“Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants, beyond my fears,
from death into life.”
—Marty Haugen (based on Psalm 23)
I don't think I've ever posted this late before. Dave and I got back from St. Louis on Friday, and we're still recovering. We were there for his mother's funeral mass, which was held at St. George Catholic Church, a beautiful old church in the neighborhood where he grew up.
My father-in-law passed away several years ago, and I always had a hard time thinking of Dave’s parents separately—even after his dad died. It was always “Leroy and Mary Ann” (or, as I called them, Miss Mary and Gorgeous:) They had that wonderful kind of marriage where one didn’t seem whole without the other.
Dave has always loved that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where Toula’s mom explains that the man is the head of the family “but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants.” He said it reminded him of his mom and dad.
I’ll miss his mom’s sweet smile and her pretty hair, which was always “done.” I’ll miss hearing about her courtship with Gorgeous. (He was in a club called the Cobras—“good Catholic girl meets Cobra and falls in love”—it’s a movie waiting to happen.) I’ll miss seeing Dave deep in conversation with his mother at her kitchen table. But at the same time, I’m happy for her because she’s reunited with her Leroy and with God.
Miss Mary’s passing was the third loss for Dave and me in two weeks—all dear loved ones, painful to let go. Being separated from them feels so unnatural. But I think it’s supposed to. I’ve been re-reading some of Reverend Timothy Keller’s books, and he talks about the sense we all have that something’s not right here on earth—that things here are not as God originally created them, in perfect harmony and unity. It’s like a homesickness that we feel, a longing to get back to His garden, so to speak. Those followers who have gone before us are there already.
My precious friend Jane loved music, and she especially enjoyed introducing me to a beautiful new song that she had discovered so we could play it together on piano and organ. The choir at Miss Mary’s mass sang a piece that made me think of Jane because she would’ve been as moved by it as I was. It’s by Marty Haugen, based on the 23rd Psalm, and it’s called “Shepherd Me, O God.”
Love and light to you this Sunday.
[Sunflower image by David Vidmar @ Freerangestock.com]