Here today and gone tomorrow

The sunshine filtered through the leaves of the tall trees in my daughter's yard in Cap-Rouge. It was a beautiful September morning with clear blue skies. I sat alone in the warm sun waiting for the others to get dressed for church. The garden chairs set under the maple trees surrounded by the tall cedar hedge created a peaceful intimate setting.

I listened to the cooing of the mourning doves and the screeching of a blue jay as they made known their presence in the foliage. I watched a bumblebee and a wasp on the same flower gathering the remnants of an abundant supply of summer's nectar.

The cycle of birth in spring and autumn's death reminded me of the past ten days when I attended a wedding, a funeral and now the baptism of my grandson William. I cannot remember having the same events occur within such a short period of time.

The cooing of the mourning dove reminded me of a wedding reception in Lennoxville. It was held one evening last week in a gaily-decorated hall with music and cheerful conversation. The newly-weds were all smiles and radiated their love for each other and the promise of their own family one day. I shared the pride and happiness of the beaming parents as the guests shared the sumptuous buffet and toasted the bride and groom with long life and happiness.

The funeral, during the same week as the wedding, was that of a neighbour's 86-year-old mother who'd surely had a wonderful life with her large family. The comments about the woman from her children and friends expressed happy memories of their life with her. She left a legacy of love and dedication to her family. I thought of how fortunate they were to have kept her so long with them. I had lost my mother at age sixty-seven.

William's proud and happy parents presented him to the celebrant at the church altar. Two other babies were also presented for the communal ceremony of baptism. The parents had to introduce their children to the congregation. Two, including William's parents, promised to return the following year for the baptism of a second child. The third baby's parents made no such promise because they were there for the christening of their fourth child.

The thought came to me that my dear friend Claude, an airplane pilot, was buried only three hundred feet from me in the cemetery behind the church. I reflected in silence about the events of baptism, weddings and funerals. If I lived to the same age as my neighbour's mother, I might even attend William's wedding or at least his graduation.

Before enjoying the happy celebration with family and friends in the decorated yard of William's home, I stopped at the cemetery to let Claude know about my thoughts. Standing in the warm sun under a blue sky at Claude's gravesite I knew that I might attend other baptisms and weddings. I also knew that there was one funeral I surely would not miss.

Now I am back to working towards my goals for which I will probably still be striving when I reach one hundred years of age. See you at a wedding or a baptism!