Friday, May 9, 2014

Alex liked the music of Rich Dittus, especially "Welcome Home"

Two weeks before Alex died he sent one of our neighbors, musician Rich Dittus, a facebook message letting him know how much he enjoyed his song Welcome Home. It happens to be a song about confession. About reconciling with God. About the boundless Mercy of God. Rich was kind enough to send me the note back in 2010, but I just stumbled upon it today and decided to share it:

Very good album. I'm not really into christian music, but this was too good not to buy. Welcome Home lryics are well done.  July 15, 2010 at 9:20pm

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy Birthday, dear Alex.

Starting on March 31 of every year we go through six birthdays in one 31 days. JP is first, then Sister Mary Consolata on April 19, Joey on April 25, Mary on April 28, then Alex on April 29, and finally Robby on April 30. I think all those birthdays - all that celebration and gratefulness for the gift of these brothers and sisters (sons and daughters) helps to make Alex's birthday sweet instead of sad.

If things had worked out as "planned", Alex would be graduating from Ave Maria University in May. (He would be 23 - I got it wrong in the video.)

We sure do miss this cute little guy - God was so kind to give him to us.

Happy 23rd Birthday Alex!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A glimpse under the veil

I practically fell out of my bed.

A few days ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and this first stanza was in my head complete, accompanied by a rare intense feeling of dear Alex’s presence – it hurt but it felt so good. It seemed like a glimpse under the veil. I stopped and tapped it into my phone because it was so overwhelming to me and I did not want to lose the words:

Go and speak no more
Yet I will surely listen
All the day long
And all through the night

Those words are not any I had ever spoken or thought prior to the dream. So I had to try to figure out their meaning. I understand them as words I address to Alex, and they describe what I expect most parents experience when they lose a child. Often awake at night. Always on our mind, hoping in vain to have just one more chance to talk, but realizing the communication must be very different now.  

Right away I decided to write some additional stanzas, feeling so strongly inspired. I wiped my eyes and blew my nose, emailed it all to myself, told my wife, and went back to bed. I actually forgot about it until today I found it in my inbox and decided to share it here:

Yearning as I do 
Pining for a glimpse
I know that it’s true
Far too many hints

So I carry on
Through this shadowed truth
Cloudy but so clear 
Yes You are, forsooth

Oh please lift the veil
Lift it all away
I know that you will
This is why I pray

Those three stanzas are addressed to God, affirming to Him (and I suppose more so to myself) that even though I don't understand it all, I have hope, I trust in His way, I have faith in His promises, and I long for what He offers. May it always be so for me and for you.