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Giving all and more

February 15, 2009

Tonight I went to a memorial service for the grandmother of one of my students, Tia.  It was a beautiful service, with many heartwarming stories about Pearl, and a powerful song by Tia.  Pearl was a prayer warrior, someone who prayed and fasted for days at a time for her family members, her community, and her salvation.  I didn’t know her, but it is clear that she is still alive in the family and friends who now carry her spirit with them. 

It was a special way for me to spend a Saturday night.  Strong feelings of gratitude and peace filled me as I sat amongst Tia and her relatives, knowing that I had been invited into an intimate part of their lives.  I felt an even stronger surge of emotions when I was offered one of the give-away gifts, a handmade pillow.  Often the give-aways are blankets or quilts, gifts given to those who take the time to share in the joy or sorrow of a family whose relative has just married, returned from war, passed away, or experienced some other significant life event.  The gift meant a lot to me and I put it in a prominent spot on my living room couch so that I’ll see it every day.

One of Pearl’s nieces spoke at the service of how generous Pearl was, that even though she didn’t have a lot, she gave a lot.  I thought the same thing when I was handed the pillow:  life isn’t easy for Tia and her family, but here they were giving everything they could to honor the life of someone they dearly loved. 

Yes, Pearl lives on indeed.

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