Its a fitting double source of reflection Sunday; the Feast of the Holy Trinity and Memorial Day Weekend. I sort of wished all those Pinterest cameras had been at the first 30 seconds of Mass this morning because we were there on time and all dressed in coordinating red, white and blue attire. Following the procession, we were back to our normal snotty, whiny selves in the state of toddler semi-undress, and had barely escaped 3 near smashed finger in the kneeler incidents. When Mammy showed up and asked if she could take a kid or two to the cry room, I said yes, because I thought it would be nice to listen, and she was going to do whatever she wanted anyway, because that’s what Grandmas do. There we sat, with 2/3 of our creations playing loudly in the cry room with stuffed Noah’s Ark toys, called to contemplate all that God’s great creativity has made, while also remembering those lost on so many battlefields made from a confusing mix of human destruction and triumph.
I couldn’t stop thinking about my old friend Neil. His laughter was contagious. Neil was meant for big things, and his vigor, diligence, and joy made it obvious. He’s the only person I know personally that died in Iraq. He was killed just two weeks before he was to return home to his family. Many years later, his laughter continues to transcend his death in my memory. Its his life that continually helps me to contemplate the fragile nature and purpose of God’s creative masterpiece.
And my grandmother. She’s not a veteran, but today is her birthday. Since her death, she’s remained the moral figurehead of my family, as well as the source of tremendous laughter as we recount all of the funny funny funny things she did and said and the ones we did and said to her. Like the time we all timed ourselves pushing in her wheelchair at Disney world to see who could do it fastest, and the way she thought it was great. Or, when my dad left her at Wendy’s. And when she told me how much I reminded her of her own deceased daughter at least a million times, and how i still enjoyed hearing it and wish I still could because its a really special thing to be able to remind someone of a presence thought to be lost forever. And if anyone would enjoy a laugh over Pappy buying James an American Flag after Mass, only for James to immediately use to to whack his sister directly in the head, it would definitely be her.
Our Priest reminded that even as we contemplate death and memory, the creativity of God is not hiding. It wants to be found, and seeks to not be forgotten. And if it doesn’t have a sense of humor, “how could it have possibly dreamed a giraffe or hippopotamus?”
May we all find joy in the memories, and humor in the present.