Monday, January 31, 2005

Happy Birthday, Joe...We Miss You

Folks -

Nothing new to report on Monday, just reflecting on what would have been brother Joe's 52nd birthday. Joe left us all too suddenly nearly eight years ago after a sudden illness. Joe, who gives Alexander his middle name (although, sadly, their lives never intersected), was a complex man - at home with either the works of Homer or the humor of Homer Simpson - as I said in my eulogy for him.

The best and last word on the matter may come from Baltasar Gracián, the 17th century Spanish Jesuit philosopher, whose words serendipitously turn up on Jan. 31 on our thought-for-the-day calendar.

''Sometimes it proves the highest understanding not to understand.''

Joe's picture looks down on us from the window ledge at the dining room table and I know he's another guardian angel for us. I have no doubt his works in heaven helped see my liver transplant to its successful conclusion.

God bless you, Joe, and happy birthday.
We miss you.

5 Comments:

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,

I'm very sorry for your loss. I hope you are having a good day despite the anniversary of your brother's passing, which much be very hard.

Since I know you like poems, I hope you might like this one. I read it at my father's funeral, as it speaks of dying too young (he was just 72, but full of life). It's very beautiful; I love it.



To An Athlete Dying Young, by Alfred Edward Houseman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
Afer earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gase the strengthless dead,
And find unwhithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girls.

- Barbara and Grace

 
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