One of the best things you taught me and Leigh Ann was the importance of building and maintaining a support group. Although there was never a "good time" to lose you, I am grateful that both LA and I are well established in Charlotte and NYC, with friends who can be here as we mourn your loss. As you saw from the out of town friends who came for the funeral, our friends have been there for us and will continue to be there for us.
So, on that note, I am pleased to report the NYC Chapter of the CSS Support Group is now open for business!
This morning, Adam Dyer met me at Church of the Village, downtown by my old apartment. I told him I had two potential Facebook statuses to post with a check-in of us at church: "Look what it took to get Adam back to church..." OR "Hoping to find a new, Jesus-loving boyfriend for Adam in the singles group."
I'm not sure if he'll come back, since the service ran a solid 1.5 hours, but it sure was good to have him with me. He definitely felt the warmth of that place and loved the eclectic crowd. He also put his arm around me and held me close when I started to cry during "Go Tell It On the Mountain." It was beautiful and joyful but just reminded me of Bible School and such. You would have loved it.
There was a lot more Spanish than usual in the service, which seemed like a "Cheryl thing," as it was Epiphany Sunday (El Dia de los Reyes). I clued right in on the Spanish version of the "stand, if you are able" note from your service that touched Mason:
ALSO -- there was a dance troupe of Spanish-speaking madres on the front row. ("RIGHT THERE! THEY SAT RIGHT THERE!") During the fellowship time, I went down and told them (en Espanol) how sweet it was to see them, since you had just passed away and it seemed like a sign you were with us. I also spoke to a guy who was there with his mom, who was visiting from out of town and said that she was Catholic but was just happy he'd found a place to be with God in a community of faith in the city.
The sermon was long, but I got a lot out of it:
1. Keep the lights on. Christmas is not a day. It's a season.
2. The light of Christ is a threat and a promise. We need to be cognizant of the fact we benefit from a sinful system that makes sure some have a whole lot more than others. Scary question: Do I really want to know this and confront what it actually means?
3. If the star shines on you and you find that star, there is no way you can go home the same way. Once your mind has been opened and your heart has been touched, you are forever changed. (That made me think about your "light" and the way you so clearly touched many with your brightness. I have some other thoughts about that which are more private and suited for another day.)
After church we walked to La Bonbonniere and met Kathleen and Travis for brunch at my favorite old neighborhood haunt. (Kurt had brunch plans, but he invited me to come over and watch Downton Abbey tonight. Unfortunately, I can't be out that late on a school night! Will look forward to having him over for supper soon.)
I had my usual blueberry pancakes with bacon, which were amazing! (Side note: I've already ordered a waffle iron to use with Ranie/Nina's recipe and anticipate eating a lot of Velvet Waffles this winter.)