the day that the catholic church celebrates the martyrs and official saints of the church was changed in the 700’s to coincide with the celtic celebration of samhain, a time when the border between the living and dead was especially porous and the spirits were believed to be able to come back and forth.  tomorrow is the feast of all souls, which honors the non-saintly christian dead.  our lutheran tradition teaches that all of us who are in christ are saints, and we honor all of those who have passed on, especially those who have died since this date last year.  i’m remembering aunt thelma and know she’s in a good place where i’ll see her again.  in mexico, this is the first day of the day of the dead;  the families party at the cemeteries, bringing food and flowers, decorating with loud, lovely colors and elaborate sugar skulls.  i’m fascinated by the pictures of the altars and rituals that are performed and hope someone is going to put up some pictures for me to peruse…

it was 9 years ago tomorrow that my mom died in her sleep, slipping peacefully between this world and the next.  oddly, it was 8 years ago tomorrow that my aunt bernie died, also in peace and without a whimper.  the shock of losing mom—she was fine the evening before, last words to me “love you, too, sweet-pea”– rocked me.  my words to my sister as we crawled up in the bed with her, holding her and crying, “nothing is ever going to be the same”.   and it isn’t.   i miss her every day.  aunt bernie was 100-years-old and it was no shock, but i still quote her and miss her, too.   i kinda wish we had parties to remember our loved ones….we’ll celebrate the day at church with appropriate hymns and prayers, so at least there’s that.

as you remember your loved ones who have passed on today, i believe they are remembering you, too.  at least that’s my hope.   now, go out and be saintly, saints…