Living in Unconditional Love (154)

Feb 18, 2024

Living in Unconditional Love (154)


“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.

02/18/2024                             Interesting few days. Maria’s birthday party was magnificent, with about 60 present; two bouncy houses, trampoline, and most of all the two sisters from Frozen who put on a show that lasted over an hour. Plus we had an earthquake, and an auto accident beforehand.

First, the party was a lot of fun, and Maria received a ton of gifts. Most have been tucked away to be brought out at different times to avoid overwhelming her and Mackenzie. I met some interesting people and had many great conversations. Maria was the center of attention and she loved it. It was fun to see so many little ones running around and having fun. I did not see any disputes, and all were nice people, full of joy for all. It is quite warm, in the mid-80s and full sun., so I stayed in the shade. The ground for the party is across the street among the tennis courts and has a bathroom and a few shade trees around the edges. They also had several food vendors (popcorn, hot dogs, etc.) around, and of course a face painting spot that all the little girls made use of.

Friday morning just as I was getting up, the entire building shook and groaned. Remember I am up on the 15th floor of an all-concrete building. But the building shook and Dan reported an earthquake of about 5.5 magnitude had occurred, with the epicenter about 25 miles away. Apparently, earthquakes are fairly common here and nobody was excited. Just another ho-hum event for most.

Then we went shopping for some supplies for the party that afternoon, taking an Uber. We were in the left-hand turn lane to enter the highway when the car behind us was struck, and they hit us. Nobody injured, but the car behind us had the rear fender almost torn off. So we had to get another Uber to take us to the place we were going. The whole family including all three little ones were along.

They have a full-time maid who lives in her own bedroom, and for the party they had another come in and they also have a handyman who came in to transport stuff to and from the party ground which was located across the street from the condo building among the tennis courts there, plus Alesandra’s Mom (Maria) came and stayed Friday night and all-day Saturday and that night. She will be back for Maria’s actual birthday on the 21st.

This will be the fourth anniversary of Eileen’s death on the 22nd, and this visit is an opportunity to celebrate her life, fruits of a life well lived. I will be thinking of her often, but the loss is softened by the joy of the little ones. I held the baby Madison as she fell asleep in my arms before the party started, then when they wanted to take some photos of us I held her and she cuddled up against me resting. A moment of joy and to remember.



Gentle One, You have offered me a wonderful opportunity to experience love and joy at this moment of deep remembrance. I am truly grateful for the chance to celebrate with the delight of the wee ones who seem to be taking delight in my presence. The life of Eileen is visible here, and I am in wonder that I have been a vital part of that life.

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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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