Church

St. Alphonsus “Remembering Our Children” Service

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Submitted by St. Alphonsus

I miss my children. It has been many years since they died and I last heard their voices or laid eyes on them.  I found myself sitting on the patio of a restaurant at the end of another day. Across the boulevard from where I was sitting I saw a young Marine in “dress blues” crossing the street with two companions. When they crossed the street to the near side where I was sitting they stopped. The Marine stood by himself and posed for a picture while his companions stayed behind the camera. The flash of the camera lit up the silhouette of the Marine. His pose was momentarily frozen in time for my mind to process. What a beautiful picture the camera had captured for others to see.
 
I realized at that moment that is all I had left along with my memories and some mementoes to recall what my children were in this world and how they affected my life.
 
Photographs, they capture momentary cross-sections of our lives.  I started thinking how much time in one lifetime can one photograph represent?  The average shutter speed for my old SLR camera was one sixtieth of a second. That is all the time the average photograph represents of the life of someone we love. It would take sixty separate photographs to capture one second of a person’s life. Even movies only capture a minute fraction of a lifetime.
 
I tell myself I will always have my memories.  I will always have my memories, but my recollection and my memories change and fade as the distance of time forever widens me from the event of my children’s passing from this world. I know that days turn to months and months to years. The pain of the loss is always there, not as sharp, but always there.
 
I think about what my children would have been had they lived. Would they have children? Those roads were never meant to be traveled, but I will continue to ask those questions as any parent would who has lost a child.
 
This is an invitation to all who have lost a child and their family and friends.  On Sunday December 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM St. Alphonsus Catholic Church will host “Remembering Our Children”, a non-denominational memorial service for all to come and remember the lives of all our children who died.
 
It is a time to share the lives of our deceased children with our family and friends through memories, stories, pictures, and a beautiful and memorable candlelight service. It is also a time to recognize the spiritual presence of our children that still live in all those that love them.
 
Please call, JoAnn, at  St Alphonsus Catholic Church office, 261-4650, if you know someone who has lost a child to provide the church with their address and their child’s name. We would like to send an invitation to those parents to personally invite them to the “Remembering Our Children” service.
 
My mind wonders back to the photograph of the young Marine. I pray to God the photograph is only one of many that are still yet to be taken, but I imagine if that photo was the last.  His parents would grieve and hurt and wonder what his life would have been… And they would only have memories, mementoes, and photographs to capture brief cross-sections of his life… a life lived… a life loved… and time would move on.
 
Glenn Jarreau

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