Bending over, she shades the small candle from the wind. She rocks gently and grief pours from her as steadily as her young daughter stands by her side. She makes the sign of the cross and the candle flickers. We watch, silently allowing the song of the priest to fill the heavy silence. Despite the sunlight and the blooms that surround us, we are all chilled by the wind that snuffs the little candle.
Since chance and propriety didn't allow a real one, this is my mental picture of the Zadushnitsa ceremony that I attended yesterday for the musician and father we remember, Nikolay Karalanov. Always smiling and teasing someone, quick with a joke and eager to share how proud he was of his daughter Raya, he will be sorely missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to Raya, and his muse, his lovely wife Orfeta.