Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rites of Passage

The beautiful ring Richard and Lana gave her:
her birthstone in the middle, and Mary's and
Richard's on either side.The inscriptions:
"Love, Dad" and "Forever, Mom"
Yesterday was a landmark birthday for my friend Rebecca.

So a few of us gathered at the TH to celebrate her life and to rejoice in the difference she has made in the lives of each one of us who came to wish her.

Sweet Lana - who had conceived the idea and organized the event - spoke first. "Thank you," she said, "for the gift of being part of your family ... I'm so glad you live here because this has given us the opportunity to get to know each other and to become friends. Thank you for your friendship."

Lana and Richard

Lana is married to Rebecca's Dad, Richard, and he spoke next. "Who would have thought, all those years ago when I was still single, that I would one day be celebrating this birthday of my daughter? ... Happy birthday, honey," he finished softly.

The birthday girl and Angela
Beautiful Rennie and lovely John, tender, courageous pastors
and stalwart friends who have shared many seasons
of Rebecca's and her family's life
Each of us went around the room and spoke to Rebecca from our hearts. One of her newer friends, Angela from Lebanon, movingly remarked that she was so glad she had met Rebecca because now she could say she had a true friend in Canada.

And that's what Rebecca is - fiercely loyal, imaginatively thoughtful, extremely consistent. All the characteristics of a true friend.

Mary's friend Elaine. Exactly four months
earlier, she was in this very room for
another special occasion ...

Happy Birthday to you!

The life of the party!
I was thinking how proud Mary would have been of her beloved daughter, how grateful she would have been to see how far Rebecca has come in the last five years; of how much she would have loved to have been here on this occasion, raising a toast with us to our clever, complicated, compassionate friend who can bring together people from different life experiences to unite in celebration and fellowship.

And then, once again, I thought of the words of our wise friend Tony Hanson:

"She is with God, and God is with us, so she's not that far away ..."

Dear Rebecca, as you move into the next decade, may you accomplish what it is you set out to do; may you be shown much love; and may you revel in "the blessing of the Lord," which is where true wealth can be found and which adds no sorrow to it.

I am honoured to be your friend.

A toast to the birthday girl!


  1. thank you for your blog...wonderfully written and expressed my heart...

  2. Awesome read. I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. He just bought me lunch because I found it for him! Thus let me rephrase: Thanx for lunch!


I love to hear from you! Please leave me a leaf to read ...