we went to first saturday mass this morning at st. monica's. father joseph concelebrated with father jack and it reminded me of jedidiah's baptism and confirmation- how they concelebrated those special sacraments. max and henry got to serve mass and it said for our family- a gift from christina and mike.
after mass we headed home for breakfast and to load the bikes and stroller in the van. a little before noon we headed out to conyers. i kept up with our "caravan" via text. fr. kevin, christina and mike, and my mom and dad were all heading towards conyers along with us.
we ended up out at honey creek woodlands at about the same time. i was so surprised to see joe whitaker there. he's the steward that helped us choose jedidiah's plot and is such a sweet and caring soul.
we hiked out amongst the changing leaves and crisp air. within a mile everyone was itching to shuck their top layer. the sun had warmed up and it hardly felt november. i remembered that while i was in labor a year ago- the weather outside was acting so squirrely. it was warm, then windy, then REALLY cold, then sleeting, and i think snow was reported on brasstown bald. it was such a weird surreal day. but then the following monday when we brought jedidiah home it was beautiful! sunny, warm, delicious. today was alot like that i think. and chris said as we hiked "it could be ALOT colder today".
we walked with mike's brother, gene's family. his gene's mother in law is buried not too far from jedidiah. while we visited at jedidiah's grave my dad presented me with a painting done by a friend and artist. it was so beautiful and seemed full of symbolism. i was touched with gratitude. after spending some time by jedidiah's grave we headed over to gene's mother in law's grave to pay our respects.
we had a little lunch at the picnic shelter and then headed back. i just kept thinking how beautiful it was to be able to have the hike in and out as a buffer- a way to prepare our souls for the memories and experience of the sacred space of our loved one's graves. hiking out we could gradually re-awaken ourselves to the pace and expectation of the living world. but for the hour we were out at the burial grounds it seems like time was frozen in a beautiful nature preserve.
we said goodbye to joe and headed west on 20 towards georgia tech. we decided to attend the saturday vigil mass at the catholic center where father kevin is stationed as chaplain. on the downtown connector we drove past emory midtown- the hospital where jedidiah was born. all day today i had been keeping up with the labor of a mom via a message board i am a member of. my heart immdiately went out to her. in that hospital- she labored with the same doctor on the same day as jedidiah's birth- except she was expecting twins!
at mass the second reading held the soothing words that father kevin used in his letter- and when the tech student read the words he and i exchanged knowing glances. "we do not grieve as those without hope".
after mass we headed out to dinner with my parents. and now we are back at home. AND-i returned to the good news that the twins were born safely and mom and babies are all doing nicely.
i have to edit this post to say thank you to all of you again. i will never tire in saying my thanks to every one of you. i just checked the page views from last year. november 2010 this blog got 49,550 visits. and it reminded me of the many beautiful notes i received from readers while i was in labor. those notes helped me more than i can say. and the continued support and prayers are gifts that i feel deep gratitude for. thank you friends. every year i will have masses said for "friends of jedidiah"- and know that you number among them.