My dear friends Tal & Sera pledged their lives and their love to each other in a beautiful ceremony -- not a dry eye in the house. I am blessed to have them as friends, and was honored to be part of their wedding ceremony. They came into my life at one of my darker moments, and have been beacons of light for me. To you, my friends, I raise my water bottle in a toast -- to your health, to your lives, to your goodness.
It is also a sad day as well. Around the same time that Tal & Sera were leaving the reception ceremony (okay, the faux leaving for the video), a dear friend of mine departed this life in a tragic freak car accident. I wrote a little bit about him on one of my other blogs, two years ago today ......
An Epiphany never passes that I don't think of Fr. Scott Buchanan. Indulge me a moment and let me tell you about him. I first met Fr. Scott at Catholic Campus Club in 1991 at the College of Charleston. There weren't very many of us who met each week -- maybe 15 on a good night, but usually about 12. Scott was one of them. You could not meet a kinder, nicer person that him. When I found out he was going to the seminary, my original first thought was, "Dang! We women NEED more men like him!" and then I amended it to "Dang! Our Church really needs more men like him to lead us!"
Scott studied in Rome at North American College. He had a degree in history, and I think the Bishop was absolutely certain that Scott would continue to review and continue writing about the history of our own diocese. Even as a seminarian, Scott wrote articles for the diocesan paper, which were well-received. When he was assigned to a nearby parish on summer assignment, he would call and visit our priest (who was our chaplain in college) -- and he remained one of the nicest, humblest, genuinely good persons ever.
In 1997, he was ordained and eventually assigned to a couple of small parishes. On January 6, 2001, just after leaving Mass and heading to a house-blessing (if I am not mistaken), he was killed in a freak car accident at a bad crossroads. Neither driver saw the other. I went to his funeral on January 9, 2001 -- and let me tell you, it was a packed house. He made such an impact on people that they turned out for his funeral. In a true show of grace under pressure, his mother addressed the priests before they left the church: "Take pride in being a priest. Scott did."
I have no doubts at all that Scott is in heaven, a saint whom I was honored to know, even for just a short time. So on this day, the day we celebrate the Light of the World being revealed to all nations, I also celebrate just some of the lights that have been revealed to me in my life: Scott, Tal, Sera. On this Epiphany, I will look for the good which present in my world and ask my friend on the other side to remind me to do so. I will continue to pray for him and ask his prayers for me as well. And ask for his prayers of blessing on my friends Tal & Sera.
(Note: OOPS! I can't add -- it's "Seven Years" not "Six Years" as originally typed...... GARRRR!)