I wouldn't think they would be so dramatic against our blue sky, but they were.
Dramatic, but subtle too. Maybe you wouldn't even notice them if you didn't look in the right direction. But if you lived nearby, happened to standing outside around dinnertime on Saturday, and glanced heavenward, you would have seen thse floating balls of color.
Sixty-eight of them.
Representing sixty-eight years of life.
Children and grandparents shivered in the cool, heads tipped up in red-nosed delight as sixty-eight years of life spilled into the sky, colorful and impacting.
Mrs. Donna requested these balloons. Much like her, they were colorful but unassuming, surprising but subtle, almost effortless as they floated away.
Hours earlier, I juggled a toddler on one hip and a vacuum in the other, sucking up crushed Cheez-its in the church nursery. Kids played while parents remembered Mrs. Donna. A mom stuck her head in the door, and said hi to me. I asked how the memorial went and she answered, a look of confusion wrinkling her eyebrows. "It was good. I just..."
She hesitated for a moment, blushing slightly and chuckled. "I had no idea Mrs. Donna had so many special people in her life. I thought it was just me!"
As those sixty-eight balloons floated off, small personal letters fluttering from the now-released strings, I thought of this life well-lived - Mrs. Donna's - who made each friend feel as if they were the only person that mattered at that moment.
A husband of forty-plus years sends his balloon off with smiling tears. The kaleidoscope of color floats away and we head inside, family in Christ remembering with gratitude.
Rejoicing in Him,
11. Mama bird on the fence post
12. Weekly disposal service, and a chance to share cookies!
13. An undeserved, unnecessary nap
14. An empty laundry basket
15. The gift of meals together
16. Good books
17. That quirky hour of playing cards with the preschoolers in their requested location - the shower!
18. Voices hoarse from laughing and visiting friends
19. Morning pink sky
20. The Dog-Alarm, wherein Ginger wakes me...early!
21. 68 Balloons lifting off