Sunday, November 04, 2012
Thanksgiving 4 - My beloved dead
Today, in Catholic (and Episcopal and I think other Christian) tradition, is All Souls Day, the day the beloved dead are honored and named in mass. I am thankful today for all my beloved dead, those who were central to my life and those whose large lives shadowed and shaped mine. So much of what I've learned was taught by those no longer living. (And yes Mort, Real is still better than perfect.) I think of Jim who was a gentle date for a shy sophomore and who sang Old Man River with a voice as deep as yearning and who died of a bee sting while mowing his lawn - poof - just gone. I remember my grandparents, especially Anna, who knew hardship and loss upon loss and who offered only love. I think of the martyred heroes of many causes, of the song about "Abraham, Martin, John, and Bobby" Of course I remember Kerry, and am so thankful for first love, the commitment of young marriage and the joy of building our family together. I still see our girls through your eyes sometimes, love, or think I do, and my own eyes fill with tears. I think of Ruth's baby Mira, who died unborn and whose textures I never knew. And my own parents who shaped my life, who welcomed and taught me. And of course Heidi, beloved sister and friend, most recent among my own beloved dead. Your brand of courage was different than mine - and wore a radiant smile in the hardest times. All of you and so many more (Mary Ellen, John, Paul, Lou, Mary, Dolly, Diane) taught and touched me and I miss you all . I am thankful for my beloved dead.