A Celebration of Life tends to be bitter sweet. On one hand, grief is at it's highest while at the same time, that grief is met with love and support of others gathering to share this event. It is amazing to watch from a distance families work through this process.
This week, we were honored to be the backdrop for the Stone family. This is a lovely family who gathered here to remember a man who served in World War II. A man who lived a full life and one that loved the St. Louis Cardinals.
As mentioned before, one of the "perks" of running this business is the transformation of meeting perfect strangers who in no time, become friends. What begins as a phone call, then a stay at our inn ends with a hug as they walk out the door. These "relationships" are what keeps this business alive for me!
Mr. Stone once lived in this neighborhood, as well as his brother. His daughter, whom I worked with to make this happen, thought Clifton Heights Inn was a great place to hold his Celebration of Life. As a result, we had guests who grew up in the neighborhood and some that still do. It was a homecoming for some.
As Brenda left the premises, she hugged me and thanked me for a job well done. It warms my heart to think that she entrusted me with such an important event. I closed the door, took a moment to absorb her compliments and then jumped into cleanup mode. The task seemed easy and went smoothly due to a good feeling that we helped create a space that people could come to gather and heal. That is the real payoff. Yes, this is a business and yes we get paid for our services but I find that good energy lingers making this business so worth it.
Am I lucky or possibly just really good at my craft? I received a note last week from a guest (Sue) who thanked me for a great stay. I was so touched that she took the time to write to me. So the answer to my question above is: Probably a little bit of both. What a bonus to be making these connections with people. It is nourishment for my soul.
I hope Mr. Stone was watching from above. He would have been pleased to see his family and friends honor him in this way.