Wednesday, April 27, 2011


his Easter Sunday my wife and I sang in Sr. Gloria’s choir. It was again a most beautiful celebration of new life—Christ risen from the dead. More wonderful than ever was to see this truth in the bright smiles of your children, and children’s children bouncing back at you across the pews.

Sam, always the most persistent squirmer of our four kids at mass, was now holding up his 3 ½ year old Carly so she could better hear and see. She was certainly impressed at how grand her Tuesday babysitters looked in choir gowns. Well above the crowd with eyes beaming with pride and smile ear to ear she gave grandpa & grandma a thumbs up full of her white bows, golden bangs and yellow print dress. Her smiles echoed through other choir members, and we tried not to, as we both sang a special Easter Sequence story of the tomb found empty—death conquered forever by nonviolent love and mercy. “O praise the Lamb.” The unexpected King. May this reign extend far and wide.
Just before, Carly’s one year old sister Addy, in matching yellow print & white bows, had been clapping in time to “let us rejoice” lyrics of the Psalm. This pleasantness then alternated with bouts of fussiness that sent Sam & Kristin at various point to the outer edges of church with her. They are both making the commitment to share faith with their children, and it warms us heart and soul. Our oldest daughter Maura, very busy with a start-up business that takes her coast to coast, had been able at last minute to come home, and came to Holy Trinity early to save a place for brother Sam & family as they bustled into town from Flint.
We were blessed by a pew full of our family’s growing faith in front of us, and our parish community round about us. Only missing at that moment were our two Manhattan daughters--may the Lord bless and keep them.

In Sam’s early college years he and I often crossed swords. As issues continued to clash, he’d sometimes say, “Dad, when I get married I want to take my kids to church.” I wondered. Then at his own pace he made the good decisions that led to this very place.

At end of service it seemed like everyone in the church was resplendent. The sun broke through the clouds outside—new life. And next week we are to celebrate Sam’s graduation from a CRNA master’s level nurse anesthetist program at MSU. He’s worked towards this goal steadily for almost 8 years, from an orderly caring for bodily needs of the old folks, to responsible for life breath in the operating room. I felt a prompting inside—here came scripture, and a wellspring of respect for him. As Sam and Kristin gathered their kids to leave midst the greetings of our church friends. I took his shoulder gently in hand, and said aside to him clearly, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” He simply smiled, beyond all possible misconceptions, “Thanks Dad.”
Sam Addy Kristin Maura Ande Carly
Easter bonnets provided by Kay Jurgens, Photo by MM
Illumination by Kathy Brahney
Happy Easter--Earth Day 2011--May Resurrection Confirm us in Healing the Planet

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