I had it all planned out. A few friends would get together at the cemetery, we'd take some photos of ourselves gently launching the wonderful sky lantern Penny got us, we'd pray, and then we'd go get ice cream. I'd go home, post a photo and my friend Christine's contribution to the blog, and it would be lovely.
What is it they say about the plans of mice and men?
It was a little windy so there was some discussion about whether or not we should do the lantern. Of course, we decided to give it a try because it'd either be really cool or high comedy. We should have known it was going to be high comedy when it took this many matches to light it!
Frank is the one who finally lit the fuel patch. I lit the paper they had wrapped around the fuel but that just fell off and had to be stomped out. In my defense, I thought that paper was, like, kindling or something. And maybe it is when it isn't windy? I dunno.
It started out really well but then Mike started looking at this big tree in the distance and wondering if the lantern could get enough height before it got caught in the limbs and we became a 6 o'clock news story. So he, Emily, Penny and Frank walked it over some. Looking pretty good, huh?
SUDDENLY A GIANT GUST OF WIND RIPPED A HOLE IN IT.
So Mike batted it out of the air and he and Frank, again, stomped out the fire.
And then we prayed and went to get ice cream. No sky lantern. But also no conflagration, as Mike so eloquently phrased it.
All in all, I can't complain. We had some of the friends who have really been there for us all together, we got to laugh, and Mike prayed a wonderful prayer of thankfulness for our friends and for how many people Garrett's short life has touched.
And, I'll thank you all, too, for walking this journey with us. I had an interesting conversation with a friend about how someone who doesn't know us thought it was odd but cool that we've grieved pretty openly this year and are commemorating Garrett's life today at the cemetery and this week on the blog. But, you know, although I do hope that Mike and I have grieved well, I think we're doing more than grieving. We're celebrating that I'm alive. We're thanking God for our support network. We're getting to hear our friends' stories as part of the guest post series. We're marveling at what God has done in our lives and the lives of people around us--even some people we don't even know! Thank you for reading and for praying with and for us. I hope that our story touches your life somehow because Mike and I are beyond amazed at how many of you have touched us this past year.
Tomorrow we will return to our scheduled guest posts!