This weekend offered a spectrum of choices in the celebration of life. My great-uncle, Frank Weening, passed away suddenly on Thursday in his 78th year and while I have not maintained a close relationship with many of my extended relatives, he was still much beloved and will be missed by many. My heart is saddened on behalf of his children, many of whom I've become good Facebook friends with, and of course, for his wife, Auntie Rita, and siblings, especially my Pake. While it is necessary and normal to mourn, I'm always struck by the laughter that often can be heard at the visitations and memorial services of those who cherished life, family, faith. What a wonder that in the midst of such great sorrow, we can look back and remember all the good and know that above all we love and are loved. That not only do we say goodbye and mourn, but we celebrate happier times and a life well-lived.
I was touched by many of the Facebook statuses and messages I read over the last few days regarding Uncle Frank. It served to remind me of how my family finds itself anchored in faith. It also reminds me that we touch many lives- that our reach extends further than we know and as such should strive to walk in kindness and love. These reflections also spurned my Facebook status today: "All I want is to know I lived life to the fullest, never missed an opportunity to laugh, and have loved greatly and without abandon. Let it be said that I've treasured and cared for that which is important: my faith, my family, my friends." A sentiment I've voiced before, no doubt, but perhaps spoken a different way.
In another aspect of life's celebratory moments, Sunday we ventured to Centreville with the kids to spend the day with the Weening boys in lieu of a birthday party for Knightley (just 3) and Hawksley (1 on Thursday). Kaleb, Justin & Knightley had a blast starting off with the ferry to the island. It was busy but not too bad and they are all at the perfect age to enjoy the rides - lots of laughter and smiles all around. Mommy forgot her camera but Uncle James had his always at the ready and hopefully will share the captured moments with me! Happy birthdays to my sweetest Weening nephews - we love you boys sooooo much!
On a side note, tonight is t-ball night which means we rush to get dinner served and everyone out the door on time. I got a jump start on dinner prep. I have tons of recipes clipped from various sources (mostly magazines) and found some inspiration. I baked some yummy Tex-Mex Cheese Biscuits, recipe courtesy of the milk calendar. My only variation was to grab some fresh basil from the garden, finely chop and mixed it in before adding the milk. I also have an Old-Fashioned Pear Crisp in the oven, receipe from Chatelaine, to be reheated and served for dessert. Now what to do with for the entree? I'm thinking peppery maple chicken, corn on the cob and a side salad. For me, yummy food is definitely one of life's little pleasures! If I have to eat, I might as well make sure it tastes good!