Friday, September 23, 2011

Anna and Our Staff

I've been not posting, because I have so much reading to do. It's not that I'm actually doing the reading, but if I have reading to do and I'm not doing that, then I shouldn't be hanging around blogging... when I should be reading...
But we just got home from a friend's wake, and I'm so tired and sad but also so proud and grateful. Our friend Anna was our office manager at the parish, and she died this week from gastric (and other kinds, eventually) cancer. Anna was an average Jane, just working hard and cooking for her family and loving her granddaughters, and she was diagnosed in March and worked right up to August. Through working together, we know her family; we all went to her daughter's wedding and her granddaughters were baptized with us, and we were there for her beloved mother's funeral. Anna was a big part of our staff lunches, keeping us posted on good town gossip and happy stories of her family. She would gather us all together to celebrate anything that came up, at her home or out at restaurants.
Tonight was the wake for our friend and the staff understood that we would be there for it, for the family and to help out. After a while, we all found each other and stood at the sacristy door watching the wake unfold- the largest wake I've ever seen. Soon, we all moved into the rectory to find some food and have a drink in Anna's honor- we sat around and told stories and ate together and I realized that that was exactly what Anna would have encouraged us to do, and would have been the first one up the stairs to pour everyone a drink.
Back to the wake and we stuck together still, our staff, hanging on to each other, taking care of each other. We were the last ones there, helping the funeral home staff move flowers and vacuum up for the morning. I'm so thankful for Anna's legacy with our staff, which has become a funny, loving, quirky family, and I'm fiercely proud of the work we do and the way we hang in together when things are good and when they are bad. I'm so thankful God brought me to this parish.

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