Living in Unconditional Love (56)

Apr 03, 2022

  Living in Unconditional Love (56)

“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, 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, unlike many.


04/03/2022                                     I went down and received my second booster this past Saturday (today as I write). When I went to church last Sunday only two of us wore a mask, and I am not comfortable as the latest variant is becoming more active and is even more contagious. I was more pleasantly surprised when I walked into the CVS to get my booster that many wore masks, maybe 20% of the customers. Besides, I have not had a cold (outside of the one of my daughters gave me at Christmas) or flu in almost three years, since Eileen became ill, and we were very careful as she was undergoing chemo treatments and then Covid came and masks. I may continue to wear masks when out and about as it is nice not to get my annual cold(s). That will be several weeks added to the useful part of a year, as it takes two or three weeks before I can claim freedom of a cold, and at two or three per year—.

Sunday news: I am running a slight fever, about one degree. Combined with heavy fog and snow showers I am staying home today.

More signs of the times: I receive a print copy of the Binghamton newspaper, and they announced a couple of weeks ago that they will not publish a Saturday paper. It feels strange to stop at the mailbox and not get a paper. It is published online, but still–.

This week has been a return to winter for the most part; 12 degrees on Monday and a couple of inches of snow, then a jump to 60+ on Thursday, then snow showers on Friday! Yes, March went out like a lion. I wasn’t here at the beginning of March, so I am not sure how it came in. The daffodils are still growing though, so things are hopefully on schedule for a nice spring. I hope the extreme cold didn’t hurt things, and I was glad to see that none of the lilies have shown their noses, so they are safe. The birds were very active at the birdfeeder as I had snow covering their usual feed, but now that the snow has melted only a few shows up at the feeder. I will bring the feeder in about the middle of April, so I hopefully won’t get a bear before then. I hope to get the bonsai out onto their stands in the next two weeks or less.

I am once more used to the quiet house. I am looking forward to being able to walk out around the garden, perhaps working on the bonsai a bit, and admire the flowers. I hope to find the internal ability to spend more time outside once the weather warms up, as I have mostly moped about the house the past two years; just no energy to get out, even with the beautiful blooms outside. The temperature seems to be warming over the next couple of weeks, but late frosts can occur well into May.

I find the poetry of Mary Oliver wonderous in their ability to reach the soul, today I read the poem (I read one a day during my quiet time) When Death comes, and I was struck by this line:

          When it is over, I want to say: all my life

          I was a bride married to amazement.

          I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

This blew me away by the beauty and the intensity and the wonder. Indeed, this is how I wish to view my life when that time comes.

I dislike rising in the morning, and my hour quiet time soothes out the day and gives me internal peace to do the various tasks I have set for myself. Yes, I have followed my suggestions I wrote in my book, and they have helped immensely. I am revising the book to include Eileen’s illness, death, and my reaction to it all. I could not have revised it until now, as it is only now that I feel reasonably whole as a person.


Gentle One, I rest each morning in Your care to start my day. I find myself needing that time of settling and quiet to stop the racing of mind that fills my time otherwise. You have slowly but gently brought me to my present point of missing and loving Eileen but totally accepting of the reality of her death. I am pausing at this time of life to see my path forward and feel filled with blessing as spring and life are unfolding in Your care. I continue to hold the suffering in my thoughts and ask that You ease their pain, at least in their perception.

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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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