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6:40 p.m. - 2004-05-31

An Auspicious Occasion

I survived the Farewell Hoopla Picnic for my boss yesterday. The event was well attended. In fact about 2/3rd more the people showed up compared to the 1/3rd that respectfully RSVP’s. I’m an RSVP stickler, and I dislike it excessively how our society can’t take the time to read an entire invitation. They just jot down the date and figure all is well. THANKFULLY we were at an outdoor venue, and more people wasn’t going to be a problem.

I digress . . . . forgive me for my mini-rant.

The weather looked like it was going to be uncooperative. As it had been all week. Wind, rain, limited sun, clouds, clouds, clouds. Even at 9am yesterday morning we had to call it – was it going to behave and be nice to us and allow us this one shot? Or was it going to be miserable, and make us stay at the church? We choose to go forth and not change our plans to be at the park, BUT if it was raining at noon we would succumb to Plan B. We still managed to experience all the main weather groups. People were having such a great time that getting a little wet, or a little wind blown didn’t deter them.

And most thankfully – I think it is safe to say that Pastor Lisa felt honoured in our attempts to send her off well.

Today I realized that I had poured so much energy in helping to make yesterday special that I pushed all thoughts of my own grieving process to the back burner. I will dearly miss this boss. She has been a mentor, Pastor, boss and friend. I am blessed to have worked with her and for her, and it has been difficult to come to terms with it all.

There has been a standing joke between us for almost 4 years. We have a store in our kids service (Crosswalk), and kids earn “Shekels” (no commercial value, void where prohibited) from memorizing bible verses. The store carries all manner of kiddy delights. Silly little thinks like small balls, whistles, or little plastic cars to larger harder to earn prizes like soccer balls, videos, or CD’s. We order most of our smaller items from a company that supplies medical and dental offices with bribe toys for kids. You know – the stuff that gets the kid to do what you want him/her to do then promptly breaks after 3 or 4 times of playing with it. (Oh, that didn’t sound so good did it? Kids if you’re out there and reading this – ALL those toys are top quality and not cheap blackmail for your parents). I was saying . . . Our order had arrived and I was just unpacking the store items when I noticed that one of the packages was a little questionable. We don’t allow toy guns or the like in any of our kids programs, and we had inadvertently order parachute men that were soldier – with guns. The decision that Lisa and I came to was that I could cut off the guns of any of the soldiers that needed it so that they could still go into the store. There I was one day, exacto in hand, making sawed off shot guns out of aka47’s. One of the little fellows didn’t make it into the store. He lived in my desk for a while because I believe in “quality control”. That is to say – I HAVE to play with everything once. To make sure that kids will get the full enjoyment value . . . . really . . .

Then it dawned on me, after his parachute breaking, wouldn’t it be funny if I hid him somewhere in her office and see how long he stays hidden. So I cut the little guys parachute off and hid him. I think he stayed hidden for around a week. Then, rather unexpectedly, he showed up in a disguised and unexpected spot in my work space.

The game was started.

We’ve been trading him back and forth ever since. She totally one upped me though, until today.

As many of you know I got married in September 2002, and being that both my husband and I are fully entrenched in our church it was quite natural to use the many gifted people at the church to help out with the wedding. One of those people did my flowers – and a marvelous job she did too!! In the rush around on the morning of the wedding I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at the bridal or bridesmaid bouquets, and it wasn’t until I was getting into the car – bouquet in hand – that I noticed something unusual. In an almost completely white bouquet, I found peeping out from under the foliage the head and part of the gun of our little red soldier. He was tied in firmly with florist tape and wrapped with baby blue silk ribbon. He wasn’t going anywhere.

She got me!! She got me good, and it is one of the “moments” that I treasure about the wedding and about her.

So – the only thing that I could think of to gift her was to formally (box) frame our little red man for this auspicious occasion. Retired from service.

God bless you as you go on from here Pastor Lisa!!

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