Thursday, May 10, 2007

Here's To the Day



Bug tells me that Spring is his favorite time of year. Me, too. As much as all of them enjoy backyard sledding, he particularly likes to see the snow melt. Then they all don their muck boots and stomp with abandon through the muddy bog in the woods. The artist in him loves decorating eggs and the kid in him loves the chocolate. Yeah. Me, too. Spring has been slow this year and winter has been grudging about letting go. And I've been thinking about endings and beginnings.

This year, Tool Guy lost his oldest brother, his childhood hero, D2 to cancer. They had wasted a large expanse of years estranged from each other, but toward the end, they reconnected. They spent long hours into the night IMing and catching up on those years. Or as D2 became weaker, just short phone calls to say goodnight and "I love you." When D2 left, he went in peace. At peace with himself, his brother, and with God. Endings and Beginnings.

Easter crept upon us and we still had snow on the ground. But I was getting ready. My seedling tomatoes still hanging on to the pale, inadequate sunlight, waiting for the garden. And me thinking about Communion. We hadn't celebrated Communion since going gluten free and both Dog and Bug had reached the point of readiness. So Easter, especially this Easter, seemed an auspicious beginning.

There's lots of discussion about low gluten Communions vs. gluten free Communions. I'm glad that for us, it is about the symbolism rather than the actual substance. I started planning what we'd need as substitutes for the elements. Edward and Sons Rice Snaps seemed an easy fit, but the vine element took a touch more thought. Everything commercially available to us has corn or corn acid. Tool Guy suggested tripping down to the basement for the juicer. For once, our work-arounds were actually simple.

We've never really discussed the Lord's Table with Dog and Bug, so Bug was shadowing me in the kitchen curiously on Easter Sunday eve and asked me what I was doing. As I pressed the grapes into the juicer and watched the liquid pouring down, I explained that we'd be celebrating Communion. He watched solemnly and asked, "So the juice represents the blood?" Somewhat startled that he made such a connection, I said yes and held up a cracker, asking him if he knew what that meant. He shook his head, replying, "I don't know." Then correcting himself, he pinched the skin on the back of his hand and said, "This." Never underestimate what children can pick up by osmosis. That night we all had an in-depth discussion about the deeper meanings of all of this. It always amazes me how intuitive children can be and how readily they can grasp very profound things.

They speak of D2 often, especially when Miss Rosie, his wife, came to visit us. D2 is the first person Princess is aware of losing and she feels it in a surprisingly deep way. She frequently repeats D2's promise to be waiting for us, holding the door open.

Winter and Spring. Endings and Beginnings. Death and Resurrection.

"Pieces of Life....laid on the table,
Here is the Blood....poured out in love.
Fill the cup....raise it up.
Here's to the Day,
Remember." Billy Crockett

Here's to the Day, D2.

1 comment:

MotherLode said...

What a beautiful way to remember your BIL.

My children were exposed to death at a young age. My Bug was in arms when my grandmother died. And within months, my great aunt. Between traveling home to introduce Bug, and the memorials and funerals we made a trip home every 6 months. It was almost like living there.

It is amazing what they understand. Never under-estimate the power of a young mind. It's never to early to teach.

Communion. I know extremely senstive GFers who have used gluten crackers (whatever is served) and not been affected. Protected, perhaps?

Fresh grape juice. Fabulous. How about a touch of wine?

ML