As part of his Tips on Creating a More Connected Life, Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. suggests that we “visit the grave sites of loved ones every year.” He says that “this provides a time and place for remembering and reconnecting with the past.” So as part of our trip back to Indiana this summer, Julia and I have been doing exactly that. This picture is of the Prairie Street Cemetery, which was donated by the Prairie Street Mennonite Church to the City of Elkhart, and it happens to be the place where my father’s parents are buried. I wasn’t sure exactly where their grave sites were, since it’s been over twenty-five years since their funerals. But I had some vague recollection, and sure enough, I found them. I made this visitation on my own, but Julia and I did take Henry David to Julia’s mother’s grave site in Goshen, and we’ll stop by the memorial garden at the Presbyterian church in Elkhart where my father’s ashes are interred. I’d like to visit my maternal grandparents’ sites, too, but we may not have time this trip.
We also made a quick excursion up to East Lansing, Michigan, where my best buddy from theological school is the minister. Kathryn’s doing a wonderful job with the congregation there, and it was great to see her and her family–husband Stuart and son Theo (and poodle Scotty). Stuart and Theo spent Saturday morning working at a Habitat for Humanity site in Lansing with some other volunteers from the church, so we stopped by to see how it was going. It was wonderful to see quite a few youth from the church working along side the adults. Habitat is a natural volunteer opportunity for our any congregation. It can be completely intergenerational, too. The East Lansing church has the younger children come on the day when the keys are turned over to the new owners so they can be part of the celebration!