Today a group of us - my brother, his wife and three kids, my sister, and my daughter - went to the columborium to mark dad's ninth death anniversary.
Each year the 'ritual' is about the same.
Earnest (brother) would clean the plaque as he's the only one tall enough to reach the top level where dad's picture is placed, someone will change the plastic flowers, each person says a few words of what we remember best about dad, then we read the scriptures and pray.
Today Amy (sis) turned our attention to several passages on the hope of eternal salvation and redemption we have in Christ.
"Because there's a resurrection," Earnest said to his sons who were surprisingly very attentive despite their ages (Nat is 8 and Elliot is 5), "you will see your kong kong in heaven some day, isn't that great?"
I doubt they understood what it all meant.
But the visit each year must certainly have made an impression upon their little lives.
For one thing, it keeps alive their link with the dead .
Earnest's kids had never met dad, unfortunately; but they know through the visits that their father also has his own father, whom he doesn't forget though he's passed away.
It's a long way for us to go to the columborium.
It takes planning and effort to interrupt life just to remember the dead.
But the journey always renews us: our gratitude for the past, our ties with one another, and our resolve to live well even for the sake of those who come after us.