In the Book of Common Prayer, one of my favorite prayers is in the Compline service on page 134. Compline is said as the last prayer of the evening, way after evening prayer and just before you tuck yourself into bed. It is said every evening and the repetition of this prayer has stayed with me long after my three years working at the church.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, sooth the suffering, pity the afflicted...
and this last part is the most important one when I think of my precious cousin
shield the joyous;
and all for your love's sake. Amen
Have you ever met someone who just brings light into the room when they enter. You want to be near them, like a moth to fire because they are so radiant? Well, I won the golden ticket with my precious Tayloe. Not only are we cousins but we are family. (Song stuck in head now.) She is the most joyful person, so much so that I pray for her to stay joyous. Isn't that a lovely image. A shield to stay joyful and ward off all of the ugly yuck that life brings. I am starting to envision a cool costume now. Tayloe's shield would be WAY sparkly. Momma and I lucked out this summer when she happened to be passing through with her family at Lake Michigan. Connected by Facebook Mom figured it out that she was on her way north to Walloon from Florida. She told her to come and surprise me.
Tayloe's mother and Momma are first cousins. Peggy is third over on the right from Momma and Daddy. Making us first cousins once removed, or second cousins. But the best part is we love each other like crazy and are friends. Craziest, crazy part, we never met until I was out of college when she was interning in DC. The miles between Kalamazoo to Jacksonville kept us apart. It was love at first squeal though. She had heard of me for sure. I guess I stole her name, since I was born first. I lucked out getting her name.
Tayloe was a bridesmaid in my wedding and I was her flower girl. Yes, I was a twenty-something flower girl. It was the best because I got to squeeze up close to her at the alter. It's a long story, so grab that passport. Tay had asked if I would be a bridesmaid. Honored, I said yes. Sadly, my step-father was dying at the time of her wedding and we didn't know how long so I told her that I didn't think it would be wise to say yes to the wedding adventures. But as fate would have it, my amazing employer at the time let us all have an extra day off during the weekend of Tayloe and Jonathan's wedding. I called Peggy's sister Liz asking if we could surprise the snits out of Tayloe. Liz picked me up at the airport and I spent the night without Tayloe knowing. The next morning was the bridesmaid's luncheon. I sat in the car for what felt like an hour. I snuck in and it was truly one of my most favorite memories we share. The snits were indeed surprised. It was awesome and I love that we pulled off this caper to end all capers. Neatest part, she had a bridesmaids gift for me at the party. Monogrammed.