They come in to say hello to Steven and we head off to church. Cathy Seggel, the religious education director for our congregation has asked me to help out with the service today, and I need to find out what my role will be. I will have to read two words, joy and community, as a part of a succession of other words that will be said during the water service.
The water service happens each September. It is a time when the congregation comes together again after our summer adventures. People bring water from places they have traveled and pour it into a large communal bowl. The water comes together as we do, from many places to become one. Over the year the water is used during child dedications and for other occasions in the church.
Before church begins, we gather on the front lawn. It is an exciting time, when people get to see one another after the summer break, everyone happy to reconnect with one another. It is a time to catch up, to hear of travels and beaches, and to see how our children have grown.
The service is lovely, and the words that are said by me and five of my fellow congregants are accompanied by the unfurling of banners from the second story balcony as each word is read. It is a beautiful effect, like water rolling down a stream. The sun filled church looks so lovely lined in shades of purple and blue.
After church, we come home and gather Alex and go to check out the Cyclovia Festival on Hope St. The first booth we come to is for electric bikes and Josh is eager to try one. As he rides off down the street, I receive a call from Ayla who is at Lippett Park. Her dog Powder has gotten loose in the park, and she needs my help in catching her.
I head down Hope Street to the park, Kaileigh and Alex too, with Josh catching up after returning the bike. When I arrive at the southern end of the park, Ayla is there calling Powder in a panicked voice. She tells me Chauncey has her cornered in a grove of trees directly in front of me. As I head toward the trees, I realize I have been tricked. I see people, lots of people gathered in the spot where we often have birthday parties in the park. They are chanting "Kathy, Kathy!" as I get closer. There are so many people it looks like the crowd that was gathered in front of the church this morning. I think "Holy cow! Is the whole congregation here?" It is a surprise birthday party for me and I am truly surprised since my birthday isn't until next Sunday!
|I am surprised!|
There are many of my families there, new and old, and people I have known for years. There are friends of my children who are all grown up, and family. It is a wonderful surprise. My sister Sara, and daughter Ayla have planned the party with help from my friend Elizabeth. They chose this Sunday so that it wouldn't be a chemo Sunday. Ayla had been at Elizabeth's house yesterday baking cupcakes and making food for today. Elizabeth has made her special rice that my family loves, and other friends have have contributed food as well.
|Happy Birthday Ellen!|
|We get help blowing out the candles.|
My dad comes to the party and sits on the bench and watches for a while. He looks good, maybe a little tired, but he has come out on this fine, warm day. I am so happy to see him out and about. He makes us sad when he says this could be the last time he gets out like this.
http://cancergirlandradioactiveman.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-playground-adventure.html, with help from my daycare friends.
It is a super fun day!
When we get back to the house, I open the gifts from the party. There are so many nice things that people have brought for me. They could have just brought themselves, that would have been gift enough, but it is always fun to receive something that has been chosen with care by a friend. There is a book Sara has compiled of pictures of foxes that many of my friends have drawn for me. It is a amazing collection of art.
I realize that I was so busy talking with everyone, that I didn't get to eat that much at the party. Friends Dan and Dave have chipped in and given me a gift certificate to the Gourmet House, so I take my family out for Chinese food.
Kaileigh and Josh leave to go home, dropping Steven at AS220 to film the Empire Review on their way. Ayla and Chauncey leave, and I get ready for bed. It has been a very full day.