Yesterday I picked up my sister in law and we went to the MCS Christmas concert. We walked up the back stairs and seated ourselves in the balcony at the Trinity church where the school kids were presenting their concert. To say what being there means to me will take awhile. I love that old church. I have gathered there with others many times over the years and every time whether a happy time like Christmas concerts and musical nights or deeply sad times like a young man’s funeral or the funerals of a young mother , a beloved wife and grandmother I always feel a stirring sense of community. I have stood myself on that platform and sang. I have sat in every section and often sat in the high balcony(always hopeful that this would not be the day old construction and design would fail)I have looked out the old leaded windows across to the school and onto the road. I have led classes in through its doors for Remembrance Day services. Our Christmas concerts used to take place in the cramped music room in the school and then they were moved to the church hall where we would wait on the back stairs, every second never ending while I tried to keep my class quiet. I remember the year my class was a simmering mess of emotion and anger and I barely contained it on concert day. I had three kids in foster care and they were ready to kill each other re-directing their real issues by attacking each other. How we kept the lid on that day I do not know? Watching the teachers bring their kids in I found myself wishing I was standing down in their spot. Someone else was encouraging the grade four group and it should have been me. But those days are over. Instead I watched from above and enjoyed my vantage point. Each group it seemed held kids of friends of Zac’s. I remember the first time it dawned on me that there were kids in the school whose fathers were friends of Zac’s . They are everywhere I look now. I somehow find a place for that sorrow. Sunny’s face lights up when she sees me and gives me a quick wave. It is what it is and will always be. I find Louisa’s granddaughters, Kim’s grandson and get caught up in their joy and pride. Someday I will scan the crowd for Chapin and Caleb’s kids. I love the past, the present and the future of living in Kingston. I love who I am here.