Friday, January 16, 2009

Remembering Party

Jordon (age 3 1/2) was asking me what we're doing tomorrow. I said we were going to have a lot of people who love Oma (that's what he called/calls my mom) get together to have a time to remember her. I told him it is a Remembering Party.
This is the program for my mom's Remembering Party.

On May 31, 1951 a soul was born into this world.

(Song: We Are by Sweet Honey in the Rock)

Thus. ere thou didst issue from thy mother's womb, I destined for thee two founts of gleaming milk,eyes to watch over thee, and hearts to love thee.

She was known by many names:
Holly, Diane, Holomon, Sims, Nevill, Nuri, Naseem.

Please call me by my true names,
so that I can hear all my cries and my laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names,
so that I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open...
--Thich Nhat Hanh

She was a Baha'i.

(Song: Top of My Lungs by Devon Gundry)

The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good..., It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world, These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine Inspiration.

This soul was part of a family.
She was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunt, mother-in-law.
She was an Oma.

You were born together, and together you shall be forever more.
You shall be together even when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of heaven dance between you.
--Kahlil Gibran

(Prayer said by Naseem's grandson Jordon)

She was an educator:
a Baha'i children's class teacher, an art teacher, a preschool teacher, a preschool director, an early childhood specialist, a tutor.

Regard ye man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.

This soul was an artist,
a gardener, a seamstress, a needleworker, a singer, a poet, a story teller. this wonderful new age, art is worship. The more thou strivest to perfect it, the closer thou wilt come to God. What bestowal could be greater than this, that one's art should be even as the act of worshiping the Lord? That is to say, when thy fingers grasp the paintbrush, it is as if thou wert at prayer in the Temple.

She loved her community.
She was a Local Spiritual Assembly member, an interfaith teacher, a committee member, a traveler.

Know that God is compassionate toward all; therefore, love all from the depths of your hearts, prefer all religionists before yourselves, be filled with love for every race, and be kind toward people of all nationalities.

She was a victim, a survivor, a patient, a warrior.

O Son of Man! My calamity is My providence,outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit.

(Please join in singing "Is There Any Remover of Difficulties")

She was an infant, a child, a youth, a maiden, a mother, a crone.

O thou maidservant of God! Every woman who becometh the maidservant of God outshineth in glory the empress of the world, for she is related to God and her sovereignty is everlasting....

She was a lover, a beloved, a friend.

Love is Heaven's kindly light, the Holy Spirit's eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul.

(Song: Hollow Reed, words by 'Abdu'l-Baha, sung at the Black Men's Gathering)

On October 30, 2008 a soul was born into the next world.

A candle is made to become entirely flame.
In that annihilating moment
it has no shadow.
It is nothing but a tongue of light
describing a refuge.
Look at this
just-finishing candle stub
as someone who is finally safe from virtue and vice,
the pride and the shame
we claim from those.

Praise be to God!
His Traces are evident
Praise be to God!
His Lights are radiating.
Praise be to God!
His Ocean is full of waves.
Praise be to God!
His radiance is intense.
Praise be to God!
His bestowals are abundant.
Praise be to God!
His Favors are manifest.