobs, part-time jobs…

They come from different religious backgrounds: no religious background, Catholic background, born into First Christian Church of Orange, 4th generational attendees, 1st generational attendees, transfers from other Disciples of Christ churches…

And they all agree on one thing: they don’t agree on most things. All of these young adults have different foundations in their faith, different questions, different interpretations, different preference for which version of Bible they read.

On March 6, 2011, the usual 10:00 morning worship service will be led by young adults that attend our church. The young adult Bible study class is currently discussing theme, music, scripture, sermon and all the various aspects of a worship service.

As children, many of the young adults learned the same Bible stories and songs. Some learned more than others. Some didn’t learn any. And their faith as children changed and morphed as they get older.

One of the thoughts brought up at the study last night was “As a young adult, how do you grow your faith? Why? What challenges do you face? Why?”

So, I’m asking YOU to answer this question. No right or wrong answer; answer what’s right for YOU. If you’d like to comment anonymously, that’s just fine.

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