Monday, November 12, 2007

When I got up this morning, my cell phone had messages. My father died this morning.
Kenny was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in January. He was a smoker, so that didn't come as a surprise. He had chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and was doing well for awhile.
Maybe not as well as everyone thought, because he was just that kind of person.
He developed pneumonia in October and I was asked to fly to WI and see him. I thought that might be the end of his journey then, but he came through it. He was almost back to his old self when we left.
He had recently moved to a rehab facility to gain some strength. I don't know everything that transpired, but it's okay. The fact is, he has some measure of peace now, hopefully as consiousness or spirit. I leave room for doubt, but even in that I know at least he's not in pain.
That's a major source of gratitude for me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Veterans Day

To so many of us, Veterans Day is a day off of work, if we're lucky, or a sale.
It seems like we could do better. We are supposed to be honoring people who have said, "Yes, I believe in this cause, and I will fight so that you can retain your liberty." That includes the civil liberties, by the way.
I don't think a lot of us understand what is involved in fighting a war. It's not a John Wayne film, it's not a video game. People die in the most awful ways possible. Others are damaged: physically, emotionally.

I'm no fan of war, but in some cases, it's unavoidable. That's a sad fact of humanity, and I wish it weren't so. We can dream of and work towards a day when we will fight no more, but I don't think it's coming any time soon.
In the meantime, though, we have veterans. People who are/were willing to fight and die so that we can enjoy our lives. In World War II, people made sacrifices for their soldiers. It's rare in this "war" that most of us even know someone in the military, let alone sacrifice for them.
So, if we're not going to sacrifice for them, the least we can do is thank them. And if you don't know anyone who is currently enlisted, find an older vet and thank them. Your grandfather, or a neighbor, or even a homeless person with a sign saying "I'm a vet." Make a small ceremony of it. Look them in the eye. Take their hand. Maybe buy them a cup of coffee. It can be meaningful, even in that small way.
Better still, check the local paper and see who is having a service to honor veterans tomorrow. These ceremonies have become very sparsely attended, and it would convey a lot to those present to see the public there. In their heart and your own, you will have made a difference.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Welcome, all!

My name is Kendyl and I'm a certified celebrant. You don't know what that is? A celebrant creates and conducts meaningful life ceremonies for people who want them. It could be a living memorial service for someone with cancer, a gay wedding, or a coming of age ceremony for elders. We are only limited by our imaginations, and maybe gravity.
I live in Seattle and am open to traveling the Northwest to help you with your ceremony. If you are located elsewhere, I am happy to put you in touch with my organization, the Celebrant USA Foundation, who will gladly help you find a fellow celebrant in your area.
My intention for this blog is that it be a record of work I have done, celebrations I have witnessed or participated in and some stories about me, so you, the reader, understand how I came to this path.
Feedback is encouraged; so are your suggestions. This is going to be a great journey!