Reiko had some friends over for a birthday party today. Of course, this relegated her younger brother to the role of "monster" chasing the shrieking girls around the house.
It wasn't all fun and games and cupcakes today. I had a graveside service in the afternoon so I left just after lunch and hustled back for the end of the festivities.
This morning, while taping up streamers and blowing up balloons, I got a call from one of the nursing homes asking if I could come in for a palliative pastoral visit with a client and the family. After explaining my situation (that I was already missing my daughter's birthday party for a funeral service) and expressing my regret, I made a phone call to see if any of my local colleagues were available.
Shortly after getting off the phone, the nursing home called back saying that "Things were covered. " So I then followed up my own phone inquiry to relay the same message, only to discover that a curt message had been delivered that "She had already passed".
So even if I had been available, I would not have made it there on time. My colleague and I vented a little at the expectation that clergy had no life apart from sitting around waiting for the phone to give our cloistered lives meaning. Good thing we have Sunday mornings to plan for or else we'd have nothing to do. Except celebrate birthdays, that is.