#dadupdate – Funeral Arrangements

05/06/2016

Sometime during the first overtime.

Reality walloped me.

Right in the back of the skull. Like an accelerating two by four.

Like a battering ram. Reality came crashing through the walls of my defenses.

We got home around … hell, I don’t remember … 10:30? It was the third period of the hockey game. That’s all I know.

Sharks and Preds. Game four. Round two.

That’s how I tell time during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I’m not joking.  The world sorta stops for a few hours almost every single night for two months. A playoff game is on!

And it’s thanks to Dad that I watch with such fanatical fervor.

Like a kid. Still. Almost 58 years old.

That’s a topic for another time. More later.

But this week… and more particularly on this night… things are different.

I sat on the right edge of the bed. My side. TV on. Hockey game on. Kathy sawing logs behind me.

I’d taken my contacts out, so I was pretty much blind. Didn’t bother finding my glasses. I sat there and stared at my smartphone.

I looked at some Facebook notifications, posts and comments that Facebook decides are important to me. I saw Doug’s post about Dad’s funeral arrangements. Then Stephanie’s post.

I  shared Stephanie’s post on my Facebook page. Then I decided to share the actual obituary.


Earlier in the evening, before we left Mom and Dad’s house, I made the last-minute decision to cancel my appointments this morning.

It was too late to call anyone. I have a rule not to call a client after 9 PM. I sent texts and emails to cover all the bases.

One client acknowledged me immediately via text and asked for details about Dad’s services. I wanted to share a link to the obit.

The obit on the funeral home’s mobile website didn’t appear to be shareable. Before I shared it with my client, I tested it out to see what page opened when I typed the address into my browser.

It took me to a generic page for Simkins Funeral Home.

“Well, that’s no good. I want to give him information, not send him on a wild goose chase. He’s being very kind.”

I wanted whatever I sent to be complete information… didn’t want to make him work to answer his own question.

There was a link to the full website. That’s what I was looking for. Clicked on the obits. Clicked on Dad’s name.

There was his obit. With that great picture.

Was the link shareable? That was the most important part of this experiment.

I tested it.

Yes. That link took me directly to Dad’s complete obituary.

I sent the link to my client.


So there I was, sitting on the bed. After sharing Stephanie’s Facebook post, I decided to share this direct link to the full obituary.OI2047625967_Kwiecinski

Countless numbers of people have replied to Facebook posts and have sent me personal messages.

I haven’t seen most of them. We’ve been too busy with funeral arrangements, the cemetery, funeral Mass prep, fighting traffic…

As I sat on the edge of the bed, TV no more than four feet away (all I can see are shadows without glasses or contacts), I read some of the messages.

All of the emotions of the words written by friends and family welled up inside of me as I read and responded.

But none of the words hit me harder than gazing at that picture of Dad’s smiling face.

I’ll never see your smiling face again.

I’ll never hear another smart-ass wisecrack.

Doesn’t it look like he’s got one on his lips?

One look at that picture and tears flooded my eyes. I sobbed hysterically. And I pretty much haven’t stopped since.

I’ll never hear him tell me “Love you, Dave” again.

I’ll never hear his voice. I’ll never hear his laugh.

I’ll never kiss his puckered lips again.

Yes, we kissed each other on the lips.

Men, if you don’t kiss your Dad, start. Look directly into his eyes. Tell him you love him. While looking directly into his eyes.

And give him a kiss. Doesn’t have to be on the lips. But if you kiss your Mom on the lips, find a way to start kissing your Dad on the lips. Or on the cheek. Make it tender. Make it loving. Make it heartfelt.

I’ll never get to do it again.

Here’s Dad’s obituary:

http://www.simkinsfh.com/obits/obituary.php?id=602989

 

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Divine Mercy Novena: Day Eight – Easter Friday

04/01/2016

Today is the Mass of Christian Burial for Reverend Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation

Did Mother Angelica ascend to Heaven? Were her 5,207 days of suffering enough? She suffered a brain hemorrhage on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2001. She died last Sunday, Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016. Was that sufficient suffering? Her Purgatory here on Earth?

We can all hope that the Lord kept her here, to suffer in silence for most of those days, the great communicator that she was, so that she doesn’t have to endure further purification in Purgatory.

But…

just in case…

… pray for her soul.

For we don’t know if her body is yet perfected.

There’s a little more here:

Today is also Day 8 of the Divine Mercy Novena

Jesus said to Saint Faustina

Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.

Our prayer:

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

 

Follow this short novena prayer by praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Please click this link, http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/chaplet.php, to visit the website of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for resources on how to pray The Chaplet.

Novena paragraphs excerpted from
“The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, ‘Divine Mercy in My Soul’”
© Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

The Divine Mercy Image, displayed outside The Chapel of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Marytown, Libertyville, Illinois, when it was on display, August 2014.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 and continuing through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday, and finally to the Feast of Mercy. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.


Forgive and DON’T Forget!

03/01/2016

Revenge is so, so sweet, isn’t it?

If you prefer to watch and listen to this message, here’s a link:

I remember… Freshman year in college, Steve gave Jane and Jeannette access to our room in Gardner Hall. Room 307. The girls sewed the fly on our underwear shut and sprinkled crackers in our dresser drawers.

It took a little sleuthing to figure it all out, who did the deed, how they got in our room, but Bruce and I got to the bottom of it.

And… we got our revenge all right!

We stole a couple of whole pies from Baxter Hall (the cafeteria) and decorated Steve’s car.

Ohhhhh…. we had the last laugh, didn’t we?

Oh, sure, it was a tame prank on both sides. No big deal. No harm done. Just a little college prank.

Only, to do it, we had to steal. And then we had to inflict damage on someone’s property.

It was a silly prank. It was a silly revenge. Nobody got hurt. We exchanged many laughs about it over the years.

Thank God.

Often, revenge is about a lot more serious matters. I’ve been party to or had knowledge about some of those, too.

Year of Mercy

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 18:21-35), Peter asks Jesus if we have to forgive someone seven times. What does Jesus say about that?

We have to forgive someone seventy-seven times!

That’s a lot of forgiving.

But that’s what we’re called to do.

It ain’t easy!

After telling Peter to forgive his brother 77 times, he tells the parable of the king who forgave the enormous debt of one of his officials.

The official begged for mercy. The king is moved with compassion and forgives the debt.

But not soon after, the king learns that the same official — after the king had shown him great mercy — confronts a servant who owed him a small amount, chokes the guy, demands his money, and has him thrown in prison.

What do you think the king does?

He punishes the official. And now he says “pay me what you owe me.”

Jesus says that His Heavenly Father will do the same to us unless we forgive from the heart.

Forgive and Don’t Forget!

Heard a little of Father Paul Scalia’s homily from the funeral of his father, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Father Paul reminded us that his dad still required our prayers. He wasn’t a saint yet! A bleak reminder that we’re all subject to Purgatory, which the Catholic Church teaches as referenced in the Book of Revelation.

If someone wrongs us, can’t we offer up our forgiveness and the pain it caused us as intercession for the souls in Purgatory? How about offering it up for the deceased members of our family? How about offering it up for the person who wronged us?

If we canonize our deceased relatives too soon, we forfeit an opportunity to pray for forgiveness of their sins. We fail to show them mercy.

It’s all a mystery. But so is Original Sin. It’s the imperfection of our human body, our human mind, our imperfect soul. We need to be perfected.

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday. I will also explore other matters of faith and also health and fitness to keep us fit for the journey. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.

 


What Gets You Through Hard Times?

02/22/2016

The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.  –  Psalm 23:1

My thoughts:

 

 

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Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read and listen to my thoughts. My commitment during Lent 2016 is to post a daily video reflection to help you and me on our walk through the season and toward Easter Sunday. I will also explore other matters of faith and also health and fitness to keep us fit for the journey. Click here for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/davekwiecinski

I appreciate your help and encouragement. Please let me know how I can help you. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.


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