On Wednesday, August 6th, we lost a friend.
The void that Carr – Carolyn Reed – has left is hard to describe in words, so we’d like to share some of the memories that rapidly built into a memorial for Carr on the spot where she often spent the night, on the sidewalk next to our building. In the days and weeks since her passing, a handful of flower petals grew into a steady outpouring of remembrance and love. A pair of butterfly wings, a supply of bananas (Carr loved bananas!), candles constantly burning into a waxy pool of tears, bouquets of blooms…and the words. Words scribbled on notes, left in letters, tags on the windows and the walls around her sleeping bag, words on t-shirts and shared nightly over dinner – all the words that built into one big testimony by the many people affected by Carr’s departure.
On Monday, August 18th, a large service was held by Carr’s family.
I had the privilege of being able to attend the Memorial for Carr this last Monday. There were many things I found myself amazed with. The room at the funeral home was packed with people and standing room also ran out of space. I was glad to hear her full name, Carolyn Ruth Reed. Her Dad is amazing! He talked and laughed and shared his heart and love for his daughter. I did not know Carr’s parents would go and visit her on the street, taking along her favourite foods. Her feisty nature and exuberance was evident at a very young age. So many people love Carr! Half the room was from the street. The pastor was very brave and opened the mic for anyone that wanted to share. It was something I cannot describe, to witness words of love expressed from our street friends for the friend they loved. It was hard to hear the open weeping. Let us cry out to God for the winds to change and HOPE to be revealed to our friends. ~ Sandy
It was indeed a privilege to have shared that time with family and friends – it did much to honour the person and memory of our dear Carr. Loosing those as we have recently, and through the whole time we have been knit together really, amounts to a loss – one stitch at a time – from the fabric of family. But I believe, as we determine in the love that ultimately holds and binds all things together, the strength of that fabric remains intact and wonderfully adorns all, honouring our Lord and so that love. Like the young lady, who used the open mic to appeal and encourage all who may find themselves in a similar place that there is hope and help. Those who comprise our street family hear often enough what’s ‘wrong’ with them. Encouraging in the love and grace of the greater hope we share, I pray will be even more effective, not hindered but empowered in difficult times as these. Let’s pray it and do it amen! ~ Michael
On Friday, September 5th, there will be a Celebration of Life.
NightShift will be holding an open mic for anyone who would like to share and reminisce about Carr. Join us from 5:30 pm for a street service. Photos courtesy Angie, Mac, Theresa and Carr’s family.