Saturday, March 24, 2012

love floats

Leaden is a word that I think well describes profound sadness. It's a heaviness that descends like a metal cloak, causing shoulders to stoop and spirits to flatten. And it's how the Ristaino's felt when a precious member of their family died in a balloon accident in Georgia on March 16. Ed was a beloved man and a skilled balloonist who piloted five skydivers to safety before being swept away in a violent, unpredicted storm. His nephew, Alex, is Ian's good friend and their lacrosse team planned to release balloons in the Ristaino family's honor at last Friday's game. It was a week almost to the hour after Ed's accident when our weather suddenly turned terrible. The game was canceled and everyone took cover. When it blew over, we emerged, still clutching the balloons. The coach said some kind words and the boys let the balloons loose. We all watched in heavy silence as they caught the wind, slowly disappearing into the gray clouds.

It had been such a crushing week, with the shock of the accident and the subsequent search for the wreckage. Yet Alex's parents remarked how uplifted and buoyed they've been by the kindness of friends and even strangers amid their leaden sadness. It's what they are clutching on to now, that thing that floats above stormy skies and Georgia woods, lacrosse fields and lives diminished by loss. Love.
(image: Pinterest)

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