Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Nameday Picnic Without Plants

St. John's Tomb, in San Francisco
Dear John,
Happy Nameday! Today is St. John's commemoration day, so I had to come and eat lunch with you to celebrate. I couldn't bring ice cream from The Chief because it's also a fast day. But we had our picnic in the cemetery anyway, didn't we? And we had a lovely long talk, too. It's been a while since we had this much to talk about.
It was a beautiful day for it - upper 70s, sunny, low humidity - perfect. It will start getting warmer tomorrow and be 90 over the weekend, so I'm enjoying this while I can. I hope to get through this warm spell without using the air conditioning. But don't worry - I'll be sensible. I'll turn it on if I need to.
I said prayers for you after lunch - the same Akathist I always do. For months the prayers felt so sad. But today I realized that they are very joyful, hopeful prayers. My own pain had kept me from seeing that. I suppose I'm healing.
I was looking at all the plants other people have planted next to headstones, and wondered if I should plant something for you. Of course, I knew right away that you'd say that was silly, that you didn't need or want anything. (You also said that about planting anything around the house, which I did anyway, and you liked it once it was done.) I realized that I can't plant anything there because it would require digging, and Jen doesn't allow me to dig at the cemetery. I reported all this to her, and she said that if I wanted anything planted there, she would be the one to do the digging. So it looks like you won't be getting any plants. And I know that you're just as happy with that.
I love you so much! And as much as I always wanted to be buried in my family cemetery, I'm glad you're not in North Carolina. It matters so much to be able to visit you whenever I want to. I had no idea how important that would be. And I'm glad you're where the people at church can come visit and pray for you, people you worked with can come and see you, and the whole cemetery is blessed every year by the three priests in town. I love having you close, and knowing that I'll be beside you someday soon - whenever Jen lets me dig!
Love you, adore you, worship the ground you walk on,

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