23.11.2019 · Texte. Aller Art.
Eulogy given at mass at Our Lady Of Martyrs R.C. Church Novemer 23, 2019.
We are all orphans now, Jim texted me on Tuesday just before I left for New York. It was in 1990 that Mark and I began to work together in Vienna. Jim came to visit and so our social family came about of which I am so proud to be a member. Jim’s parents were the only parents included and that for the good reason that they cared and gave you the feeling that you belonged. And. I was impressed by the respect these two people had for each other, which might be the nicest way to express everlasting love. Helen took care of Big Jim in the most gracious way and never a harsh word.
We are all orphans now.
And this is the truth. Helen was a mother to us all. Especially since she came to live with Mark and Jim in Manhattan. You could go up to the 11th floor and sit with her. You did not even have to tell her what was going on in your life. She knew. With a fine smile she sat there and listened and you could feel safe and understood. So. What were the resources for this tranquil strength. Her faith was part of this. Her family that was so important to her. Her sister and her children. Big Jim. And Jimmie how she called Jim when she talked about him and told childhood stories and he was not in the room. But she was not only serene and wise. She was generous. She shared her life. There were all these little stories telling always the whole story recapturing her life. The story I remember most is when Big Jim came back from the war and she went to meet him. The soldiers where in a compound with a high fence around and they had to wait. When Big Jim saw Helen outside this fence he just jumped up and ran and climbed over the fence and took Helen into his arms and kissed her. His comrades cheered on him and applauded.
We are all orphans now.
I envy you. Jim. And I thank you Mark. The commune you formed with Helen together was as it should be for every parent and so often isn’t.
For me Helen represented all that is good in your country. She aimed to be a good person and a good citizen. She knew how to live and love and give. She told us that as a very young girl. When a neighbor was dying. She felt the wings of the angel who took this woman away to heaven. I am sure that this is what happened to her now. May she rest in peace.