Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Death of a family man.

Grandpa launches son Greg
My sweet grandpa is in his last days, at home on hospice care. He's not eating much anymore, and the nurse has explained that that is normal--when a person is ready to die, feeding the body no longer makes sense.

He's started hearing a lot of phantom music and seeing phantom people--but mostly babies. Not his dead mother or father or wife or adult son or any of his 13 dead siblings.....but unidentified little babies. I've never heard accounts of dying people seeing mostly babies, and I find it curious. It could of course just be a hallucination--a figment of his imagination, but even if it is, it probably speaks to the unique workings of his mind. Maybe a conscious or subconscious awareness of how his current struggle is nothing more than being born into a strange new world, just as he was 91 years ago? Or maybe thinking back on his life and the most important moments, his imagination is drawn to the little ones he has cherished and the expansion of his beloved family?

On the other hand, my religious faith suggests that there's a very real possibility he's seeing something that's actually there, albeit in a different dimension. Could the babies be those of his great-grandchildren that he will meet in the next world rather than in this one? Maybe including the little one who was born just a few days ago here in Utah? Could some of those be ones I've left stranded by my long spinsterhood?
Grandpa rocking granddaughter Kelly

I have full confidence in the ability of Grandpa to help the babies get sorted out, whatever they want from him. And if he has to advise some of them to just give up on me and sign on for the next Jolie-Pitt delivery, they should take his advice. He's a good man who has his head on straight, even if he's seeing phantom babies. BECAUSE he's seeing phantom babies. Babies are the future, the new cool thing--and heaven is not just restoring the lost past, but adding upon the present. My grandpa gets that, even as he fades away, because he's the ultimate family man.  Kiss the babies for me, Grandpa!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The world is many and is mad, but we are sane and we are one.

I've been down the last three months, and my good dead friend Gilbert Keith Chesterton has allowed me to prop my chin up on his big warm heart through the emotionally dreary winter. I've been after his prose only--he was no great poet--but I've come across some deeply felt poems for his wife that have warmed me. I posted one here (in the comments) three years ago--here are two others I just found:

Love's Trappist

There is a place where lute and lyre are broken.
Where scrolls are torn and on a wild wind go,
Where tablets stand wiped naked for a token,
Where laurels wither and the daisies grow.

Lo: I too join the brotherhood of silence,
I am Love's Trappist and you ask in vain,
For man through Love's gate, even as through Death's gate,
Goeth alone and comes not back again.

Yet here I pause, look back across the threshold.
Cry to my brethren, though the world be old,
Prophets and sages, questioners and doubters,
O world, old world, the best hath ne'er been told!

Creation Day

Between the perfect marriage day
  And that fierce future proud, and furled,
I only stole six days--six days
  Enough for God to make the world.

For us is a creation made
  New moon by night, new sun by day,
That ancient elm that holds the heavens
  Sprang to its stature yesterday--

Dearest and first of all things free,
  Alone as bride and queen and friend,
Brute facts may come and bitter truths,
  But here all doubts shall have an end.

Never again with cloudy talk
  Shall life be tricked or faith undone,
The world is many and is mad,
  But we are sane and we are one.