I am listening to Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time,” one of the musical offerings Sherman has recommended for Holy Week. I don’t know the piece; perhaps it is the title that has drawn me, given that we’re going through this Covid-19 pandemic. It’s not the End of Time, but still…
I take out a file folder that holds the church bulletin for my father’s funeral. The actual anniversary—April 3 (2004)—has passed, but what I remember more is that he was buried, at age 93, on Maundy Thursday that year. Coincidentally, if that is the right word, my mother died on Holy Saturday, 1984, in her 71st year. I recall being part of a small church group on the Monday of Holy Week, five days before my mother’s death. During a meditation, the title of a song came to me. It was “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.”
Remembering my parents during Holy Week makes me sad until I think about the gifts they gave me and my sister.
Today I re-read the Remembrance I gave at my Dad’s funeral, which was held in St Raphael’s Episcopal Church in Ft Myers Beach. (My parents moved to Florida after Dad’s retirement in 1973.) I’ll share some of that Remembrance, embellished a bit by today’s musings:
“Thank you, Dad, for all you gave Linda and me when we were growing up—and for the good times we shared in these last few years despite your struggles with the loss of independence. Thank you for encouraging us to love sports by driving us to endless tennis lessons and tournaments, basketball practice and softball games and by being there to cheer us on. Thanks for buying us bikes and skis, for paying for swim lessons at the Y, for sending us to summer camp for two weeks each year.
From our births, you and Mom took us to church – first in Montreal where we were baptized, then in the Boston area after we moved there when we were small. We joined the Sunday School, junior choir, youth group. My love of the written word comes from growing up with the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. My earliest inklings of social (in)justice stem from a visit to a Black church in inner-city Boston with our youth group. Thank you, Mom, for going back to work to pay for Linda and me to go to university—you, who hadn’t had that opportunity in Scotland. Thank you both for Life, Love, the values you taught us, and the Community of Saints into which you brought us. You live in us and in our children.”