Living in Unconditional Love (153)

Feb 11, 2024

Living in Unconditional Love (153)


“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 after 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. Covid has proved to be a persistent problem, and many of the long-term effects are quite serious, and it has proven much more serious than flu.

02/11/2024                             Another quiet week, as I have started preparation for my trip to Lima next Wednesday. I must be sure the refrigerator is empty of any food that could spoil, and I will store my paints of those I am using in the refrigerator as they last longer from drying out if I keep them cold, and a month is a long time to just sit around.

The warm weather has let the Winter Aconite bloom nicely, and it is good to see the first signs of spring before I leave for the warmth of Peru. I leave next Wednesday, flying overnight and arriving really early on Thursday, 5 am. I am looking forward to the stay and the beauty of the ocean. Maria’s fourth birthday party is on the 17th. I would rather acknowledge the anniversary of Eileen’s death on the 22nd there amidst the joy of the family and the actual birthday of Maria on the 21st than sitting home. The girls are being baptized on March 2nd and Barbara will be joining us as she is the Godmother.

A fair chunk of the snowman that Dan and the girls made is still there and reminds me of that joyful week. Many memories are present of that week and joy fills my heart when I remember that time and view the pictures. Being with the family brings back so many memories of raising ours and the wonders of watching the joy of the little ones discovering life. I remember well the joy of being greeted each evening as I returned from work and the little ones would crowd around to be picked up and hugged and swung around.

I have bursitis in the right elbow much to my dismay. I visited the walk-in and then an orthopedic doctor about it, and I must wear a compression sleeve for a month or more. They will look at it again in six weeks to see if it requires draining, but they are reluctant to drain it now as often it becomes infected afterwards. I do not recall bumping it at any time in the near past; I just noticed the golf-ball sized swelling last week and I recognized it for what it was as I had the same thing in the left elbow a year ago. No pain or discomfort other than being tender, and now wearing that compression sleeve.

I find myself easily slipping into depression as the time of the anniversary of Eileen’s death approaches. That is another good reason to travel to see the wee ones in their joyous life of the very young. My life is very routine oriented now and that helps me live a fruitful life, but the depression still creeps in, and I find myself sitting and staring into space for periods of time. I try to keep busy but even so too often I just sit around and do nothing. I hope that after I return spring will be right around the corner and I will perk up and feel more energetic.


Gentle One, I turn to You for help and release of my sorrow that too often threatens to overwhelm me. I know Eileen is here with me and I often feel her presence but still too often I find myself depressed, which I know is part of grief. I place myself in Your hands and am grateful for the love that appears in so many waysin life, and this next month will help to store memories of joy and little ones, a wonderous time of joy.

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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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