"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday 13 February 2015

A Day Like Any Other...Yet Not

We  passed through Perth three weeks ago on the way to Dwyer Hill. A place outside Richmond which is outside Perth.

Dwyer Hill doesn't have a population figure because it's  not so much a place as an  area. Our destination was St Claire's Catholic Church in  Dwyer Hill, congregation between sixty- five and seventy families.

On that day, it seemed everyone was present to celebrate the life of Tom Brown who was born and raised among them.

Tom was married to  Susan my neice and father  to Cindy and Kristopher .

Susan  and Tom had been together for twenty years. She waited a long time to find the right man.

Their lives were recently blessed with Zoe,a six month old carbon copy of her mother Cindy.
Tom was re-living the  joy of daily life with Zoe and her mother.

Then  suddenly he was gone.

No warning. No goodbye. He sat down at table to enjoy a coffee and never had  the first swallow.

The church that day was full of light. Statues of  all the familiar saints were in situ. Plus  one other.

St Patrick was larger than all the rest, clad in full bishop regalia complete with  Staff.

Stations  of the Cross were framed pictures on the walls. Affluence was conspicuous in its absence.

The parish priest was not far short of retirement.. I often think it must be hard to think of something original  to comfort each grieving family after thirty or fortty years in the business.

He told of going  to the funeral of a friend's son, younger than Tom  who died after a long and terrible battle. He needed fresh inspiration and to hear how another priest might find the words .

He came up with an image of Tom arriving at the Gate, being asked for documentation to prove right of entry, producing his Certificate of Baptism and being ushered right on through.

I am paraphrasing.

My children ,Sue's cousins ,were present and three grandchildren,none of them children. We occupied a pew and dared not meet each other's eyes.

We had a good visit in the parish hall.

With tears streaming, Sue  took the stage and raised her arm in a toast (in single malt) "to Tom, a
Hell of a Lover "

The women  of the parish spread a nice table. The brownies had just the right moistness with
walnuts. Date squares, lemon slices, lemon loaf and banana loaf were all to hand

Andy brought a supply of single malt for anyone who felt the need. We drank it in a single swallow
out of small paper butter cups. We hugged and talked and shared the moment and when all was said, left  for the  long drive home , feeling glad to have been in Dwyer Hill on that wintry Saturday afternoon.

We drove back as we went on Highway 7.
Andy and Heaher seldom out of sight in their vehicle.
Theresa  driving mine.
Stephanie in the back seat exchanging texts with Heather and Robin.

The brothers took the 401. We were home first.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking me on your trip...

Anonymous said...

You are like Michelangelo with words.

Anonymous said...

A person with even a soup├žon of humility or self-awareness wouldn't have published 14:03's comment.

Anonymous said...

Sure she would - with a great big grin of amusement.