Celebration Bookends

This house build stands out among the dozens we’ve done over the past couple of years. It was built on the same lot the family’s always lived on — two weeks after their original house burned down.

They’d lost their husband and father earlier this summer. He was delivering engine parts to a factory, an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire between rival gangs.

The single mother and her two children insisted on helping us, and it was an honor to include them. By weekend’s end, celebrating the completion of the build — which could’ve been awkward, considering — was anything but.

Today, one week later, our celebration on the beach was different but no less exuberant. I’ll say this for baptisms in the Pacific Ocean: the water’s a lot colder than you’d think. And when the Canuck says the water’s cold, baby, it’s cold.

So cold, in fact, that the shock of it drove Estafania, who hails from the warmer climes of Guadalajara, to bolt upright mid-baptism. Our eyes met, and I said, “We’re not done yet.”

Estafanias a trooper. She took a deep breath, squeezed her eyes tight shut, and Round #2 was a success.

Two very different celebrations, with one common denominator: it was an honor to be involved.

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