Nov 15, 2006

Kiwanis United

Well today was the day. Twig's funeral, and what an experience that was.

There is any number of things I could bring up, and essentially whine about. The traffic jam I had to navigate to get to the funeral on time. The parking lot being full, and my getting pinned in by monster trucks. Not managing to get a seat with my fellow Kiwanians...

Funeral home where the service was held at

However this is all trivial in comparison to other people's ordeal today, and the lead up since last wednesday.

What a powerful and well done ceremony. The turnout was unbelievable. The venue had a capacity of 350, and I was like at LEAST 200 other people and forced to stand in the lobby due to that many more showing up. It was a real testement to Twig's (Mark) impact during his 21 years of life.

Though again I didn't have the privelage of knowing him well I can say this after hearing the stories, seeing the 4 panels of pictures with him doing his kamp thing, and talking to my fellow Kiwanians I feel that Twig was a kindred spirit. In the sense that we are both hardcore summer campers. We put our fellow kamp staff and kids first while there, and we will be remembered for it!... It made me truely sad I didn't get to know him better.

Insert picture with your imagination here

Among the most powerful moments was Kiwanis' own Raven (Chris) talking of his dear friend Twig. Me being the morally questionable person I am I snapped a pic mid service, which I probably shouldn't have done, but in my defense my camera had a better point of view then I did... This way I at least know where the audio being projected into the lobby was coming from.

Though I felt a sense of tradgey and loss during the service it was immediately after the service concluded and we all gathered outside I was truely hit by the gravity of the day. This tradgey had gathered 6 generations of Kiwanis Kamp Staff! Many of my closest kamp friends were present. Including a few surprises.

You'll note I wore my Kiwanis name cookie

The biggest shocker of which was Moose (Tom) had flown in from Britain! More to the point he hadn't told anyone! It was good to see him. Especially since as fate has arranged it I won't be able to see him in Jan when he comes for his official visit as I fly out 12 hrs before he arrives...

Falcon (Brad) who I haven't seen in almost 2 years...

I think perhaps the most telling thing was the effort ALL the former kamp staff put into show their sympathies. In total there was nearly 30-40 of us (I couldn't be entirely sure as I don't know all the new staff by sight... though many of them knew who I was), and though out of the grand 500-600 who showed up that may not have been a giant group, but our presence was to be felt everywhere.

At the reception afterwards the overall theme and lesson is that though many of us have gone our own ways, and it seems that we have lost touch when it comes down to it the Kiwanis Kamp Krew is as tight and as strong as ever. When the call for strength and support for our own and their loved ones came the Kiwanians responded!

That was a powerful and signficant event in my life today. Though I'd put myself into self imposed exile, and cut much of Kiwanis from my life, that changed this afternoon. A tacit peace occurred today, and past misunderstandings and conflicts were buried. I'm a Kiwanian again today for the first time in 4 years, and my only regret is that it took the lose of a fellow Kiwanian to cause this.

This however was the one thing that was said throughout the day. Twig's greatest wish would have been for his death to at least cause all those around him to grow closer. I think that this may indeed be the case...

You'll note the addition of a new link in my link bar to Kamp Kiwanis. In honor of Twig...

1 comment:

Dan said...

It's funny how death seems to bring people together. The only two times I've seen most of my dad's side of our family have been at my grandma's and, a couple years later, my grandpa's funerals. And it's nice because I remember my grandparents by the hilarious stories told by my relatives and not by the tragedies that took them from me. There's still mourning, but it's also a celebration of their lives.