Thanks for bringing us together, Tony Ray
By Paula Thomas September 13, 2012 9:02PM
Updated: October 15, 2012 9:15AM
We arrive at the location of our destination, get out of our cars and head toward the beckoning entrance. he likelihood of seeing a familiar face or two before you even reach the door is a definite occurrence.
We spy each other across the long and short spaces that separate us and exchange a flavor of salutation … a wave, a hug, a hello. The ritual is repeated often as we make our way to the place of repose which has brought us here in the first place. And it never fails that amid the hugs and hellos sooner or later someone is gonna say, “We’ve gotta stop meeting like this.”
But I’ve removed that phrase from my vocabulary. Why? Because I’ve come to realize that anytime we get an opportunity to interact with family, friends and acquaintances, no matter how brief, is a chance to embrace a shared celebratory atmosphere of life.
It shouldn’t matter that the expiration of someone’s earthly life has caused us to gather together at a set place and a set time. In fact, we should look forward to running into people that have left some type fingerprint on our lives. Sometimes our schedules only allow us to see each other at the life celebration of someone who mattered in some way to all those in attendance. Their final duty is to bring people together.
So the next time you attend a wake, funeral or memorial service, yes, go in the vein of respect, comfort and support of the bereaved family but also go in anticipation of a chance to connect with familiar faces even if you don’t remember their names.
And at some point and time while together go a step further than the mere casual greeting. In some cases reintroduce yourself if their name escapes you and also exchange phone numbers.
This may not be pleasant to hear nor cause a warm feeling to come over you but of a truth soon enough the assignment falls to all of us to be the reason that has brought people together to a set place and time.
Rest in peace, Tony Ray. And thank you for bringing us together in your living and in your passing.
Keep Walkin’ the Talk,
Paula Morris Thomas