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All Souls Day: Remembering and Imagining – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Nov 022007

Today is All Soul’s Day. I prefer Day of the Dead for one simple reason. In Mexico and Central America people take food to the graves of their loved ones and eat with them. They remember them and look forward to the time they will be reunited.

One of my little sisters, Tanya Anne Bound, died when she was nine months from a brain tumor. When I lived in Oklahoma, I always visited her grave and caught her up on everything. Now I spend this day thinking of her. She in now 35. On November 28, she will be 36. She literally grew up in the presence of Jesus. I wonder what that was like. I can’t wait to ask her. I can’t wait to see her. I was 2 when she died, and I don’t remember her. I long to have memories of my little sister. I wonder what she looks like. Did her eyes stay blue? Or did they turn like mine and Trina’s did. Trina has green eyes, and I have hazel (a blue/green mix). I wonder if she looks more like Mom or Dad. If she has curly hair like Dad or straight like Mom. Did she get the Bound height (my Dad is 6’2″ and Trina 5’9″) or Mom’s family shortness (Mom is 5’2″ and I’m 5’3″)? What does her smile look like. What does her laugh sound like? Is she an arrogant loud mouth like the rest of our Irish-Italian family, or did she have a chance, since she didn’t have to grow up with us? One day I will find out. Trina was born after Tanya died. The three of us have never been together, but one day we will be together for eternity. I spend this day celebrating that.

Tomorrow is my niece’s birthday. How appropriate that Tonya should be born, not only in November–her namesake’s birth month–but also the day after All Soul’s Day/Day of the Dead to remind us that life does not end here.

Eternal Lord God, you hold all souls in life: Give to your whole Church in paradise and on earth your light and your peace. Amen.

Who do you remember today?

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  4 Responses to “All Souls Day: Remembering and Imagining”

  1. I remember my precious Aunt Florence who was the greatest christian influence in my life, and her Daughter, Sharon who was a great example of forgiveness and grace.

    My youngest daughter, Kaylah Sharon is named after that cousin and was born on Sharon’s birthday July 31. I have always been blessed and greatful to God, that in giving us Kaylah Sharon on that day, he gave us back Sharon’s birthday as a time of celebration.

    Sr Meg

  2. Thank you for sharing about your aunt daughter Sr Meg.

  3. Rachel, and now Julian, so it was such a gift to read your loving tribute to your sister. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  4. Laura, I’m glad you liked the post. I was thinking of your loss of Julian as I wrote it.

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