Last night, on Saturday May 5th of 2012, the full flower moon shed a mystical light on the end of a day that had been made remarkable by the memorial service for my brother, Raymond John Baldauf.
Fifty-plus strong, we of his family and friends had gathered together with Raymond's wife Nan, under the sun at the stroke of noon. We sat in the gardens of the home that had been built so many years before by Nan and Ray, in a small, sweet town in North Carolina.
As the words and the music blended with breezes and birdsong, we celebrated his life, and we mourned his death, and we all had our memories and stories to share.
That evening, when none remained but his Nan and a few of us family members, we watched as the moon rose majestic behind the dark fullness of the Carolina pines. Its light drew fine shadows across the fields and woods.
We talked for awhile, and then one by one, with the help of a camera and a bit of imaginative magic, we willed ourselves to reach for that beautiful orb. For each of us, as the camera captured the moment, that moon seemed to lie in the palm of our hands, like a luminous marble.
When the moon was mine for a moment, I made my wish and sent my message up to Ray, that we would not forget him. Memories would keep him among us, and we would rejoice that he had played such a part in our lives. And one day we'd see him again.