Yesterday was an extremely hard day, as Christian's father, Kevin, was laid to rest after a 9 month battle with brain cancer. I've attended several funeral proceedings in my life, and I don't think any of them are easier than the other. Still, yesterday's celebration did a number on me - Kevin was a phenomenal scholar, friend, colleague, husband, father, coach, humanitarian, dean, activist, and human being. The praises were loud and clear - he was one of a kind.
Hearing story after story from his brothers, sister, and then the open forum - in the Quaker tradition - was extremely moving. The one story that got me most was the man who flew from Michigan to share that Kevin was his Big Brother in a Big Brother, Big Sister program. He had a difficult time sharing his story, but spoke from the heart and called all in the church to grab their tissues.
When I got home from the services, I looked for the photos of the twins, Chitunga and Christian playing basketball that day. Everyone was happy and the world was, somehow, a little more innocent.
I dont' pray much, but when I do it is for a reason. I am praying for my colleague Emily to continue to find the strength to keep her beautiful family afloat. I'd call the whole story a tragedy, expect for the fact that Kevin was an optimist and touched 1,000s of lives - there's nothing tragic about that. Rather, it is the opposite.
Still, the heart is heavy when there are no words.