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St. Francis

Eulogy for a Mother-in-Law

Eulogy for a Mother-in-Law

There’s a scene in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” in which Emily is asking to be allowed just one day to return from the after-life to enjoy one last bit of time with her loved ones.  It would be too painful, she is told;  no special day is necessary, I recall she negotiates, just one simple, mundane day, to enjoy the beauty of life.  Frustrated as she looks back upon those still living, she asks:  “Doesn't anyone ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?”  That is, do people not realize the profound beauty and gift of life, present in every mundane moment?  The reply comes:  “No. Saints and poets, maybe; they do some.”

I think Sue was among those saints and poets who did often realize life in the moment, not least because she talked to trees and birds:  I think Sue got this habit from one she deemed the greatest saint she had known, her father.  It occurred to me last night that I think I got this habit—I confess, I do these days talk to trees...

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