Living in Unconditional Love (102)
Feb 19, 2023
Living in Unconditional Love (102)
“Love flows from God to humans without effort:
As a bird glides through the air without moving its wings-
Thus, they go wherever they wish united in body and soul,
Yet separate in form.”
–Mechtild of Magdeburg
My wife Eileen died from esophageal cancer in February 2020 one year after being diagnosed, 60 years to the day that we met on Long Island. Then my brother Tom became ill (not COVID), and I spent a total of six weeks being with him in Ohio, but he died in October 2020. My sister-in-law Sue Mahoney died from Covid-19 in January 2021. On top of it all stood the pandemic, locking everyone down almost two years, and even though it is abating, I wear my mask anytime I am out among people, unlike many.
02/19/23 I am writing this on Friday afternoon, as I will soon leave to go to my daughter Barbara house in preparation for attending the wedding of my grandnephew Connor Rogers on Saturday. I look forward to these weddings as they are always a lot of fun and a grand opportunity to visit with the many nieces and nephews on Long Island and beyond. Life goes on, and it is filled with joy and sorrow for the various events that occur. This wedding is a joyous event that signifies a new start in a line of evolution of the family from Eileen’s parents through their daughter Maureen’s ten children.
The Lenten season starts next week, and for some strange reason the various significant days of the season also signify key events in my life. Tuesday Mardi Gras is celebrated in New Orleans, but it is also the celebration of the third birthday of my Granddaughter Maria Ynes, Dan and Alesandra’s first born. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, a fitting remembrance of the third anniversary of Eileen’s death. (Yes, she died the day after she saw Maria born on FaceTime.) Then on Easter Sunday I will turn 89, a strange mixture of multiple celebrations this year coinciding with events from Christian history, some of the primary Christian holy days, from thew beginning of the season of Lent until the beginning of the Easter season.
This is truly a series of serendipitous events that could not have been more perfectly placed for me as my life rolls on. As I realized how the events are unfolding this year, I have been struck by the sense of humor that God portrays to keep reminding us of the still bigger pictures of life.
Dan, Alesandra, and the girls are flying back as I write this from Peru to spend the Spring here, and to celebrate the birth of daughter number three, Madison, sometime around the middle of March. These times bring back memories of those days, as I held Eileen’s hand as she was preparing herself to leave us. She waited for that facetime call from Dan and smiled at the picture of the newborn Maria, then closed her eyes we believe for the last time. She waited another day to avoid having that memory perhaps spoiling Maria’s birthday before leaving.
That will make all their daughters having M as the starting letter, Maria Ynes, Mackenzie Eileen, and now Madison. The two little ones are really cute, (3 years and 18 months) and perhaps I will venture down there to Virginia before the baby comes to see and play with them.
Sunday: I have returned home after the celebrations around Connor and Tabby’s wedding yesterday, and it was as much fun as I had hoped. Beginning with a Mass at their church and ending with much loud music in both English and Spanish, perfect for this day and age.
Gentle One, You give me the gift of celebration during this Lenten season; celebrating the birthday of Maria on this Tuesday and the coming of Madison very soon, plus love spoken and shown in friends and family. Celebrating life and the continuation of families with weddings and song are gifts beyond compare.