Sadness, Beauty & Friendship on a Summer Weekend

Life seems so busy these days with constant activity here. As friends are probably tired of hearing, we’ve been having our kitchen and two bathrooms redone. We coming up on eight weeks and are growing weary of contractors, noise, dust, cooking in the laundry room and garage, and doing dishes in the bathtub.

Demolition was the worst part! Happily we’re nearing the end.

The weather this past weekend was picture perfect, so on David suggested on Saturday that we drive to Cedar Point to see Maria’s Field of Hope with its 8 acres of sunflowers. It’s a project dedicated to fighting childhood cancer as described online:

“Prayers From Maria is dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for the deadliest childhood brain tumors known as gliomas; raising public awareness about gliomas and bringing hope to children and their families who deal with the hardships of this disease.”

This video describes the inspiration for this project and first sunflower planting in 2014 in Avon.

Maria’s Field of Hope is definitely something to see. It’s simultaneously sad, beautiful, peaceful and hopeful. Paths weave around throughout the eight acres with bumblebees and pictures of children who lost their battles with cancer. I can’t imagine. The losses suffered are palpable, yet there’s a hope and tranquility here. Beauty can prevail through anything.

I feel blessed and grateful that my own brush with cancer was so mild and frankly insignificant by comparison. I hope that children in the future will have a better treatments and opportunities. Those wishing to donate to help the fight against childhood brain cancer may do so here.

After leaving Maria’s Field we thought we’d drive around to explore the area, but that idea quickly succumbed to the siren song of ice cream.

I don’t recall the last time I had a last Blizzard. A few decades ago?

Later that evening we ventured out to Rocky River Park to watch the sunset over Lake Erie. There I tried my first-ever live Facebook broadcast. My first attempt was pretty clumsy — and upside down! The second try went better.

I filmed this also, but didn’t broadcast it.

Sunday again was another gorgeous day. This time we joined an old friend for his 67th birthday. His husband invited David and me over, along with maybe 20 others.

I suppose this isn’t so unique when one gets to be 60, 70 and beyond, but I find myself amazed sometimes thinking about relationships over the decades.

I’ve been engaged with the people at this party at different times and in different ways going back to before college. I first met Doug, the party’s guest of honor in 1975 when we both were organizers with the United Farm Workers. Time sent us in different directions, then years later Doug became close friends with a lesbian friend of mine and together they have a son now in college. Still later, Doug ends up marrying one of David’s old friends that David had met prior to our meeting 33 years ago. We’re at 47 years and counting.

Another person at the party, Chris, hired me in 1983 into a job with a local non-profit development corporation that set me on the path that would became my life’s career. Doug gets credit too; he alerted me to the job offering. A few years later Chris and I ended up together again working for the City. Still later, Chris ended up marrying another friend of mine, and still today we cross path socially after 39 years.

I have a few similar stories with others at the party. I don’t know whether to pass all this off with the adage “It’s a small world” or whether our souls have been destined from the start to repeatedly intersect throughout our lives. And maybe other lives?

It’s a beautiful mystery.

Doug is quite the horticulturalist, and his zinnias attract butterflies throughout the neighborhood.

Note to Email Subscribers: Thank you for your interest and support! The email notifications you receive omit some elements and others don’t display properly. To see this post as designed and intended, please click on the post title to view it in your web browser.

A Request to my Facebook Friends: If you have a comment I encourage you to enter it below instead of on Facebook. This way everyone can participate in the conversation!

A Request to Everyone: All opinions are welcome. I only ask that we remain civil and respectful of one another.

Leave a Reply