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Living longer than Papa

Since Papa died at 62, I am now 3 years older than he ever got to be. Some days I feel like it is so unfair, I have to deal with all the aches and pains and insurance problems that he never did. Of course, he died from colon cancer that had metastasized up his spinal column and spread so far that they couldn’t do any treatment realistically.

I have friends from my parish that are 80 and 90 and close to 100 years old, so I really need to shut up about my puny problems. I am in pretty good health and so far Da’s job is covering us both insurance wise, so I really have no business complaining. I wish he would take better care of himself, but ‘if wishes were horses, beggars would ride’, as the song goes.

Today it is raining off and on, and the humidity seems to be broken for now, so it is a lovely time to be here. Next week I get to go to Trinita and work with the volunteers for a week of family development time with campers coming from Philadelphia and the local area the following week. Helping people explore how they can be good, do good, be a power for good in the providence of their daily life and with their families is an excellent way to spend some time. Wish I could do it all the time.

When I visit Ohio I like to go to where I lived as a kid, and often don’t get the chance to do it. I remember Papa telling us stories of his growing up, and how different it was at that time – sometimes I would like to share those stories with him again. Next year in Jerusalem! Or some crazy phrase that is appropriate to this kind of rambling. I am grateful that I get to go to Ohio and share some things with my sister and brother and visit with my grandkids and my friends and their kids and grandkids. Life goes on, we just need to let ourselves be of use to those in need. Be seeing you.

October Thoughts

My eldest brother Mike was born and died in October. His younger daughter got married in October so all of our family would have good memories for the month. I have many good friends born in October, and adding that wedding celebration was brilliant, it really helps us remember the good times!

One of my favorite saint’s feast day is October 15, Teresa of Avila. This year my MCA (Missionary Cenacle Apostolate – the lay branch of the Missionary Cenacle Family, all dedicated to ‘being good, doing good, being a power for good’ as Fr. Judge, a Vincentian priest who founded this family while just trying to listen to the Holy Spirit in the providence of his daily life back in 1909) retreat is October 19-21, and after struggling unsuccessfully to find someone bilingual to run the retreat, I was inspired to choose to do it on Teresa of Avila, with help from my bilingual assistant Custodian and two whose name saint is the same Teresa! She was the first woman declared a doctor of the church, back in 1970, and Dorothy Day loved her, and I found a series of books called 30 days with a Great Spiritual Teacher by Ave Maria Press, one on Teresa called Let Nothing Disturb You and another on Julian of Norwich (she is another favorite, but more on her on another day). After looking at the one on Teresa, I thought, I could do the retreat on her!

In the introduction, one of the first things that touched me was “In describing a mystical experience, Teresa wrote that her mind and eyes wanted to come with her, but they simply could not make the journey. Her senses were simply unable to withstand the presence of God. Only her soul had the stamina to be in the company of the Divine. In truth, these mystics realized what we all long to realize-intimacy with the Sacred. We are born with a yearning for God that we can try to fill with material goods and worldly accomplishments. At the end of the day, however, we are left wanting more.” —Caroline Myss, forward author of Let Nothing Disturb You

Taking the time to work on my relationship with God is always a struggle, but never fails to reward me with greater peace and trust in God. We humans have a tendency to say we trust in God, but feel the need to have control over our lives as much as possible. Taking time to be with God and listen to Her quiet voice is essential for building up that trust. God loves us, but some days it is harder to believe that than others.

These days we have been praying the prayer of Michael the Archangel, my brother’s patron saint. I can feel the support of those prayers, and look forward to spending some time on retreat, listening to the Holy Spirit and getting the strength to do what God guides me to do. Standing up for the rights of those without power, working for peace and justice for all, using active nonviolence to spread the love of God, even to my enemies—these are not easy tasks, but “Mystical experiences and intimacy with the Divine do not translate into lives of ease. Rather, they produce people of truth, strength and courage.” —Caroline Myss, ibid

My brother died at the age of 55, having served in Vietnam 40 years earlier and being exposed to Agent Orange, which is directly related to getting leukemia and lymphoma, which killed him. It never stopped him from becoming a deacon, working as a social worker, raising two wonderful girls and being a loving father and husband. Both of our parents had died before he did, and I like to think of them all up there in heaven, watching out for us and encouraging us to delve into the spiritual and grow in our relationships with God, and I trust that he will help me make this retreat a gift for all who attend, including me. After all, the main guide is the Holy Spirit!

 

 

Hectic Holy Season

This time of year, with Holy Week and Passover celebrated in the same week, is filled with solemn and joyous services, and the fulfillment of long preparations for many to enter the community formally through the sacraments of Initiation in the Catholic Church tonight.

I work for various organizations to pay the rent, and they are all busy in this time of year as well, so I try to get to the celebrations when I can, but have to miss some in order to work. This year I had to work on Holy Thursday, but am off tonight, so I hope to get to the Easter Vigil celebration.

Good Friday was filled with the Pax Christi Metro New York’s Way of the Cross across 42nd Street, which the organization has been doing for 37 consecutive years, and each year the themes and presentations are more powerful than the last. I have been part of it since 1995 or so, and a member of the Witness Committee that plans it for most of that time, so I help set up the truck and guide the people carrying the cross, among other things. It usually wipes me out so I miss the Passion Communion service at my local parish, but I was assigned to read this year, so had to be there, and am so glad! It went well and the pastor, Fr. Sean McGillicuddy, C.Ss.R., was the presider (and played Jesus in the Gospel reading of the Passion) and did a great job, as did my coreader, Christine Clark. It is always powerful, at the service we venerate the cross and do much reflecting on all the aspects of the Passion. Earlier in the week, the parish has a movie night and chose The Passion, the Mel Gibson version, which I had never seen. Our discussion afterwards was good, and fresh in my mind as we read the Passion. Jesus’ celebration of Passover was slightly different from tradition, and the words he used are the same words we use in the celebration of the Eucharist each day. Our roots in Jewish tradition remind us that we are not alone in finding God and listening to how God wants us to live. Jesus’ choice of active resistance and nonviolence brought him to this horrible death, but his witness of service and love, no matter what, fills us with hope and joy. The resurrection reminds us that violence and death do not have the last word.

I hope that you are able to spend some time reflecting on how you can be more peaceful in your daily life, and resist the evils of our present day without using violence of thought, tongue, or body – not only to others but to yourself! Peace begins with how we treat one another, and always starts with ourselves.

Blessed Passover and Happy Easter!

 

Equinox – September, oh my!

It used to be that the weeks went by quickly, now it seems it is months going by that I notice! I find it hard to believe that it is past the middle of September and soon it will be October. Still we are mostly quarantined and starting to get used to visiting with people online, though I am not very good at it yet.

Tonight we celebrate the equinox, the day each year when the day and night are equally divided. In spring, we balance eggs at the equinox moment, tonight we will bang on drums, light candles and remember that this time of going into darkness, when the night gets a little bit longer each day until the solstice, is just a few short months, though they seem longer because the night is longer than the day!

I look forward to celebrating via Zoom with Donna Henes, the urban shaman, who has been celebrating the moons and celestial auspicious occasions for almost 40 years here in New York City. I met her in her loft in Brooklyn, a friend of a friend, and lived above her for a couple years until that building was torn down for MetroTech in downtown Brooklyn. One of my loft mates helped her and the other residents get compensation for all the work we all put into our lofts, which had been sewing machine factories until we moved in, various artists and actors making gorgeous living space out of raw warehouses.

Her new (well, she’s been there over 30 years I think) space is a converted school building, also made wonderful living space by the artists who reside there now. She is just above Prospect Park, so has access to all sorts of wonderful spaces for her activities, and I look forward to when the pandemic is over so we can gather in person once again. In the meantime, one of the good things about meeting via Zoom and other online methods, we can meet whether we aren’t feeling up to going outside or are in another state or even country!

As we crawl into Autumn, getting ready to vote on November 3rd, may we be filled with energy and hope and share the love that we are given with all, especially those most in need. WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. WE WILL RESIST. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is gone, but not forgotten, not by a long shot.

All Souls’ Day and Voting

My mother was born on Nov. 2nd, the feast of All Souls in the Catholic Church, the day we pray for those who have died who aren’t quite ready to be in heaven. Her mom told her her prayers would be very powerful for those who had died, as it was her birthday. Her mother passed away on Nov. 26th the year Mama turned 7, and her father on the same day 10 years later. Mama always felt her prayers were very powerful, and taught us that ours were also very powerful, it didn’t matter when we were born.

My parents also believed their right to vote was a big responsibility, and researched very carefully for whom to vote. My father was a journalist, but Mama refused to be influenced by him, she did her own research and wouldn’t let him know for whom she was voting. In the 50s, when I was growing up, being an independent woman was difficult. She would have liked to work outside of the home, but it wasn’t done in those days. She was a wife, she stayed home, even when Papa had to do two or three jobs in order to earn enough money to support their seven children.

But she always read the paper and listened to the radio and television to hear many voices, to know what was really going on in the world. She voted in every election, not just for the President, and she encouraged all of us to be informed as well.

I have been working as a poll worker for over 30 years, and each November I am reminded that Mama would have been very glad to see me doing that civic duty, especially in November when it is near her birthday. She would have been 103 today, and though she died in 1990, I feel her strength pulsing in my veins as I do my civic duty.

I ask all those angels and saints and souls in purgatory to watch over all of us tomorrow, as we do our duty and help our country grow towards working for the common good of all.

Visiting friends

I hope to visit my friends who are homebound today. Doris is in Mary Manning Walsh and they just recently opened up for visiting. I missed Barbara’s birthday last month, my energy is very low sometimes. Haven’t found any physical problems, but some days I just don’t have the umph to go out and about. I used to think my sister was silly to only plan one thing to do a day, but that seems much more sensible nowadays.

The heat and humidity we have been experiencing is a big factor as well. We wonder how it was done in the days before air conditioning!

I look forward to seeing people, but don’t want to put them at risk, as I get out and about and may be exposed to those who have Covid but are unsymptomatic. I have been tested for antibodies, and came up negative, so it looks like I haven’t had it. My husband finally got the antibody test this week, and he has tested positive, the most you can have. He never tested positive for Covid, as we couldn’t get him tested when he was most likely sick. Now he is taking blood thinners, so can’t donate blood with antibodies in it.

We continue doing little things each day, staying safe and healthy and praying for all to do the same. Speaking out for those at risk, demonstrating for Yemen while using social distancing and masks, doing as many meetings and readings as we can via zoom and other social media. Spreading the love wherever we go.

Surgery in Time of Quarantine – Comedy Covid

Back in November of 2018, I had my 5 year colonoscopy, and they found 4 polyps, two of them quite large. None were cancer, though they were all various combinations of the kind of cells that can become cancer, left alone. We took them out, but they decided I should have a repeat colonoscopy in 3 months, to make sure they were gone and we caught it all.  In February 2019, they found a little bit of growth, also not cancer, but not benign. They took it, and decided the next one should have a tattoo on the spot, so we can see if the same spot is growing polyps again. A different person did the work, as Dr. Lu, my wonderful GI doctor, doesn’t do that tattoo surgery. Dr. Christian Hirsch did the next one, in May or so, at which no growth was found, but he did the tattoo for future reference. They recommended another colonoscopy within 6 months to a year, so March 4, 2020, I finally got it, and Dr. Lu found some growth, and referred me to Dr. Richard Whelan, who does surgery on the wall of the colon to remove sections where polyps keep coming back, who recommended surgery in 1-3 months to do just that.

Then Covid hit, and all non essential surgeries were postponed indefinitely.

Early in June, I got a call that we could reschedule the surgery for June 16, so we did. I had to get some preop work done, including an antibody test, to see if I ever actually had the virus, and I got negative results for that. 72 hours before surgery I had to be tested for the virus, and I did it on the Friday before, along with a chest xray at Lenox Hill, where the surgery will be. Got a call from the office on Monday, saying Friday was too soon, I needed to get another Covid test. I was already doing the prep (not as bad as for a colonoscopy, but pretty close), had to run up to East 77th Street and get another test (the line was much longer than it had been on Friday, but luckily my bowels behaved) or I couldn’t have the surgery! I had several calls and texts making sure I was doing the prep and that I didn’t feel ill, so the surgery was on, though now I wasn’t the first of the day, but at noon.

No one can come in with you, and they don’t have anywhere for the person who is picking you up to stay, so Daver stayed home until he was called when I was in the recovery room, which wasn’t until 5:30pm or so. Visiting hours end at 7pm, and they were keeping me overnight to make sure all was well (which they had told us to prepare for, just in case it happened). I called him as soon as I got my cell phone back, when I was in my room. The clock on the wall there said ‘5:25pm’, so I wasn’t sure when I actually got in there, I was still a little fuzzy, but he said it was shortly after they had told me I was staying overnight. I told him the surgery went well, they were pleased, but not to worry about trying to get there before 7pm, I would call him in the morning to say when to come pick me up, as it wouldn’t be before 11am and visiting doesn’t start until 1pm, so just plan on coming at 1pm and if they let me out early, I can wait in the waiting room for him downstairs. He was very relieved, as he wanted to see me, but didn’t want to waste a trip if he couldn’t see me, which would have been the case, as it takes at least an hour to get there from our apartment on the lower east side.

I arrived for check in at 9am, early for my 10am time, but they let me come upstairs. I had to wear a mask the whole time, except when I was in my room by myself. I had to answer many questions about the prep and how I was feeling and what surgery I was there for and have my vital signs taken. The anesthesiologist introduced himself, along with the nurse who would be assisting Dr. Whelan, and asked more questions and answered any I had. I had to check my valuables, which included my cell phone, glasses and backpack, so the person in charge of them had to write up a list of everything, to make sure there was accountability. There were interns working with the surgical staff, who got yelled at while escorting me to surgery, as they were to change masks before going into the surgery and the nurse was afraid they wouldn’t remember. They helped me stand in the room while others got the surgery table ready, helping me keep my arms in close so I wouldn’t accidentally touch the instrument table and cause a delay, while they tried to find a cushion they use on the surgery table to help the patient stay comfortable in a long surgery. They had a long one, but were looking for a short one. They decided to fold up the  long one so they didn’t have to wait, after testing it to make sure it wouldn’t get in the way, folded up as it was. The anesthesiologist gave it the okay, so we were ready for surgery almost by noon, a miracle in itself!

All went well, and I woke up around 5:20pm, they told me, but they wanted to leave the catheter in overnight and I would most likely be released the next morning. Dr. Whelan said they were able to get it all either endoscopically or through the colon, no laparascopic surgery or sectioning needed, no colostomy bag, no incisions in my abdomen, nothing. He will send the results of the biopsy, but it felt soft, so he was encouraged that we got it all. It was a long surgery, around 4 hours, but all went well. Not too long after that, they wheeled me into my room, which was not private, but I had it to myself, so it felt pretty good. The nurse introduced herself, and pointed out the big board where the names of the nurse and nurse’s aide, the room number and phone number were all listed. Once I got my glasses and cell phone back from where they were kept in storage, I was able to see it and call Da, my sister Mary Kay and a couple others, to let them know how it went.

They had given me a couple cookie bars – can’t think of the word! So I had water and those and given all the prep, I was fine without dinner, which I was too late for anyway. I had to use the bedpan if I had to do anything, and the nurse or assistant had to  come, as I couldn’t get out of bed because of the catheter. I had managed to avoid having to do that in 2015 when I broke my hip and had surgery to repair it, so it was weird, but manageable, and the nurses and staff were so terrific. They are overworked and underpaid, but still gave me so much support and encouragement and did everything I needed them to do and much more.

I  didn’t sleep much, but felt really good, so I was thinking of comedy monologues and skits I could write about this experience, and perhaps that will happen eventually. The interns and the doctor came by several times, the nurses recorded the vital signs when they were supposed to, though we all kept looking at the clock for what time it was, and it was always 5:25, very disconcerting! In the morning, they said I could go home around 11am, once the catheter was out. They had to record what volume I was able to give, once I was off the catheter, but that happened pretty fast, so they were happy.

After I had been in my room an hour or so, I rubbed my face and discovered I had dried up drool next to my mouth. It had been covered by the mask, so no one had seen it, and they are so short staffed that they don’t have people helping you wash your face, like I did in 2015 and couldn’t get out of bed without a nurse’s help.  A skit started forming in my head. During the night there were different nurses for that shift, and one thought I was the patient from the night before, so there were some laughs at me looking like the other old white lady who had been in my bed last night. Another skit started to form. She had left the flowers someone had brought her, so the nurse was sure I was the same person. I told her maybe she left the flowers for the nursing staff, as a gift for the wonderful care she received. I certainly wanted to do all I could for all of them.

When Dr. Whelan said I could go home, around 10am, as the urine volume was good, and I wasn’t having too much blood in my bowel movements, though they were mostly gas, and there really wasn’t any pain, the nurse took the port out of my hand and made sure I had all my stuff, and allowed me to dress myself in preparation for when Daver arrived to escort me home. She called for a wheelchair, as she didn’t want me to carry too much, no more than 5 pounds for the next few weeks, as I heal. After an hour and the wheelchair wasn’t there, I let her pick up my bag to see it wasn’t that heavy, and let me go downstairs to wait for Da in the waiting room. He arrived within 15 minutes of me getting down to the lobby, and I was able to leave.

So it goes. Be seeing you.

 

My Father was a writer

I wish I could write as well as he did. He worked as a journalist, but was always doing other jobs, looking to find a way to get published as a writer. He wrote jokes for a local radio show, picking out stories from the newspaper that would make good fun, and writing the history of his high school. My sister has his clip book from his early newspaper days, I can’t wait to be able to visit and read them with her. But I miss his letters most of all, they were so full of wonderful insights and funny stories and just great writing. My cousin Bill was a great letter writer, too. I am sorry I waited so long to discover that, each of his letters is a treasure as well.

I started saving my father’s letters soon after I moved to New York City, but wish I had every one he wrote, which started when I visited my Uncle Leo in Kansas with my Aunt Kate when I was 10 or so, and continued every time I was away from home. Sophomore and Junior year of high school, I was in the convent, so he and Mama wrote to me. She wrote once a week or so, but he wrote 2 or 3 times a week, and it was a treasure trove. He died six years after I moved to New York, when he was 62.

After Mama died in 1990, my brother Mike took Papa’s writing, as the eldest and a writer as well. After Mike died in 2000, his wife and daughters thought we should have his stuff back, so they brought it to us. Mary Kay, my sister, found in the collection a bunch of letters that Mama wrote to Papa when he was in the hospital for two months, probably when she was pregnant with me, we think. What a revelation! When she was writing to me, it was very brief, newsy, but it felt like she was only writing to make sure I heard from her – she was going through a bad time and didn’t feel Papa would represent her well.

These letters to Papa were to her love, showing him how much she needed him to come home, asking his advice about every little thing she thought of – 3 and 4 pages long, each of them! We were so upset that we hadn’t thought to read them before she passed away, to ask her about them and how she managed to live through those two months. And she drew rough sketches of the room she was wondering if they could turn into a nursery for the new baby – what an artist! I always thought my cartoonist brother Tim got his artist bent from Papa, as he was the writer. But Mama had worked as a draftswoman during the war, earning $25 an hour, before she had any children, right up to when she had Mike, their first child. She told us she was scared she would lose the baby falling off the drafting stool (she was only 5’2″), but couldn’t afford to quit before she had to when she had the baby. It never occurred to me how talented she must have been to earn that kind of money in the 40s!

When I wrote back to them, I wrote to them both, trying not to encourage putting one against the other. I never felt my letters were as good as his, but Mama saved them, so I found them after she had passed away. Good memories! One of these days I will have to look up the ones I did save, and share them with my siblings, and see if they have any of theirs as well.

And I do try to continue to write regularly, to my sister, my cousin Bill up until he passed away last month, my brother, my friends. Letters are a dying art, but I love them. Only way to get them is to write to those who will respond, so I keep it up.

And this blog helps me too. So it goes.

 

Mother’s Day in a time of pandemic

For me, since 1990 when my mother passed away, Mother’s Day is not that different. Mom is in heaven, so I do try to send Mother’s Day greetings to my sister and sister-in-law and all my friends who are mothers, and I send donations to Pax Christi Metro New York so they will be remembered by an organization that works for peace and justice, and not just spending on chocolates and flowers. After all, the first Mother’s Day proclamation in 1870 was all about working for peace and not letting mothers encourage their children to kill other mothers’ children for any reason whatsoever.

But in this time of pandemic, people can’t get together with their moms who are alive, and grandchildren can’t hug their grandparents unless they live with them. Having a mom who is no longer with us is not a problem, for once. My sister lives with our grandchildren, and are home schooled by their other grandmother, so they get to visit all the time. They did call me, thanks to my son Patrick, so I got to hear their voices on Mother’s Day. My sister called later in the day, and the two of us got to chat a while, as we do on a regular basis. I called my mother-in-law, who lives in Florida and has dementia, but she didn’t answer the phone. I spoke to her daughter, who lives with her, the day before, so I know they are doing all right, though my sister-in-law has osteoporosis and was experiencing migraines the last few weeks, so I keep on praying for them. Can’t visit, as Florida has a two week quarantine for folk from New York, and I can’t afford to go there that long.

My other sister-in-law, the widow of my oldest brother Mike, lives in Maryland and her grandkids live nearby and visit from the car for Easter and Mother’s Day, and post pictures on Facebook so we all can see them that way. Thank goodness my niece is a good photographer! I haven’t seen them in person since my sister’s 40th wedding anniversary party.

My brother calls his son and Suzanne, Bart’s mom, every week, if not every day, so they are doing well. He lives alone, but stays connected with them and us as well. We are not as good at reaching out to him as to each other, but we try.

My sister has zoom calls with her daughter who lives in Texas and her siblings, so even the ones who don’t live with her get to be in contact each week. It is not the same, but it is better than nothing.

May we all remember how to stay in touch after this is done. Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy! And share the love!

Happy Birthday in heaven

As I age, there are more people I know in heaven than here on earth, it seems.

Yesterday, my brother Brian, the second oldest of my siblings, would have been 74 years old. He died at 61 in 2007, a year younger than our father, who died in 1978 at 62 years of age.

Today, April 17th, Sr. Thomasmari Gore, MSBT, would have celebrated her birthday – she died in 2015 on Dec. 29th. I never asked her age, I think it is a rude question, especially for  someone of her generation. I hope she is celebrating with all who are up there, especially Fr. Thomas Augustine Judge, CM, ST, the Vincentian who founded the Missionary Cenacle Family (STs, MSBTs, BTMI and MCA), Mother Boniface, the first General Custodian of the Sisters (lay women with public vows) and Dr. Margaret Healy, the first General Custodian of both the MCA (lay people who are missionaries in the providence of their everyday life) and the BTMI (lay women with private vows), the lay branches of the Missionary Cenacle Family.

At this time of Corona Virus, so many are losing family and friends and are not able to gather to mourn in person. I wasn’t able to be present for Sr. Thomasmari’s funeral, as I was away in Ohio with my family. I have missed many aunts’ and uncles’ wakes and funerals because I was in New York and was not able to be there. My brother Mike missed Mama’s funeral in 1990 because he had thrown out his back driving back from Ohio, where we visited the week before her death. My brother Tim and I took pictures of her in the coffin and all the flowers, so he could see them at least. It was very weird to be taking pictures with her – our brother Matthew walked in to see what we were doing and turned right around and left. Too morbid for him! My sister-in-law and my nieces weren’t able to come for Tim’s funeral in 2008, so she took pictures of the lobby at Studio 54, where he had worked, as it was down the block from where they were seeing a show in his honor. A wonderful tribute that he appreciated, I am sure!

We need to share our stories. Though we can’t be together in person, we can call, email and write our stories to make sure those histories aren’t lost. Think of all the things you want to share about your friend or family member who has died, write them down or call someone to let them know. Shared grief is lessened, shared joy is increased, so don’t forget to share, however it works for you.

Sr. Thomasmari is the one who encouraged me to be a leader. I took Bible classes at St. Emeric’s, where she was coordinating all the classes for lay leadership there from the Bronx Pastoral Center. She saw something in me that led her to believe I could do more. I became the Religious Education Coordinator at my parish with her help. Eventually, when she was chaplain at NYU, she got me to give a talk about leadership as a woman in the Catholic Church, along with a female minister and rabbi, representing their faiths. She was instrumental in many women’s lives, enriching us with stories of faith and empowerment from many cultures.

I visited her at the Motherhouse in Philadelphia, when she could no longer work in ministry. She was still reaching out to see what more could be done for the communities with whom she had worked. She had worked with the Chinese community in Philadelphia for many years, and treasured her statue of Mary from their culture. She tried to get me to connect with them.

My brother Brian, at our brother Mike’s funeral in 2000, said ‘I couldn’t get this many people to come to my funeral if I gave out free beer!’ Mary Kay, our sister, and her husband were there to say goodbye to Mike in the ER in MD/DC, but she and Dr. Ray went back to Ohio before the funeral. Ray had patients to see. All Brian’s siblings, Monica his outlaw wife, and friends were able to be there for him in November of 2007 in Ohio, but it was a small crowd. We put up pictures from his life, filling two cardboard sheets, and told many stories, but we want to hold on.

They are missed. Don’t forget. Share the love.

Be seeing you.