Recitals and Rituals

This was a mixed week!  I mentioned that when I visited Boston I spent some time with my cousin (Frances) in Canton and that I planned on visiting her father in White Plains this week.  I did visit but not in the circumstances I had hoped.  Frances called me the day after I met her to tell me her oldest sister, Kathy, had died.  May she rest in peace.  Kathy had been ill for a few months but her death was not expected.  I attended her wake and funeral on Monday and Tuesday of this week – celebrating her Funeral Mass in the Church of St John the Evangelist, White Plains.  I was sorry for the family but, in a way too, glad that I was here and able to do what I could with and for them.  So many others did likewise and travelled to be with John and his family.  We pray that Kathy is at peace and that her father, sisters and family know peace again in the not too distant future.

I stayed with my friends in Crestwood the night of the wake.  While Noelle cooked dinner I asked her daughter if she’d play a tune on the piano for me.  She readily agreed.  While she didn’t complete any tune, she did smile and laugh at her attempts and felt the practice was good.  I look forward to a full tune next year and am very confident that will happen.  For now – just a snippet of an artiste at work – I love the whispered instruction at the end “you can stop now”!!  She knew her final note had been played!!

Later in the week I met my cousin Lauren and her husband-to-be, Jeremy whose wedding I will attend (God willing) next August.  It was good to meet Lauren again and to get to know Jeremy.  Also was good to see Lauren’s parents (John and Diane) as well as their other daughter, Sarah and her husband Ben whose wedding I officiated at last year while here in Rockville Centre.  They are doing well and brought me to their new home which is very welcoming.  Glad to see them all so happy.

Michael Grady from Ballaghaderreen called to see me on Wednesday.  He came to Morning Mass and we had a cup of coffee afterwards.  He is a lovely man with such a keen interest in home and his family and friends there.  I arranged to call to his home in New Hyde Park and visit his wife Margaret.  I did this yesterday and he took me to meet Martin Hunt and his family from Derrinacartha (Ballaghaderreen) and it was lovely to see them as well.  Reminds me of how many people have come to live here, make it their home while not losing sight of their homeplace and people.

With Michael Grady and Martin Hunt

Saturday was the first anniversary of my mother’s death and she was very present in my mind and thoughts all day.  Remembered her at evening Mass and was able to sing “Our Lady of Knock” at the end of Mass – since she died on that Feast Day.  Kept in touch a bit with my brothers too over the days and was good to speak with them.  My brother commented that he didn’t know the last evening he visited with her in the nursing home that he’d not be able to speak with her again.  The only response I could make was “isn’t it as well you didn’t know?”  There are some things we’re better off not knowing or we’d not be able for them. 

I have baptisms today at 1.45 and look forward to that.  This has been a week of rituals, recitals, remembrances and ramblings – all in all, I suppose, a typical week enough.

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