This weekend was one of the mostly unremarkable kind that hardly warrants a typical recap: pizza and wine at a favorite place on Friday night, work for me Saturday (Andrew went to eat BBQ with a friend - who's surprised? Though the mac and cheese he brought me back was better than I remembered. Amazing!), started watching Orange is the New Black, and a Sunday filled with chores and capped off with a delicious dinner (seriously, if you didn't see that goodness on Instagram then you should follow for that alone). So I could just end the blog post here, but in my typical fashion, if I'm going to start a post, then it has to say something.
Rewind to the working on Saturday part. There are two Saturdays a year where I know I'll have to work (Graduation) and the rest of the time, my weekends are mine. But this Saturday was special. I work for a non-profit law school governed by a Board of Directors, and a man who graduated from my school and served on our Board passed away recently. So, very non-conventionally, the school hosted his Celebration of Life. He survived cancer once, and when it came back, he knew he might not be so lucky, so he laid rules for his post-mortem celebration. No sadness or melancholy - a celebration was in order. When the time came, his family asked if it could be held at the school, so it became "my" event - to host a celebration for a man whom I had never met on a Saturday, when I would rather be doing a million other things.
Just being honest. I've never pretended to be a saint.
I could bore you with how planning something like this is hard - you don't send invitations, so you don't get RSVPs and you don't know if you're feeding 20 or 200 - but I won't. Instead I will tell you how it all came together. How there were tons of smiling photos of the deceased with his family and colleagues on a loop. How his love of Elvis was evident from check-in to dessert as a playful nod to something so important to him. How he gave a speech in 2007 that was recorded and played at the conclusion of the service - his words, telling his wife, children, secretary, and colleagues how they helped him to become the person he was. I hope they all found comfort in hearing from him one last time as they celebrated his life. It was a good reminder to me - pose for the millionth picture that my dad wants to take, take a video every so often, and it can be a good thing to document and record. One day, that might be someone's comfort.
The family was completely lovely and fantastically grateful for what the school had done. The deceased's daughter, only a few years younger than me, wore a fuchsia dress - a color of happiness, not mourning. She told me about how she received a promotion shortly after her father passed away and gave all the credit to him. The family talked and laughed, his grandchildren ran races through the room, and they took their own photos with friends and family they hadn't seen in a while. They celebrated the life of someone they all seemed to love so wholly. They had so much grace and gratitude, even on a dark day. I find it difficult to show grace and be grateful, even on the best days. What a lesson in how to be.
Working on a Saturday. Not my favorite thing to do, but the lessons in the end made it not so bad.
Linking up for the School of Life -