""Blessings Strengthen life and feed life just as water does." Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

This blog is a digital blessing bowl, a place to record the small blessings that are often missed or forgotten but which make life holy. Feel free to add your own blessings to my blessing bowl. Or perhaps you'll be encouraged to start your own.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

". . .and ever so much life, in a word, will remain."

It's been a long hiatus - no posts in almost four years! And what follows is not my own - this just seems to be the best way to share it.

This afternoon Facebook presented me with a memory, as it often does.  But this was more than a memory - it was a link to some of the last words my brother wrote, a Caringbridge post from April 24, 2012.  He died August 19, 2012.

My brother was sharing good news from his MRI results and the heading was "The Blessing of a Clear MRI!!).  After describing the agonizing wait for the MRI results he wrote:

"Never give up hope.  To paraphrase Van Morrison on A Brand New Day: 

When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
Well it shines so bright
And it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Make me feel so free
Makes me feel like me
And lights my life with love.

As I contemplate the difficult events of the last several years with the death of my father, my illness, the death of a dear cousin's grown daughter, the death of a good friend's father, the death of a brother-in-law's younger brother, the death of a kind neighbor, and many other deaths and critical illnesses of loved ones, friends and acquaintances ... and their loved ones, I am counseled by the profound words of Henry James as he counseled a good friend:

We all live together, and those of us who love and know, live so most.  We help each other – even unconsciously, each in our own effort, we lighten the effort of others, we contribute to the sum of success, make it possible for others to live.  Sorrow comes in great waves, but it rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us it leaves us on the spot and we know that if it is strong we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain.  It wears us, uses us, but we wear it and use it in return, and it is blind, whereas we after a manner see.  Sorrows will pass, and serenity and the tenderness of a few good people, and new opportunities and ever so much of life, in a word, will remain.

Bless you all as you follow me in this journey through the wilderness, and as you endure your own journey, and watch and share in the tremendous suffering that we as humans are destined to encounter.  You have contributed so much and kept me from smothering in my own sadness and sorrow."

As my brother was counseled by the words of Henry James 5 years ago, I am counseled by them now.  I count it a blessing that Facebook sent me back to Caringbridge, to this memory, to these words. 

If I look at this picture of Ricky, I can almost imagine him speaking these words of Henry James to us all.

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