Thursday, July 8, 2021

 Story of a Life

california girl 

dancing in a red dress

not something a minnesota boy 

could resist 

three children one a baby

later 

she ran off never to be seen again

(later dying alone in her 70s)

looking back 

overwhelmed  in his 20s 

what now to do? 

how does one search for a wife

and mother 

with two kids and a baby? 

then she appeared 

a mere teenager

a good catholic girl 

“3 for 3” she said 

and then there were 

six

but she stayed a teenager

when the older kids were 

out of the house 

he finally divorced her 

now once again

lost and broken 

a domestic failure 

he found his once-in-a-lifetime 

soul-mate 

they grew together for 

40 years 

joined at the hip 

they said 

he cared for during her illness

loved her passionately until 

she died 

now in his 80s 

a woman passed by 

improbably

they clicked 

each with 

that deep passionate 

soul-mate feeling 

once again 

 unpredictably 

from death came life 

a mutual resurrection 

it’s true 

what philosophers 

pundits and theologians preach 

love love love 

yes it’s true 

thanks be 

thanks be.

 




June 1, 2021



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Healing Comes

 In the midst of grief and loss comes healing in the guise of a person... so unexpected... so mystical... so biblical...


Christine


seeking renewal

salvation

a love once 

again

he rises and

writes

was it that first day

when her

children bought

the house next 

door?

when they

became

neighbors?

his heart still

fractured

in pieces

(disintegrated)

she

a widow

resolved to years

alone

neither expecting the

unexpected

he at first

meeting quipped

‘hey, neighbor, up for an

adventure?”

“sure!”

ha-ha

he sought a walking

partner

a woman

(how he loved

their presence)

with whom

to talk

both unsuspecting

hearing about his

new

neighbors

his daughters write

“dad, maybe she could be

your friend?” 

a seed planted?

everyone knew he would

not

do well alone

slowly days passed

a small spark

of adventure

ignited

a strange feeling 

engulfed captured him

puppy love?

of course

but then they did

“the 36 questions”

(short-cutting months

of dating)

motown played in his

mind

“fooled around and fell

In love”

a song from

“carousel” if I

loved you…”

those who loved them

cautioned

wary

then they

saw

them

together

his friends said

“she’s a keeper”

another said

“she must have

sent her”

don’t you remember 

her

obituary?

“take care of him

love and hug him”

they thought they

would never

love again

yet they began to 

feel that 

thing 

they laughed 

acted giddy

and so day by

day

they fell

in

love

grandpa and 

grandma on

a kaleidoscopic

merry-go-round

epical

to find again that

bonding

honesty

mutuality

openness

connection

other-above-self

thing called

love 

much over-used

often inaccurate

mostly

divinity enfleshed

better to

experience

so they did

a happiness and

joy

not easily put

usunder

possibly their

golden days of

elderness

is her name

a

coincidence? 

and his 

beloved of God? 

two lives 

two souls

saved.




 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter

We who have suffered great loss have an opportunity to once again seize life; to consider the possibility that “it ain’t over till it’s over!”

Historically, we are surrounded by stories both sacred and profane. It is those sacred stories to which I gravitate. 

Today is Easter Sunday... we know it’s a story about Jesus and his resurrection from the dead. But could it be more? 

Could these ancient stories about Jesus and his friend, Lazarus, help you and I who deeply grieve the death of a loved one, the isolation of this pandemic, and/or our politics?

when you died

i wanted to die with

you

i lingered like

lazarus

bound and yes

these last months

i “stinketh”

still bound i 

heard

the sound of 

voices

new and old

the scratchy 

scrapping noise of

the rock

of my tomb being

rolled away

and then your

voice

a sweetness

yearned

loving

commanding

“unbind him and

set him

free”

yes Lord you

lifted me 

pulled me up 

and out

healed a shattered

heart

pieced it together

as it learned to

touch another 

to love

now i get it 

that story about you

you

meant for us.




Monday, March 29, 2021

Healing

 

Slowly, ever so slowly, my healing has begun. 

And it began not with isolation or aloneness, but with people. As I return to parish ministry and interact with PEOPLE; first on Ash Wednesday, then with new neighbors, now with Palm Sunday and the rituals of Holy Week ahead of me, I sense a new beginning. 

I know that all this time I have been covered, bathed, in loving thoughts and prayers from you as Sabine requested in her obituary: 

 I hope you who read this and know the man who is the love of my life, the breath of my spirit, and the heart, soul of my very being, David, will care for him. Give him your love, your ear, your time, your hugs, and your uplifting support. I would have stayed here forever (if I could) just to be with him...”

Thanks to all of you who have responded to Sabine’s request, who have given me your love, listened and cared for me, and who have given me your time, hugs and support, You are the balm of my healing.. 

I thank you deeply, very deeply...



Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Alone?

 

One of the great dilemmas (and challenges) of widowhood is having to live alone after enjoying the blessings of a lifetime of companionship. Like many men, I enjoy getting together with the guys. But getting together with a woman is another (and I will have to admit) more enjoyable experience — sorry guys! 

Sabine knew me well and knew me deeply. We talked about this. She said that if I died first, she would not be interested in partnering again. In fact, because of her cancer, she said she would simply stop treatment. But as for me, she knew that I needed the friendship of women. So here’s my thoughts on this dilemma as I surf the waves of grief which currently dominate my life.


some say

you

now must

learn to 

live 

alone

why I cry?   

why must I now

be alone?

should i not

seek a

companion 

the

presence of a 

woman? 

i have lived with

women

all my

life

and now

to be without 

this presence

(vive la difference) 

within 

my aging life

really?

are you serious? 

you impose death

to me

alone

if you 

cared for me

loved me

why would you deny

me this?

why would you?

why sentence me to

that solitary 

torturer? 

the executioner 

called

loneliness?

(Sotto voce:

would she 

who

deeply 

loved him 

without condition

wish 

this for for

him

or

see him

happy

companioned 

laughing once

again?

he may be old

not

dead

yet).



Monday, March 22, 2021

A Time to Weep

 A most strange day yesterday... a time to weep; a time when tears suddenly started flowing down my face. Why? They flowed not in response to any event or words but, perhaps. to an aching heart... a gripping of the very core of my body. Was it anticipating next week? The holiest time of my Christian faith? Was it remembering Ecclesiastes 3:4 “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”?

Holy Week

 

ahead 

the holiest of weeks 

the triduum 

dreaded 

yes 

that’s the word 

dreaded

it sits lonesome

bitter in my mouth 

what did we eat 

the night before 

you died? 

our last supper 

i am sorry 

but that next day 

cannot be a 

good day 

a good friday 

the day I helped 

you climb your cross 

watched you 

die 

cancer-crucified 

i took you down 

wrenched out

spikes

no longer           

binding 

your beloved body 

you

washed and anointed

now

i sit with the marys 

and joanna 

and wait 

and wait 

hoping 

praying

for an 

easter 

morn.