The Book of Ecclesiastes reminds us:
There is an appointed time for everything…
A time to be born and a time to die…
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance…
Each November Carolina Meadows holds A Celebration and Thanksgiving of Life, remembering and honoring residents who had died during the previous year. Family and friends gather in the auditorium for a simple, reverent ceremony.
Rich harp music opens the program, establishing a reflective mood. After the singing of Go Gently into the Morning by the MeadowSingers, the community choral group, and brief remarks by speakers representing the Carolina Meadows staff and residents association, the central ceremony of the afternoon is reached. Slowly and solemnly, the names of the departed residents are announced. With the mention of each name, a bell is struck and a red or white carnation placed in a vase.
After further musical numbers and spoken words, the event concludes with attendees invited to take one of the carnations as a reminder of the men and women who had lived productive years at Carolina Meadows. One woman took a flower to the Health Center and presented it to the bed-ridden widow of one of the men who had been remembered in the ceremony. An attendee, whose wife had died during the year, was silently embraced by friends.
Recalling the departed is not just a one-day event at Carolina Meadows. The Remembrance & Gift Fund allows residents to make donations in memory of deceased friends and neighbors. The funds collected make possible a variety of projects that enrich the life of the general community. Some recent examples are drapes and an improved sound system in the Private Dining Room, a putting green for the golf course, and new chairs for the swimming pool patio.
Although Carolina Meadows residents live in the present and work for a better future, they do not forget the past or those who shared it with them.
From Bill Powers, chair of the resident Public Relations Committee