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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Memorial Sunday

In the orthodox church (or at least our branch of it), we spend the Sunday after Easter at the cemetery, having the graves of our dearly departed blessed. There is a small service at each family's grave site, with singing from the choir, and then a picnic.

Death is celebrated because, as we sing, "Christ destroyed Death with his death."

It reminds me a bit of the Day of the Dead that I celebrated in Guatemala many years ago. There, too, families picnicked at the cemetery, but there were cotton candy and ice cream vendors, and the firemen had a big exhibit and raffle with loud merengue music right at the gates. It was a much more festive celebration.

Afterwards, we went to my cousin Val's house for pizza, vodka, and family time. All of the third generation were present, and we decided to get the annual photograph (or at least give it a good try). It is a challenge to not only get all thirteen kids (aged from 1 to 14) together, but all l looking in the same direction, with no one child blocking another, and no one making faces or picking their nose. Of the twenty shots or so that I took, one met that criterion:

You can actually see Ava's entire face! (Well, you can, if you click on the photo to make it bigger.)

Front (standing L to R): Alexandra with Devan, Kalyna with doggy Zach, Lucas
Back (in the tree L to R): Zach, Matthew, Ava, Yarko, Roman, Nick, Maria
Way back: Andrew (aka "Driko") with Dmitria


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