Category Archives: veterans day ceremony
A small miracle happened at the Calumet Park Cemetery butterfly release memorial ceremony on July 21. Each year families and friends gather at the Butterfly Garden in the Back to Nature Section for spiritual readings and live music. The hour long event concludes with the reading of an old Native American Indian legend called “The Legend of the Butterfly”. Native Americans believe that a wish whispered to a butterfly will be granted when the butterfly flies up to the heavens.
Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope, and life. A butterfly is a symbol for the Resurrection! It is a spiritual symbol for life after death because of its metamorphosis, or transformation, from a caterpillar that crawls on the ground to a beautiful, almost ethereal creature that flies through the air.
There were concerns that rain and high winds were on their way that Saturday morning. The area was hit hard with severe storms the previous couple of days, so it was almost a coin toss as to whether or not the event would even be held. Amazingly, the weather was not a deterrent to approximately 350 brave souls, and all six hundred and twenty butterflies were released, each carrying a special message to heaven.
So, back to the miracle. In December, a sweet young lady lost her twin boys at the 5th month of her pregnancy. To lose a baby is so very devastating and if it is possible, losing two at the same time must be crushingly overwhelming. The hopes and dreams that a parent has for the life of her child is buried with her babies. As a father who experienced such a loss, I can say that the memories of one’s hopes for the future of a lost child never die. Although it is real that God called home His children on His timetable, the reality for those left behind is sometimes a shaken fist at God with lots of questions…all starting with “WHY?”
Although the mother gave permission for her real name to be used in this story, she will be referred to as Mother Mary for the rest of this article. Privacy is important in the world in which we live, and Mother Mary’s privacy should be respected. During the week leading up to the Butterfly Release, Mother Mary was followed, on and off, by two butterflies. It scared her a little and she saw them as a sign that God had not forgotten her during her time of loss. In one sense, Mother Mary told us that she found peace in the tiny, winged creatures of God and felt it would be redundant to attend the live release…but something told her to show up…rain or shine.
On the morning of the release, the crowd grew slowly and steadily. Mother Mary quietly joined with the others in finding a place to blend in with others while being alone with her thoughts. Her babies would have been seven months old in July, and thoughts of all of the little outfits and baby paraphernalia were filling up her mind and her heart.
Tears are a healing balm to broken hearted people. In fact, I remember back some 33 years ago that it felt like my tears would never stop. To this day, I can see a mother and father with a newborn baby and my heart weeps over what might have been. So, a great many tears flowed from attendees of all ages, races, colors, faiths and creeds on that special Saturday morning, including those of Mother Mary.
After a couple of readings, commentary, and songs, the time had come for all to gather around the butterfly garden and the bronze statue of the child offering up a butterfly, laden with wishes from mouth, to butterfly, to God. Mother Mary found just the right spot to release her butterflies from their folded paper casings. She had two green envelopes with the words “Do not be afraid for I am with you…” printed on them which is a promise from God when He said “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about for I am your God and I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!”
With close to 400 people gathered around a garden filled with plants and flowers meant to attract butterflies, Mother Mary whispered her private wish to her butterflies. And that is when the miracle happened. It would not be noticed by any of the hundreds of people that surrounded her, but it will be with Mother Mary forever. When she opened her first envelope, two butterflies stretched their gossamer wings and lifted off in unison. Two in one envelope…a simple mistake on the part of the person in Florida that packed the gentle creatures that has never, ever been known to have happened in the history of the people that supply the butterflies for this event.
Surely, any actuary could not come up with statistics that could represent this occurrence. Millions of butterflies released annually around the world, and on this day, for this event and for this grieving mother, God arranged to have twin butterflies emerge to be sure that her wishes…one for each of her sons…would have a butterfly dedicated to delivering her wishes to His ears.
This simple mistake on the part of a “butterfly packer” thousands of miles away answered Mother Mary’s wishes before she could even utter them. God knew in His heart this day would come, long before Mother Mary’s own mother and father came together and conceived her. God has a plan, and we are inserted into His timeline. We are along for the ride, and sometimes the ride is bumpy and cold and lonely and filled with pain. Other times, we come out of the tunnel of darkness filled with joy.
On this day, in the midst of one of Mother Mary’s most bumpy and crushing of all of life’s challenges, Mother Mary found a moment of peace and joy as she watched the two butterflies flutter away, side by side, toward the heavens. The babies were His, and He needed them to come home on His schedule. The two butterflies were but a heavenly message to Mother Mary that He heard her cries of desperation since the day of her loss. It was received by Mother Mary as confirmation that He had not forsaken her.
As miracles go, two butterflies in one envelope may seem “accidental” to a bystander. Raising of Lazareth, or feeding thousands with a few loaves and fishes, or even changing water into wine at the Wedding Feast of Cana were miracles. But for Mother Mary on this day, in this field, unfolding a small green triangle shaped paper envelope to let her butterfly go, seeing two butterflies emerge was all the affirmation she needed to know in her heart that they were with Jesus.
And friends, that is why Calumet Park sponsors this type of community event. Set the table for a miracle and a miracle may just appear. Who doesn’t remember the line from the baseball movie, “Build it and they will come.” To this, I say, build a life that is open to Christ, invite Him in, and you too shall discover that God has plans for all of us if we allow ourselves to believe, for the age of miracles is now.
What is 20′ x 30′ and flies 80 feet in the sky? Answer, the new flag flying over the entrance to Calumet Park Cemetery … 80 foot flagpole and huge flag … we salute all Americans! For Memorial Weekend, the following are specially priced: 25% off the Veteran Memorial Columbarium, 25% off the new Meditation Pond Columbariums (see pictures above), 25% off a new private mausoleum on a pond with a fountain next to the original community mausoleum, 25% off specific graves (ask a Family Service Counselor to show them to you…new sections, 50% off all selections in the Black Monument/bronze flush marker section, and 15% off all monuments and markers. We can deliver to any cemetery in NW Indiana.
For more information, call 219-769-8802
Calumet Park Cemetery honored area veterans at the annual Veterans Day Commemoration on November 11. Rev. Drummond opened the ceremony with a prayer and some thoughts on what it means to be a veteran.
Calumet Park salutes all veterans from the past, the present and into the future. For information on the veteran program for pre-need at Calumet Park, stop in at the cemetery office or call 219-769-8803.
This year’s ceremony hits close to home as two of our own passed away recently. Tony Rendina (former owner of Rendina Funeral Home) and Paul Vogel (shown above, CEO of Calumet Park Cemetery, Funeral Chapels and Rendina Funeral Home) were both proud veterans and both were active in support of all veterans over the years. The Veterans Day tribute is a way to say a collective thank you to all the veterans and their families for their contributions to keeping this country safe and free. Thanks to all veterans from Calumet Park. For information or directions, call 769-8803.
First annual Fall Festival a huge success at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel on County Line Road in Hobart just north of County Line Orchard. More pics added.
Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Hobart on Country Line Road held its first annual Trunk or Treat Fall Festival on October 21. Free pumpkins, face painting, games, prizes, hot dogs, drinks and popcorn (provided thanks to IMAX in Portage), and 15 local business with open trunks for trick or treating made for a wonderful couple of hours. A great time was had by all who worked to make it a success and for those who came for the fun. A special thanks to Violet de la Torre-Corona and Mike Poweska for organizing the event and to Bethany Music for providing all the pics shown below. Misti Ferkull and Sandy Ferris greeted everyone at the check in table and students from Portage High School and Crown Point High School helped with the games. A number of other CPC employees worked hard to ensure that great memories could be made including Matt Hahn, Michelle Hanrahan, Rob Vogel, Marcia Ochoa, Emily Dominguez, Kim Jones, Raquel Santos, and Brant Vogel. See you all next year. (hopefully I did not leave anyone off who worked to make this a great day) Click on any pic to enlarge for better viewing.
Once again, thanks for coming. If you would like a tour of the newly remodeled funeral home, call Violet (speaks Spanish) or Mike at 219-940-3791 or stop in any time.
Memory challenges – age or Alzheimer’s
by Laura Conant, Calumet Park Correspondent
Have you been forgetting things a lot lately? Can’t find your keys or glasses? Is the worry of Alzheimer’s nagging at the back of your mind? More than 5 million people in the US are living with Alzheimer’s so it’s in the news a lot.
Let’s put your worries to rest by finding out what are symptoms of normal aging vs. symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Memory problems such as forgetting recent conversations, misplacing items, difficulty in solving problems, can be normal as we age. It may take us longer to do complex tasks but we can do them without a lot of confusion. Signs of Alzheimer’s would be misplacing something and be unable to know how to retrace your steps to find it. Balancing your checkbook may become difficult as numbers no longer make sense. You may start getting lost on familiar routes while either walking or driving. Familiar areas now feel foreign.
Language problems can include not remembering the names of familiar objects like the TV or phone, or suddenly stopping in the middle of a conversation because you can’t remember what you were talking about. It’s not just losing your train of thought-it’s that you don’t remember starting the conversation at all. You may start having trouble reading by not recognizing or understanding the words.
Depression and becoming very easily agitated is another sign. Losing interest in things you previously enjoyed and being in a flat mood, personality changes and the loss of social skills are other symptoms of Alzheimer’s. You, yourself, may not be able to perceive these changes but may experience family members or friends telling you about them.
If you or a loved one are having any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a physician to start treatment to slow the progression of the disease.
Please try to understand what I am now; not think of me as I was. I am alone, shut in, with my fears, my frustrations, my forgetfulness. Forgive me if I strike out at you. Why do I do that? What has happened to me? I cannot cope in this alien world. I feel threatened. I am frightened. Speak softly, approach slowly. Repeat again and again what you want of me. Those twisted tangles in my brain have messed up my world. Be patient, for I do love you. And I need your help and love so very, very much. Your Alzheimer Patient. by Joy Glennner.
Thank you to all who came out to show their respect for all of our veterans, and especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Giving one’s life for a just cause is going above and beyond the call of duty…giving your life for freedom is heavenly. A special thanks goes out to the owner’s of Calumet Park (yes, privately owned and proud of it), all the grounds crew, the family service department and to the administrative departments. It took a team effort to make Calumet Park Cemetery look so beautiful and a great deal of planning and execution for the weekend to go so smoothly. We received nothing but compliments from the thousands who entered these hallowed gates during the past three days. God gave us a weekend of wonderful weather, and your showing up made it a successful weekend of remembering.
Pat O”Donnell from WJOB was the keynote speaker at Calumet Park Cemetery’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony. All the seats were filled as Paul Vogel II opened the event with a prayer and a sincere thank you to all veterans. Pat reviewed some positions on veteran benefits and then spoke with honor and from the heart on the debt that is owed to all veterans, including their families.