Day 100: Peace be with you

Red Parka peace sign, Antarctica. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Red Parka peace sign, Antarctica. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

You may have noticed I’m not a big planner when it comes to good deeds. I sort of go with the flow and it’s amazing how opportunities for random acts of kindness present themselves on a regular basis.

For Day 100 though, I racked my brain trying to think of something grander than the small gestures I’ve been trying to do each day.

I had my thinking cap on in the grocery store as I kept to my new strategy of adding one or two food bank items to my list each week. (I deposit them in the receptacle at the front of the store each time instead of waiting to fill a whole bag at holidays only.)

Today being a special occasion, I did go a little wild and got something more exciting than milk (my usual choice). Are you ready? Cheez Whiz . (Who doesn’t like Cheez Whiz, huh?)

I kept trying to come up with a big-deal deed as I made a small donation to the Royal Canadian Air Cadets standing outside the grocery store. I’ve dropped coins in their collection box at various times over the years but today was the first time I’ve actually stopped to chat with a Cadet.

As the gangly teen handed me my paper RCAC tag, I asked what kind of activities the Air Cadets were involved in. The young man seemed to stand a little taller in his crisp blue uniform as he described how they train to fly gliders and to perform rescue maneuvers in case help is needed. Did not know that.

Then I picked up my mom after a funeral mass she attended, and she told me a story that was part of the service. The priest recounted that a parishioner had come to him once and asked that her final wishes be honoured even though her family might object.

“Of course,” he said. “What would you like me to do?”

“I wish to be laid out in the casket with a fork in my hand,” she said.

“May I ask why?” inquired the priest.

“Every time I go to a restaurant and they clear away the dinner plate, they tell me, ‘Keep your fork, the best is yet to come,’ meaning dessert,” she explained. “I want everyone who sees me lying there with a fork in my hand to know the best is yet to come.”

For some strange reason, after hearing this story, I stopped trying to think of a grand gesture. It came to me that it’s not the deeds themselves that matter, but more that I keep trying to do them.

I also knew I needed to end the day with something simple — as simple as lighting a candle.

I’ve attended three funerals this year and for some reason today felt like the right day to light a candle for each of these dear souls. To pray that they rest in peace. That they watch over their families and loved ones with care. And to thank God that I knew each one of them. I feel blessed to have known them and to have cared enough to miss them as much as I do. And I prayed that, for each one of them, the best was yet to come.

Peace be with you all.


3 thoughts on “Day 100: Peace be with you

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