This morning we headed to the church for Gregory’s Baptism at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. Family and friends filled five pews and Gregory was in a good mood.
The baptism was to take place during the 10:30am mass… after the first reading, the choir started to sing.
But something didn’t sound right. The choir staggered to a stop and people turned to the back of the church. A man was gasping for breath. Father AJ asked, “Is there a nurse or doctor in the church?” Our friend, Sally, was one of the three nurses to assist.
CPR was given to the church member, Clifford. Father AJ lead the congregation in prayers for Clifford and his family. People were crying. Father AJ asked for a moment of silence and prayers as the ambulance arrived. Father AJ came up to our pew and said he wouldn’t be able to continue with the service and if it would be ok to postpone the baptism. Of course we understood.
There was such sadness in the church. It was in the air. Sally came up to me as the congregation left the church and said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve come to church to pray and you put me to work!” (She’s a retired RN.) Sally made me smile, which is a gift in such a moment.
Even though we didn’t have the baptism that morning, we asked our family and friends to still meet at our home for the celebration of our son’s first birthday. It helped having family and friends to lift the spirits. Greg and I counted 31 guests for our son’s first birthday! How awesome to feel such love for our little boy.
Upset because I took the cupcake away. Lol
Around 1:30, Father AJ called us on Greg’s cell. Greg asked about Clifford and sadly, we learned that he passed away. Father AJ asked about rescheduling the baptism and asked about this afternoon. Greg said, “If you want to schedule it for another weekend, we completely understand.” Father AJ responded, “I think I need the baptism to end this day on a high note.”
I thought for sure Gregory would scream during the baptism. But he was so well behaved! Not one cry and he didn’t mind Father AJ holding him.
It was a crazy day of ups and downs. This is life. This is love. This is loss. This is rebirth in baptism. In case I haven’t told you, I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for your love and for loving my son. Thank you for your friendship and kindness and support. You’re precious.