Friday, October 2, 2009

Blessings

Yesterday was a busy day. It started off somberly, and ended joyously, with blessings on both ends.

One of dear young (47) church members died in his sleep last week. He had been courageously battling cancer for some time, but his death was unexpected and a shock to us all.

Blessing #1: At church yesterday morning, we had a lovely and well-attended service to celebrate his life. Members of the Arkansas National Guard, of which he was a member, were present as the honor guard and conducted a military service -- twenty-one gun salute, Taps, and all -- after the church service. Afterward, the ladies of the church, and a gentleman or two, did us proud with delicious food brought in for a luncheon for the family and friends. About 50 folks stayed to share the meal and visit with the family.

Gardening Daughter had created a beautiful arrangement of glowing salmon pink roses for the altar. I regret that I do not have a photograph of the arrangement; as I knew I would be actively engaged in the service and then helping with the luncheon, I didn't take my camera to church at all.

As is our custom, we offered the altar flowers to the family, should they wish to have them; they graciously declined since none of them live in the local area. We decided to share these flowers in the same manner as we share our Sunday flowers. Each week, we take the altar flowers to shut-in parishioners, or to a local nursing home, or to someone in the hospital, etc. Upon this occasion, we decided to take the flowers to the Arkansas Veterans' Home in southwest Little Rock, even though it is about 25 miles away. We divided the arrangement into two large and two smaller arrangements, since the original altar piece was too large to transport easily.

Blessing #2: I am very glad that we decided to take them to the veterans' home. Not only was the staff delighted to receive them (I think the home gets very little attention from the public at large), we garnered very nice comments from nearly all the residents who were outside their rooms as we carried the arrangements into the building and down the hall to their "rec room." They seemed surprised and delighted that ladies were bringing them flowers. It was a real spirit-lifter for us, and I'm sure our departed friend would have been glad to know that the flowers were taken to that particular place.

As I said: blessings on both ends. Thank you, Lord.


11 comments:

Arkansas Patti said...

Sad yet beautiful day Pat. It is so nice when grief can be turned around.

Snap said...

Sad yet beautiful ... I agree.

NitWit1 said...

It is always nice when a day can be seen to include blessings.

rhymeswithplague said...

Very nice, Pat.

Wanda said...

Those flowers helped lighten the hearts of many that day.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, Your post made me cry... But--I have sadness in my own life tonight. My sweet brother died today. His death was not unexpected and is a blessing in itself. But--that doesn't make it any easier for me right now.

You have a marvelous church. So much love and caring there. God Bless You all.
Hugs,
Betsy

Countrygirl said...

What a touching post. You all were a blessing to many!

Patty said...

What a wonderful way to end the day. I agree with Patti, sad yet beautiful. Hope you have a wonderful week-end.

Teacher's Pet said...

Your post today is a blessing to me....to find blessing all around us...such an uplifting post...and I thank you for it. I'm sorry for the loss of the one who died...but thankful that we have eternal rest in a better place. Thank you for sharing your blessings with me...
Love,
Jackie

Peter said...

47 seems awfully young, and it is sad and shocking to see life ended so soon when there was still so much that might have been.

In all that sadness, it is wonderful to see a loving community caring for one another and for the family and friends.

What a lovely custom your church has with the altar flowers. Really sweet that the flowers were taken to the veteran's home, the people there would have felt loved and remembered. A community that cares is such a precious thing.

Hilary said...

A very touching post, Pat. I'm sorry for the loss to your community, but glad to know he had such a loving sendoff... and that the flowers brought joy to so many.