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Perspective: I propose a 'Day of the Living.'

Ainara Oto

In a few days is the scary time of Halloween! Ghosts, skeletons, grimacing pumpkins, trick or treaters – Oh my! But did you know that the next day is the ancient Christian festival, “All Hallows Eve?” In worship services, candles are lit and names of departed loved ones are voiced as a bell is sounded. Then on November 2nd is the “Day of the Dead” or Dia de los Muertos where Hispanic cultures celebrate one’s ancestors. Candles, parades, dancing, cooking ancestors’ favorite dishes – all to welcome them back into one’s life.

Last February, we had a celebration of life honoring my twin brother, Joe. His children told amusing stories of family life and his sisters revealed tales of growing up with their active brother. A Wisconsin state official pointed to Joe’s years as a Republican State Senator who worked steadily “across the aisle,” resulting in important legislation. We heard about Joe’s priority to stay connected to his family even during official meetings as the Wisconsin Secretary for Health and Family Services. The many ways he touched lives was even new for me. We often don’t appreciate the scope and impact of someone’s life until after they’re gone.

How about having yearly celebrations of the “Day of the Living!” In every community, a range of people would share stories that celebrate someone who has not been publically recognized for their amazing gifts, insights, and service to others -- followed by a feast of their favorite dishes!

I’m Connie Seraphine and that is my Perspective.

Connie Seraphine is a Sycamore-area writer and poet.