I write this from the balcony of our condo at The Harbor at Hilton Head. This is the last daym of a short and wonderful time down here.
I had not been to Hilton Head before and it is different from the Outer Banks in many ways - the trees, the bicycling, the yachts, the hidden streets - but it still is a beach and a vacation place.
One of the reasons we are here is because it was a special place for Lisa Baluk and one of her last wishes was that some of her ashes would be scattered here. And that will happen this morning. We will have a little worship service at one of her favorite spots - a lagoon and remember her and leave some ashes on the site.
The we who have been here are Kim and Pat and me who are part of the healing team ( and " team Lisa ") from our church...and Trixie, Lisa's mom. And yesterday morning Fred, her Dad joined us
I have found myself remembering her quite a bit since I have come here.
Yesterday we biked to the beach and I had an image of her biking beside us wearing a little pink cap.
I could not get over the number of monarch butterflies I saw at the beach and literally every time, I would think of Lisa who loved butterflies.
She would talk about taking walks and having butterflies greet her and accompany her. That is what yesterday felt like to me.
Kim and I were on the water together and she told me that sometimes she found sand dollars as she stood in the water. And we both started to get some - feeling them with our toes and bringing them up to the surface. We thought they would be a good addition to our service today. They could have a symbolic significance. We ended up with 6 of them - one for each of us and one for Lisa.
When we got back to the room and googled "sand dollar" we read about the "legend" of the sand dollar which says that you can see images of the poinsettia, the star and the lily on it. Lisa died on January 2 which was in the season we call Christmastide with a clinging cross in her hand. And so these sand dollars DO seem so appropriate for today. We have washed them and bleached them and soon when it is daylight will lay them out on the balcony to dry them.
This time away has been very renewing for me and a time to be away from my regular responsibilities at church. But I am never away from God and this amazing gift of life. The abundant life that is found through loving and remembering and honoring important people in our lives.
Lisa Baluk was only 32 when she left this earth, but she touched my life and others in more ways than she knew. She brought me into relationship with Fred and trixie which has greatly blessed me. But most of all, her life and death has shown me clearly that life is more than what we experience on earth..
We are truly spiritual people having an earthly experience.