By Rick Hamlin
Who Are Your Balcony People?
Our friend Rick Thyne spoke at the small family graveside service for Dad as we said our final goodbyes. Rick introduced me and the rest of us to a wonderful concept, one that speaks of deep spiritual living.
“At my church when I was a kid,” he said, “we had a balcony that wrapped around the building and you could look up and see the people you cared about.” They were the people urging him on, encouraging him when he had to lead a prayer or give a talk or elucidate some spiritual practice. Talk about a prayer circle!
“They were my balcony people,” he said, “and when some loved one dies I feel like they become balcony people in my life, cheering me on, wishing me well, commiserating with me when I fail or feel sad.”
Dad’s gone and that’s right and as it should be, but maybe he’s not so far away. In the last few years he was so weak and in pain that he couldn’t just pick up the phone and call, but now I can hear him call every time the phone rings. He’ll ask about what’s happening at work or what’s going on with the family and how am I doing. “Hi!” he’ll bark into the phone and he’ll say at the end, as he did at the end of every phone call: “Love ya.”
I’m letting him go. But he’s not far away. He’s up there in the front row of the balcony somewhere telling me, “Love ya.”