The Lantern Festival

Holding tight to my bowl of homemade potato salad, I trotted to keep up with Colleen, our group’s leader. I kept my eyes trained on the tail end of her red cooler as it zigged and zagged through the crowd. A veteran attendee of the annual Japanese Lantern Festival, Colleen could be trusted to find us a prime location. I was pleased as we steered closer to the lively rhythm of steel drums I could hear in the distance. Initially I found it hard to believe that men, women, and children would come together every year to share their losses and grief. My friend Marge had explained it to me in simple terms when she…