11:11AM Numbers and Names, Dates of Death, Chapter and Verse, Memory and Meaning and the Meek, Hero or Saint; I have been blessed to meet them all.
Let me begin that God did not direct me, nor did anyone guide me to seek, locate the memorials to family that precede me in death. No Epiphany has yet occurred. However, sadness, moments of happiness, gratitude and guilt and a desire to find a moment of inner Peace found me. I did see coincidence, perhaps faith. I hope my memories are those of my family. I pray I learn, more important to retain.
Here are numbers and dates from those funeral memorial cards I save. Although I am not devout, I was born and baptized a Catholic first and foremost. To my parents, my gratitude.
Names - Date of Death
Stanley A. Grzymkowski June 10, 1973 Devoted Father
Stella T. Grzymkowski June 11, 1989 Dearest Mother
Madeleine V. Cook June 15, 2002 Former-Mother-in-Law Saint*
Wanda V. Sabelski June 30, 1999 Aunt, Godmother
Antonia Kapeluch July 14, 2001 Devoted Mother, Saint**
John Shumski July 15, 2003 Friend, devoted Father
Jim Sabelsky April 17, 2009 Cousin
Gregory Grzymkowski October 13, 2012 Brother
Norma Wegrzynowicz Jan 3, 2015 Cousin, Inspiration
Rev Michael A Donovan February 6, 2013 Priest, Scholar,Teacher
Yes, there are those I have missed, however these are the first that come to mind. To me I find some sort of continuity in their lives, dates of death and most importantly their impact, even if small at the time. I shall never forget. I could write a thousand words about each, but it would not do them justice.
There are those who were born in the same month, died within same month but all lived exemplary lives.
For example, my cousin Norma the most recent I came to realize all the good in her, the ever present smile, outlook and love for Stanley, her children and grandchildren. She was mother, friend and true mentor or model in life.
In death I only came to appreciate the Courage inherent in my older brother Greg who selflessly fought to save the lives of his "brothers" in Vietnam. My heart goes out to Shelley his spouse, to his children who overcame so much to find success and wonderful grandchildren.
Madeline Cook was my brother Greg, first mother-in-law. I can recall visiting her on my way to a conference to Flint and probably the longest and most meaningful conversation. Only upon her death did I read of her entire life, her devotion to God, the Catholic Church and her love for all her children and grandchildren. Her Life, quiet and unassuming as it was; I came to find something most extraordinary in death. At that very day of her funeral, I faced a very dark time. For what reason I do not know, but I invoked her help and she answered.
It followed the funeral mass for Norma did I learn from a priest in attendance I learned of the passing of Father Mike, Pastor of St. Donald's Parish, Roseville. Father Donovan became a mentor and inspiration to me. I found him to be the most intellectual and knowledgeable priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He loved and served his parish members first and foremost. He built a strong church in an area where attendance had fallen. His knowledge of theology, middle eastern religions, the countries and culture, astronomy, economics were the tools of his ministry.
St. Donald's Church, the structure itself looks unlike any other grand churches built anywhere in within the Diocese. While other parishes began to flounder, lose members St. Donald's flourished in at least faith and loyalty. Where many parishes became dependent upon the Archdiocese for financial support, Father Mike managed to pay all debts, became self sustaining and began to build an "endowment fund" that would support the parish in the future and beyond his days.
The Archbishop, in all his wisdom decided to close St. Donald's as churches were poor parishes failed. I suspect the decision to close St. Donald's was based not on failure but success. The Archdiocese no doubt was jealous of its' success, the debt they owed Father Donovan as a model for others to follow. The fact that they did not follow his example for so many years only would serve an embarrassment to the Diocese on Washington Blvd.
They closed the doors. Father Donovan became saddened and disappointed. Where he might expect affirmation from the bureaucracy of a self-serving, money focus church he came to be banished to a small, insignificant parish as a part-time priest. He died on February 6, 2013 not long after reassignment.
The cleric who informed me of his passing spoke not of any physical ailment as cause. For where Father Donovan toiled in the olive garden of the Archbishop, he received no praise, no recognition, no elevation. Politics I suspect was at play as well. The priest to whom I spoke could only come up with one cause.
"I suspect Father Mike died of a broken heart." I know his pain. Father, forgive them as they know not what they do.
A Draft to come...
Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called Children of God.
-- Matthew 5:9
august 24, 2015
It is Monday. the time is 11:11 AM. It is another day when I awake with my mind in a fog and shaking cobwebs and nightmares rather than cautiously optimistic, my direction is just not right.
I try to gather my thoughts, recent memories of what has past that should direct my tasks for the day. I cannot locate them. I am adrift.
Rather than scream and panic, I begin to think of whom I can call? The mind in a millisecond responds. So, I proceed in my true A.D.D. mode of scurrying about my cell. Coffee, blinds open to the Son, the cell for a message, TV for news and my PC for more of the same.
I check the flag of the USA to assure myself it is flying unfurled. I gaze down at the flower garden below. It only reminds me of the toil, the sweat, the heat and tears. The garden in itself is not the source of my tears. It is because I reflect on just why I labor there.
For reasons unknown, I go to my files and locate all those "In memoriam" cards from the many funerals of the past. Yes, most I have saved. Some came to me from my dear mother upon her death.
I begin to first remember the "Dates." But why? I try to recall what each of these meant or taught me.
The memory gets a jump start from caffeine.
But first, did I take my meds? No! So I do as rote just as I return to bed. Not to sleep, but to make the bed for what do I expect to accomplish this day if I cannot perform one simple task assigned to me alone. At this vert moment I now return rto the very moment I sat to write. This was not to be a blog. This is not reality TV. Yes, my mind is moves as clouds across a blue sky, flashbacks then again to the present. Future is a faint glimpse toward an end, my fate.
I meant to post to that stupid Facebook and "My status today." So, I need pause again as I see what I had meant to begin two hours hence. To water and fertilize the flowers below my feet, a proof life exists and I dare not neglect, nor cause premature death. They must arise above me at least six feet.