Thoughts From Dawn Wisner-Johnson (Crumbacher)
It’s Easter Sunday. We are celebrating life and Jesus resurrection - yet this post will be more about death. This song, Graduating Class, penned by Stephen Crumbacher, of the band Crumbacher (which I had the privilege of being a part of from 1984 - 1989) was a tribute to his sister who passed away in the mid 1980’s due to a fight with cancer.
I always loved this song. The emotion in it was real and near to me. I watched as Stephen’s family fought the fight with their beloved one. I saw the hurt, pain, and tears. The emotion surrounding that time was deep for everyone. Stephen Crumbacher; being the lyrical muse that he was, let his emotions flow out in the band’s second album, Escape From The Fallen Planet. It was a gift to all of us.
In our carnal minds, death is a final, sometimes terrible thing. For those of us left behind, it can be so devastating. This past month has been a month of death for several around us. In our circle of friends and family, we have had 7 people pass on. For my sister, Beth and her boys, they also lost two family pets. There has been lots of heartache and sadness.
Yet, as I think about death on this Easter, I am reminded of Jesus conquering death. Those who have left us have gone on to something amazing and better than we can imagine. Some may not believe there is an afterlife, and that’s ok. For me - I feel in my spirit that my loved ones have “graduated” and are somewhere fully alive and at peace.
Oprah’s OWN channel aired a show today called, “Wisdom From The Dying”. Those who have traveled on to the next chapter of life, leave us with wisdom and thoughts, if we will only listen and learn. Some of those have returned from “near death” and they explain feelings of peace, comfort, calmness, light and relief like they have never known.
If they do return to live life here on earth, they say that their priorities are turned upside down. Life suddenly seems different after such an experience. The importance of trivial things and garnering treasures here on earth fade away. They speak of focusing on every moment, loving those around us and realizing that every day is a gift. They also speak of a new understanding of what we have to look forward to when we “graduate” from this life.  >;p>
Today we honor those in our circle who have left us recently:
Curtis (Butch) Armstrong (Chris Duke’s brother) - February 25, 2013
Mark Smothers (Cat Siobhan’s beloved father) - March 1, 2013
Wendell Leyerly (Friend & “father”, uncle to many) - March 7, 2013
Orville Barrett (Family, Uncle) - March 12, 2013
Ethan Foster (Beloved Son, Sabro/Marquita Foster) - March 18, 2013
Mr. Brooks (Friend, Neighbor) - March 20, 2013
Karen Joy Jackson (Missionary to Africa)- March 22, 2013
"Chadwick" and "Friday" - Hamster and Rabbit, Jahnsen Family
"The honor students leave us all too soon" - Stephen Crumbacher
Music/Lyrics: Stephen Crumbacher
Another class has had their time to live and learn
Still on graduation days we cry
Past the pomp and circumstancial point of no return
And now they have to give their wings a try
But it’s always hard to say, “Goodbye”
I’m really gonna miss the graduating class
Their school days all went so fast
I long for where they’ve gone
With memories to fall back on
They’re moving on to bigger and better things by far
I’m so proud of where they are
To walk these halls the last
And make the graduating class
Such mixed emotions when the final day arrives
The honor students leave us all too soon
The Alma Mater will stay written on their lives
While some of us have yet to learn the tune
It’s a melancholy afternoon
Get the Remastered Physical CD Here at Frontline Records Store: