Last Friday, 19th July, as I walked from the office to the train station, I saw a woman who reminded me of Barbara Rosenberg, a coworker who passed away a couple of years ago, a victim of cancer.
At the time I had just started reading Augustine’s Confessions, and that reminded me of Ed O’Dougherty, another coworker who passed away a number of years ago, the victim of a heart attack. Ed could quote Augustine (“[O]ur heart are restless until they find peace in you.”) and Gerald Manley Hopkins (“The just man justices.” from “As Kingfishers Catch Fire) along with other spiritual authorities.
Finally, Jody and I were looking at some old family photos in preparation for getting some of our 35mm slides digitized. One of the was a photo of me with hair (rare in itself) wearing a wool plaid shirt that my Aunt Rose (Rosadee) had made for me from scraps that the salvaged from her employer’s cutting room.
The Old Testament Prophet Joel wrote that in the latter days old men would dream dreams. I believe dreams are part of the brain’s attempt to make sense out of current events in light of what has gone on in the past. The memory that I have of people such as Barbara, Ed, and Rosadee help me make sense of current events. Barbara was always cheerful in the face of any issue, even the issue that would eventually shorten her life. Ed wasn’t always cheerful, but was certainly sanguine in his view of life events and counseled us not to sweat the small stuff. Rosadee was a model of patience, thrift, endurance, self-sacrifice, generosity. There is much in each of their lives, and in the lives of others like them, that can help us make sense of the lives we are now experiencing.