Retreat at Rivendell, arriving Thursday, May 21, 2009 (Ascension Day), Friday, May 22 (Derek’s 4th anniversary, leaving Saturday, May 23rd. Focus for Day 1: psalms; focus for Day 2: discernment; focus for Day 3: Gospel of John, chapters 13, 14, 15 & 16, to be continued for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday (May 24, 25, 26 & 27). May 28 & 29 to be devoted to reading the Book of Acts 2:1-11, as concerning Pentecost.
Hopefully, we can make this May Retreat an annual event for us. In fact, we signed up for three nights in May 2010.
The retreat was very restful and comforting in a few odd ways. First, when we woke up on the Friday morning, I put on some music (on my computer) hoping for an uplifting hymn. Instead, by random selection, we got "Nearer My God to Thee"--the hymn traditionally linked with the men on the Titanic singing it as they went down to their deaths in the ocean. It was a stark reminder that May 22nd was the anniversary of Derek's death by drowning. I lost the battle with tears. We listened to that hymn, and then I turned off the music and we said our morning prayers. The day passed in prayer, meditation (at a labyrinth) and reading. At 5pm the bell summoned us to the prayer room. The readings (listed above) included Psalm 139, the psalm read to my son, Frank just before he died. (Derek's dad.) Although these reminders of our grief were unexpected, they were also blessings. We had deliberately selected this weekend because it coincided with Derek's anniversary, but we had not expected the music and readings to occur so serendipitously.