Monday, August 19, 2013

I Am Because Because We Are

Initially, let me  explain why there have been no postings since Assumption Eve.  Illness and dying have taken up a part of my concerns these last several days.  As well, I have been hosting a longtime friend who is visiting Washington and his friends.

In your prayers this morning, I ask you to remember in your prayers my aunt, Theresa Fisher.  This very simple and genuine lady is dying.  Yesterday I travelled to Frederick, MD to be with her children and her to bring the Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist.  Aunt Theresa's body has been taken over by cancer.  We know she is now in the final hours of her earthly life.  What a consolation it was to visit with her just two weeks ago when she was able to set up and carry on a delightful conversation.  Yesterday, as I departed her home and her "brood," I knew what the next visit would be.  How grateful I was that I had been able to be with her and then in these final hours of her life.  The next call, I know, will be to tell me she had died and joined her husband and her parents in God's kingdom.

My second concern for which I need your continued prayers is my oldest brother, Jack, who is the oldest of the four male siblings born after me.  He is seriously ill and is being driven to Annapolis  from his residence in Delaware to be with his doctor .  His health has been a concern for me over the course of this summer.  Hopefully, his physician will send him to the hospital in Annapolis after this mornings office visit.  His call to me before sunrise this morning related his pain, his frustration and, I suspect, his own fears about death and dying.  He is four years younger than I am.  Please remember him in your prayers.  He asked me to meet him with a wheelchair at the doctor's office later this morning because he cannot walk but a very short distance.  And it is my intention not only to push a wheelchair but to push his doctor to hospitalize him.

Now to a reflection related to today's readings.

Early this morning, I came upon a reflection written by a faculty member from the Creighton University College of Nursing.  The writer shared a story that has, according to her words, been on social media for a few years.  There is no authenticity for the story.  However, as the writer noted, it speaks well to today's readings.  

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe.  He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever go there first won the sweet fruits.  When he told them to run, they all too each other's hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats.  When he asked them why they had run like that, as one could have had all the fruits for himself, they said: " UBUNTU: how can one of us be hapopy if all the other ones are sad?" 'UBUNTU' in the Xhosa culture means:  "I am because we are."

I suspect there are many circumstances in our lives today to which this story can be applied.   I am grateful for all the prayers you may offer for my family during the next few days.