It's a Good Good Friday
Holy Week and Easter celebrations kind of snuck up on me, no doubt traveling home from Hawaii all day Palm Sunday had something to with that. I’m not the only one who seems to be surprised by Easter this year-- most of my friends are too, and there are grand openings puppet shows and concerts on the solemnest days in the Christian calendar. It makes me think that if there’s an earthquake, this time it might not be named after Good Friday.
The weather isn’t very Easter-y either, and spring break was last week, which may have some people thinking Easter has already come and gone and this is just another weekend off from school and work – speaking of which, the Chilkat Valley News has assigned me Gene McNamara's obituary for next week. The longtime Haines insurance man and radio show host signed off every KHNS Melodies and Memories show with, "So long. Now you're on your own.” That always made me smile.
I could say babies and marriage are another way we say so long, you’re on your own. There’s another grandbaby on the way, and a summer wedding- and I also have one friend who just had brain surgery and another in hospice care, which is pretty final. So I suppose in some ways, little and big, we are always saying so long, and for now anyway, you are on our own.
But it seems to me that in most ways we aren't.
There’s something eternal about every person we ever loved. If there is one lesson anyone can learn from Easter it is that before he died Jesus said to love each other, and all the dark news aside, we humans do that pretty well.
One thing that surprised me about my recent trip to Hawaii was that the resort’s beaches and pools had no lifeguards. Bathers kept a watchful eye on all the little children—my grandchildren and everyone else’s—occasionally a sputtering toddler was fished out of the kiddie pool by a stranger. Sometimes the rescuer and the parent didn’t even speak the same language—but the good deed resulted in smiles of gratitude all around. Which is all a long way of saying, with all due respect to Gene, who was an insurance agent after all, and knew better than anyone that it’s best not be all on our own-- Humans are tribal. We live better in groups-- families, neighborhoods, communities, and for fewer of us than there used to be-- especially on this ultimately joyous holiday weekend-- faith congregations.