A Conversation with Jean – June 27, 2017

“Hey – Happy Birthday.

90 years ago, little Jean arrived at the Butler house in South Buffalo. You already know all this, but I just wanted to specially frame your coming into this world. 90 years is a fairly long time, and since you left before you were 86, I wanted you to know that you still live on. It’s taken me a while to realize it, but even if you are not here with me on this planet, you are still here within me. Plus, you got surrogates that range from your children on down through our relatives and friends. They all remind me of you. Not only that, but they, like you, support me, too.

OK, so what’s going on?

Here’s the run down. First, you’re going to like this. For a lot of reasons. It’s your first grandchild getting married, and she is a girl with all the accompanying excitement of a girl’s wedding. It was a doozey. Second, she married a guy named John Kennedy. How you loved President Kennedy and all the excitement in his life. Well, in my book, Theresa outdid him in spades. He is a boy you would instantly love. He and his family come from South Buffalo. One of his brothers is a politician from there, just like your uncle John. On and on. Such a fit…

But, here’s to my mind, the most exciting part. And would you believe it I missed it. My endurance quotient expired about 9:30 PM at the reception celebration at the Mark IV hotel in Buffalo, and I went up to bed. I learned the next morning that the whole shebang closed with a rendition of New York, New York, being led by your granddaughter high kicking just like she and Colleen did with you, just before they went home. I was so sorry I missed that. But, anyway, you were there in full form in that dance.

Take a look at your original version…

Such a memory reenacted!
25 years later. Same original partners, plus about 150 more.

Went with Annie to Patty and Jim’s on May 29th to celebrate Memorial Day at their usual outdoor party. A lot of left over Fagans (from Theresa’s wedding) were still in town, along with most of their usual assortment of neighbors. We missed Margaret, and she, like you, was there with us, even though not physically. You both must have been, because it was such a nice late spring day.

Been going to a lot of most inspiring programs at St. Louis Church being led by my good friend Kathryn McAlarney, whose husband’s ashes lie next to yours. Someday, we’ll all have the opportunity to talk about that, and how it happened. She is a most unusually talented person who has the power to bring people together in a most sacred, and at the same time, pleasing way. We talk about both of you a lot.

Steve McAlpin, with whom I’m going to Europe, attends many of Kathryn’s classes with me and appreciates her programs as well. Not only that, but others from all those different worlds in which I now travel, are involved in her programs. She is officially titled: Pastoral Associate, and probably is as close to being a Priest as any Catholic woman will ever be. She is a rare person. You will like her when we all get together.

Judy Burns, also, is from one of those other worlds. She is a thrice published author who contributes to our website Seniors Ink. She started the Osher writing class with me in 2013. Obviously, she made a lot more progress, but like all those with whom I now associate, has the ability to let her heart be her guide, and as a result gives of herself. In this instance she gave a party at her home in Greece for a whole bunch of her friends, three of whom are in Kathryn’s world.

What I’m saying here is that people who write learn to talk from the heart. Their heart. Different hearts, but same stories. Stories that, like you always went where truth is found. That same truth that leads to faith and trust. The faith and trust that my life with you has manifested. We know each other by our hearts. A great lesson you taught me. It is what keeps us conversing even to this day and in this letter.

Lost at Bridge again. Not the Booby Prize, but nearby. So far I’m doing what Charlie Brown wishes; “Win a few – Lose a few.” Wait till next year!

OK, so this coming Saturday I’m off for Europe. I’ll have a whole bunch of stuff for you. I’ll probably be posting a lot on Seniors Ink and Relighting Us, but I will have special stories for you. Gonna give it a shot while I’m still able. Meanwhile, Mike and his family and I went to the Dorntge Reunion in West Virginia. Not so hot a resort, but great family get together. Wrote a story titled: “Dorntgehood,” and passed out about 20 copies. Maybe some of them will start to put their stories on our sites. Be a great way to keep our spirits together, just like we are doing. I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile Patty did post the Dorntgehood story on Relighting Us.

Talk to you when I get back, or soon thereafter.”

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