Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Grandma & Fortune Cookies

Life has been hectic lately. I've been out of town a lot for business reasons, but last week we had to leave town for personal reasons. My Grandmother was dying.

Olive Kipfer was 94 years old and had a long, full life. She lived most of her life in my hometown of Pontiac, Illinois and that's where she died. We were able to leave Thursday in time to see her later in the day, though she was unconscious. We really wanted our kids to see her before she passed, not only to see her one more time but so that they would be able to begin to ask the hard questions about life.

She died very early Friday morning. Her wishes were to be buried as immediately as possible with family attending, and we did. I did the grave-side funeral service for them, and it was a sweet time together.

Then we were able to leave Pontiac and return to Woodstock in time for baseball on Saturday. After baseball we enjoyed a warm afternoon at Woodstock Water Works. It was good to get back to life in our city. But after experiencing the death of someone I loved very much, it's hard to get back to any sort of "normal" life.

This might be a good reminder for all of us to spend time soon with those who are nearing the end of life. Death should also be a helpful (though frightening) reminder that none of us know when the end will come for us, but there is no question that it is coming.

It has been said that life is a vapor like a mist that rises in the morning and disappears with the sun. In your short time, how will you live? Will you allow the reality of death to get you to ask the most important questions about life? That's what it has done to me.

Back to Woodstock...

We had a friend in town on Sunday and missed most of the Dick Tracy Days parade for some time with him over lunch. We got to the Square in time to see only a few things, mostly very loud fire trucks. One of the things we apparently weren't sad to miss is the rain. We saw several people soaked from rain, though it stopped by the time we arrived.

Whenever we miss a Woodstock city event we are bummed. There are few things we savor more in Woodstock than parades and events and people and enjoying the city. Don't take Woodstock for granted. Some smaller cities have similar events, but few do them as well as Woodstock.

Oh, and one last thing. My favorite parade item is always the candy. Yeah, I should grow up, I know. But with four kids we usually rake it in. After arriving late all we got were a few things a couple of friends at the parade were able to pick up and kindly share. One of them was a Perry Moy chocolate fortune cookie. I don't know Perry, but I know his cookies well. I love those things. Thanks Perry!

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