Well, dear 2.5 readers, what has been happening since last we figuratively met? Well, choir was great - we got a lot done. It's so hard this time of year because our choirmaster is so stressed out and we don't get to see the sweeter, funnier side of her. It comes out anyway (in spite of her determination to be tough Christmas month). She's such a sweetheart - how can you hold the grumpiness born of too much to do in no time - against her? So, we did have a good choir rehearsal - made me realize how much practicing this writer needs to do! And this happened despite the renovations done to the undercroft (basement) of the church, including paint and dust all over the place INCLUDING THE $800K Moeller ORGAN!!!! [Why the Powers That Be didn't consider waiting until AFTER the holidays to make this happen is beyond me, but hey, what do I know?]
Yesterday was a LOT of fun - I met up with Susan F - a fellow chorister and a sweetheart with whom I took EfM last year - for lunch. Then we joined our choir to do some Christmas caroling at a couple of nursing homes in our area. There's something so bittersweet in that - and I'm not talking about the singing, LOL! (That started out fairly bad on my part eventually to get better and better, LOL). Knowing that you are seeing people in the last segment of their lives is wonderful and so so freaking sad at the same time. I wonder what it will be like for John and me - we won't be able to afford anything like the places we went to - and even more - what will it be like for each ofour kids? Will they have a family around their deathbeds, loving them, missing them? I know when they get to Heaven, we will be there (I hope!!) to welcome them with open arms, but the thought of the ends of their lives is something I don't want to contemplate. And I hope with all my heart that I never have to.
Christmas caroling is one of my favorite things to do. I love Christmas - and the music of Christmas is my favorite.
After caroling, I drove Susan home and we had coffee and talked for a couple of hours. It was nice. Susan is such a wonderful person - and her husband Russ is a great guy, too!
Today it felt like I spent the entire day in church. I attended both services this morning - singing at both (which was fun) and then John went to the second service, so we went out to lunch. After that, John did some grocery shopping and I prepped dinner in the slow cooker thingie so I could attend a Eucharistic/healing service for those of us not having a great time with the holidays. It was sponsored by the Stephen Ministry, so I thought I should go. The music was just beautiful and the service was very moving. Tom H sang "The People who have lived in darkness have seen a great Light" from Handel's Messiah. Later, Donna H. and Sally L. sang the soprano and alto sections, respectively, of "And He Shall Feed His Flock" also from Messiah. Communion was Panis Anglicus - sung by all three (and Nancy, too, I think). And the postlude was Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. I was a mess:) It was wonderful. The service included a time of laying on of hands and praying. Rennie - Nancy's husband - was up there and I prayed that God would grant whatever he was praying for. I asked for healing for all of my clients - they are in the state's custody and this time of year so many of them have so little - no family, no gifts, no presents, no love. No one who is really there for them. At Christmas this breaks my heart. I thought, whom better to pray for?
As the week was ending, I remember talking with one of my clients on the phone. She was having a rough time in the residential treatment center in which she was living. Really, the deal is, she was sad. Her mother couldn't really care for her. Her father is incarcerated. She has been in care for too long. I told her she was one of my first clients and she was very special to me. (Truth). I told her I wanted her to have a good life, a good education, a career where she could help other people and make a living, I wanted her to have a family that loves her, friends and meaning in her life. And I meant it - Lord I meant it. As I type this I am crying. Perhaps I am a baby. But the day I stop giving a shit is the day I stop living - and the day I need to find another line of work.
I couldn't help but think of her - and the other client who is being threatened by the incarcerated parent who molested her for six years. I prayed for both of them - and all the others. Prayed for their safety, their health - both physical and mental. And the amazing thing is, I believed that Someone was listening, and that Someone was going to answer. Somehow.
I think the reason tonight's service was so moving was that we all dropped our acts, masks, whatever you want to call it - and became more real, more vulnerable, and I think on some level more intimate.
As I left, Donna H. said something very sweet, she said, "You should have sung with us." My response:" but why mess with perfection?"
And with that, dear 2.5 readers, God be with you 'til we meet again