Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
(“Spring and Fall: to a young child” by Gerard Manley Hopkins)
My dear Garrett,
I can’t believe that another year has gone by! It seems like the other day that I walked with you to your called place.
I clearly remember prayers said . . .
prayer for healing, prayers for life, prayers for comfort . . .
Some said that prayers were not answered, I guess mine were not strong enough, or loud enough, or maybe they did not carry the conviction that God had to answer to my demands.
Three years later though, I think prayers were answered!
We prayed for healing and healing has taken place in ways that cannot be easily described.
We prayed for life and still to this day you are a life giver in both figurative and literal ways.
We prayed for comfort and I can tell you that comfort has come like pouring rain.
Then there are the things that we did not pray for that God has so graciously given us!
Your brother Nate, whose eyes are a window to your visitation.
Freedom to live life to the fullest, knowing so well that it does not last forever
Certainty of vocation, in spite of life’s ambivalence
That day I felt the warmth of God’s Spirit as I placed my hands on your forehead and invoked God’s presence. I’ve invoked the holy many times since then . . . I’ve poured water over many heads, given crumbs (I prefer chunks) of bread to many hands, blessed many making covenants, and prayed with many others, as they too went, to their called place.
Yet, each time, I can see your eyes, I can feel your forehead, for you were and will always be the blessed saint that reminded me of God’s call to this work.
Three years . . . we still mourn, we still struggle with your “unleaving” and recognize better than ever that “sorrow’s springs are [all] the same” but we don’t mourn as those who have no hope! We know that you are with us, and will continue to be with us until we join you at the great banquet.
I’ll see you then . . .
Peace & much love, Juan+