Today is All Saints Day. Traditionally, this is the day where Christians remember those who have passed over the last year and reflect upon those lives. Methodists traditionally celebrate this day of remembrance on the first Sunday of November.
Pope Gregory III moved the day of remembrance from May 13, which was established by Pope Boniface IV in 609 or 610), to November 1 in order to remember all “of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world”
There are two times where I can remember experiencing the sting of death: the death of my grandfather, Lt Col. Dal T Hardy, and the death of Lori Shipley. I have attended funerals for co-workers as well as members of our faith community but these are the two times I can remember (and still feel) the sting that death has.
There are two things I will always remember about my granddad: his cooking and love of photography. My granddad could cook! And what I mean that is, being a native Texan, he could grill up a steak better than anyone I know (sorry Mike & Justin). He could go to the butcher and get the thickest steaks he could find and grill them to perfection, and would do so every chance he got.
Granddad spoiled his grandkids. Whether it was the toys or video games mom and dad would not get us or taking us to the “green park” anytime we wanted, he always made us the center of attention when were around. I can remember him taking me to Fort Belvoir or to Quantico to get a hair cut as a kid.
My granddad loved to take photographs. We actually do not have many photos of him because he was always the one behind the camera. Every year our church would have a Christmas pageant and every year my grandfather would be along the balcony of the fellowship hall with his VHS video camera (I am including a link for what a VHS tape is for those who missed the 90’s). I would like to think that we started the trend of crazy parents video-taping Christmas pageants and soccer games.Lori on her daughter Karen’s wedding Day. I had the honor of escorting down the aisle during the service.
Lori Shipley was the second mother I never asked for, and I was the son she never wanted. She and her husband, Greg, were instrumental in ensuring that I stayed on the right track in high school. Not only was Lori a dear friend, she was also my Sunday school teacher. Which in hindsight, allows me to partially blame her for my call to ministry.
The memory that of Lori that I will carry forever is during Advent of 2001. In Sunday School that morning we had learned what the word Emmanuel means (God with us). Later at the 11:00 service, Rev. Bob Manthey turned around to the youth choir and asked if any of us knew what the word meant as he was preaching. Of course, all 20 of us looked back with blank stares and then felt the glaring stare from Lori. I will never forget the way Lori welcomed us to Sunday School the following week as we discussed Emmanuel AGAIN, and we continued our discussion of the word for the entire hour we were together.
Who are you remember on this All Saints Day? What impact did they have on your life and what will you always remember about them?