Tag Archives: death

Lessons Learned Beside My Father’s Deathbed

Rifling through my closet, I was deciding what to pack in my suitcase. Having forgotten exactly what to expect from January weather in Florida, I’d already pulled an equal number of jeans and shorts from my dresser drawers. Now I was left trying to figure out which dress to take.

My stay was going to include a Sunday so I knew that I would want something appropriate to wear to church. But standing there in the center of my closet, I realized there was a real possibility that I would be attending a funeral, too. The frock I chose would have to serve two purposes if I expected to keep my baggage minimal. I chose a simple, black, cotton dress which was well suited for the double duty of Mass and funeral attire.

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prayer beads

A Stranger’s Gift and Adam’s Lasting Memory

Eleven o’clock on a Saturday, I found myself doubling back through the church parking lot in a frantic attempt to secure a spot for our big family van. Anticipating sparse attendance, I had left home with a bare minimum of time to spare, but from the looks of the overflowing lot my assumption had been wrong.

Conceding a legitimate space was no where to be found, I stopped the engine beside a landscaping bed and ushered my children out.

Seconds after we’d crossed the social hall, someone swung open the heavy church door allowing the music to escape.

Like a punch to the gut, the cantor’s familiar words reminded me of why I was here on this chilly February morning. “How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me,” she sang. Tears surfaced as I tried to absorb the reality of that line.

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