Saturday, November 17, 2007



We passed the third anniversary last Sunday. It's Saturday now--you'd think I would have found time to write, but it's been a rather fragmented week for me and it's been hard to settle down. There's a quiet moment now so I'm taking advantage of it!

Sunday was actually a beautiful day. Richard, my mother-in-law and I had already planned to go to the cemetery before church, and in the event were joined by Pat D (who has known us since 1978 and accompanied us when we saw Thomas's body for the first time) and her cousin Sophie. When we arrived, we found a bouquet of reddish-orange miniature carnations already in the vase, complete with water. They were still bound together with rubber bands so we concluded that this perhaps had been the gift of a young man, and took them apart to add them to the bouquet we brought. They fit in beautifully. We stood and prayed for a few minutes, I took the two pictures here with my cell phone, and then went on to church.
The 10:30 Mass in the hall was for Thomas and Richard asked the priest celebrating to note that I think, in addition to the mention during the Prayers of the Faithful. In any event, Fr. D'Souza did start by acknowledging the anniversary and pointing us out in the congregation: a tricky moment, but it did help strangers make sense of what he was saying. We are highly visible every Sunday because my brother-in-law is in a wheelchair and we sit in the front of the room. The Old Testament reading was from Maccabees and related the story of seven brothers who die for their principles in front of their mother, and then she dies too. I think this was the reading three years ago too . . . The singing group finished with "Soon and Very Soon" which I still find impossible to sing without tears, though I did manage this time to stop crying long enough to get through a couple of verses.
There are two Masses at 10:30 in our parish. The one in the sanctuary was celebrated by Msgr Jordan who had announced Thomas's death at Mass three years ago. I saw him before we started and reminded him of that--he's not resident in the parish so I don't see him often--he was actually very comforting as we stood there in the hallway.
So much of the quality of our survival has depended on the people who surround us. Many people had remembered Thomas and sat near us in church, some of my internet friends had come, friends who had known us forever it seemed came or called or wrote. After church, we asked whoever was in range to come over to our house for a light lunch, and many did. It was bittersweet I guess--I loved having them there but the reason for having them there was always there, underlying the conversations. But, it was good.
Thomas's siblings handled the day each in their own way: Anna came to lunch, Matthew tried to go skateboarding and then realized he really did not want to be around people after all (and stayed home from school the next day for the same reason), Maria called to tell me that she was desperate to be around people, maybe because she had been alone when she heard about Thomas. They are all so different.

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1 Comments:

At November 19, 2007 at 1:15:00 PM PST , Anonymous Pat said...

Today I found your blog and read it instead of doing my job, and all because I'm pouting because I can't go home and see my kids for Thanksging.

That is really silly and small of me because I will get to see them at Christmas, but it's been a very long time.

I was touched when you said, "So much of the quality of our survival has depended on the people who surround us." You've always been there for me as a true friend and I just wanted to say, THANKS!

 

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