Saturday, November 17, 2018


No music today, because I don't feel it's appropriate. In the week that was, my uncle R., my late father's sole brother, passed away at the age of 82.

I knew his wife was quite religious, but that he himself was too, came as a bit of a surprise to me. I had never heard him utter, or seen him display, anything that hinted to Christian zeal. Yet he insisted on receiving the Last Rites, which for me is as much a consolation as it seems to have been for him. He also asked his wife and sons that a small and intimate service be held at the church depicted in the background of this painting...

The Parable of the Blind (1568), by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

... and I was glad to be able to attend, together with my family.

I know he suffered a lot, had been suffering for years actually, and especially his last months and weeks were excruciating, so his wife, my aunt, told me. He took it as a Man, complained little, and even apologized profusely to his wife for the burden that he had become - my aunt insisted on taking care of her husband herself, instead of hospitalizing him.

With my uncle's passing, an important bloodlink to my late father also disappears. Born only two years apart, it was evident that they would spend their childhood together and by all accounts, they were inseparable in that timeframe. Only later, when R. made a career in the industry, and work and marriage took him to other areas physically, did they grow apart somewhat. Yet both lived and laboured honorably, had sound marriages, and raised their offspring admirably. My cousins are the closest to the brothers I never had, and I am grateful for them.

Now R. is no more, and I wish I could say from the bottom of my heart that he is now reunited with his brother, my father. Yet at least four decades of living in a sick society where daily assaults on Christianity are the rule, have taken their toll... and I admit that right now it's hard to be assured of their being together again. Still, let us recall Pope Benedict XVI saying bravely that "doubt is the handmaiden of faith", and, regardless, I keep going back to feeling and being a Christian as if it's the most natural state in the world. I guess I should feel lucky for that.

I guess I am.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."
~ Psalm 23:4 ~

Rest in Peace, dear Uncle, and thank you for everything. God bless.


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