Saturday, November 3, 2012

all saints day.

Since Poland is a very catholic country, All Saints Day is a national holiday. November 1st. Schools and stores close down. This past week many people traveled to the city for the holiday, which meant buses and trams were slow and late for the majority of the week. And since I live very close to a big cemetery I saw many of the visitors. People are traveling to the graves of their loved ones to pray for their souls. They also clean the graves, bring flowers, and light candles to remember and pay respect to their loved ones.

Ilona took me to the cemetery on thursday night. The place was full of people. Once we walked in I was in awe of all the candles. We walked up to the church and around the door people had light candles in memory of their relative. There were thousands of candles. It was beautiful. You could feel the heat. We then decided to walk around the cemetery. Each and every grave had a candle. There was not one without one. It was amazing to me. I'm sure some people traveled so far just to pay their respects. I am not catholic, but I found the holiday very touching. I don't believe that praying for their souls after death will lead to anything different for their souls. But I like that it is a day to remember family and friends who have passed away. It was a day to pay respect to them. To remember their life, and celebrate it.

So, naturally I thought of those whom I love that have past away and reflecting on their lives and impact on me. As we walked I thought of my selfless and graceful Grandma Lorraine, my donut loving silly Grandpa Cliff, my hardworking and goofy Grandpa Jerry, my second mom Colleen, and my dancing, blessed Uncle T.O. All are apart of me and make me who I am. I have been so blessed to have known them and share in their lives. The best part is I know they are all basking in Jesus' glory in heaven. I thank God for them and remembered all the fun times I shared with them. God has blessed me with an amazing family. And I'm so very thankful.

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