Birth, Death, Joy, Grief (48)

Jan 24, 2021

Birth, Death, Joy, Grief (48) 

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future 

To a known God” 

  • Corrie ten Bloom

My wife of almost 59 years (59 years on June 10, 2020) and best friend Eileen had been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the esophagus, in February 2019. Eileen died on February 22, 2020, the day following the birth of our latest granddaughter, Maria; 60 years to the day after we met; the funeral was March 4, 2020, and the burial was July 3, 2020. Then my brother Tom began having serious health problems, and I spent two three-week sessions with him this summer. But Tom died in October; combined with the COVID pandemic this has created a very challenging year. This blog gives my thoughts, fears, prayers, and hopes during this challenging and difficult time looking at the spaces in my life. 


01/24/2021 What a breath of fresh air this week has been, even though many of the Republicans are now hinting that they will be refusing almost everything. I don’t know what world these people live in where inciting a revolution or attempting a coup is perfectly ok, letting so many in the country starve, and just play power at this terrible moment on the world.  

Oh yes, these are the same ones who refuse to see the truth of science and data, who refuse to admit that Trump lost, and that the world is in a climate crisis, and many deny the reality of the virus Covid-19. Plus, now they are in the minority, kind of, and apparently, they only want the signs of power that being in complete control brings. 

I was moved to tears during the singing of the national anthem; I believe it is only the second time I was so moved by a political event, as the first I can remember is the funeral of President John Kennedy, which was not a true political event. Then past four years has been a disaster for the world, but perhaps as I see it revealed the underlying cancer that has existed in our nation for 400 years. Joyfully, it now appears that we are coming a bit of age, with over 50% disagreeing with that underlying power belief.  

True, much of that is because our nation is not a majority white nation any longer, and sufficient numbers finally voted to change direction. Even though the Republicans are doing all they can by redistricting such as to keep white power in control, but sufficient numbers are becoming aware of the pain of our brethren with different skin colors and features, and our nation is showing a bit of maturity. 

And once more, I was moved to tears by the magnificent words of the 22-year-old poet laureate and the wonderful words she spoke. What a shining moment showing the power of youth. During an interview that evening she spoke of the “deep dive” (her words) she did, reading all the previous poet laureate readings at inaugurations she could find; then being ‘thrown for a loop’ and starting over after the events of January 6th. That is a wonderous work ethic to show and combined with native talent shows that our future has some brilliant futures to watch. 

Now we must see if the violence unleashed by Trump will cause further pain in our nation. They may pause if the coup attempt is brought to justice, but the local infliction of white power will erupt throughout the nation as they now see they have the unspoken allowance by so many that are in power – witness the capitol police actions. Not all, as many showed bravery in holding back the rioters as well as they could with their small numbers and pitiful barriers; but the upper management of the force knew what could occur and they pretended to be blind and continue to do so, even to the extent of kicking the National Guard out of the capitol to use the restrooms and relax. Thank heavens that word was brought to the attention of those that could do something about that, and they did. 

I finished up my next Lego model, the Statue of Liberty, Wednesday evening, a fitting time to finish that model. Next, I have started Big Ben, with over 3000 tiny, tiny blocks, with the whole thing being only 8 inches square. Keeping myself busy is important, and I can’t go outside. Of course, I must continue bringing my computer up to the level I had before, as I am still missing some programs I had purchased. I am pleasantly surprised that so much was apparently in the cloud. Apple is pretty good about that. 

(Sigh!) I was just interrupted by a phone call informing me that my sister-in-law, Sue Mahoney, passed this evening (Saturday). As I mentioned last week, she was in the hospital on Long Island with Covid and pneumonia but was holding her own. She took a turn Friday night, but two of her children were allowed in to see her. Her daughter was holding her hand when she passed, saying it was gentle and easy. It was good that they could be there. I know that her daughter had COVID-19 from taking care of her earlier but was feeling better. She joins her husband, Eileen’s brother Jim, who died over 10 years ago from esophageal cancer, the same cancer that took Eileen a year ago. She now joins Eileen and my brother who have left us over the past year. That is part of being in a very large family – as we age, things occur that is hard but part of life. Except that Covid increased the odds of sorrowful things occurring now. I will talk of our family and reminisce more next week. 

This coming week we will pass the anniversary of when Eileen was put into home-hospice care. It is approaching the first-year anniversary of Eileen’s death (I use the term death rather than the gentler term ‘passing’ for Eileen to remind myself sharply that the physical form of Eileen is gone), and now my sister-in-law’s passing is a stark reminder of the fleeting life we enjoy. 


Oh, Gentle One, our family is again struck with grief. Help all to feel our love and Your Love strongly as once more this moment of intense grief assails the family. We rest in Your care each moment of the day. Gentle our souls as we move restlessly in our pain and grief. 


2 thoughts on “Birth, Death, Joy, Grief (48)”

  1. Dave, I am so sorry to hear of your sister in law’s death. You will continue to be in my prayers as memories of good times with Eileen surface.
    I was able to borrow a copy of the soul of christmas that you mentioned a few weeks back. I am looking for forward to reading it. Thanks for the suggestion.

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My God has led me on an 80 year jaunt to ever more wondrous beauty. I am led to share this journey and gifts of God that have been showered upon me, not just for me but for whoever God brings into my path.

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