June 12th, 2019

In my backyard there’s a dead spot. About two feet in diameter, it took up residence near the backdoor next to the gutter. For months I tried to get rid of it and—for months—I’ve failed. Until now. As I was mowing yesterday (I’m away this weekend at St. Crispin’s for Iona, so honey-do’s have to happen on Tuesday?), I noticed this spot was diminished somewhat. It’s starting to ‘green up’ and grow again. I know where the spot originated, I know why I wasn’t able to ‘fix’ it.

It was where Tyrone marked his territory. Every. Single. Day.

Tears began to well in my eyes as I saw the new growth. Although I’d tried everything to rid my yard of that eyesore while Ty was alive, I’d purposefully been mistreating it to—after his death—keep it there. It’s one of the last physical vestiges of his presence. One of the last places I can physically see evidence of him. One of the last places I can visit and stare at and just…cry. And now it’s healed. And I’m not, at least not fully. Sigh. So, with a little mist in my eyes (it was hot, alright…) I kept mowing. I finished the yard like a good boy and went inside to shower, the spot ever on my mind: The spot that marks my yard echoing the spot that marks my heart. I started thinking about all the ‘spots’ I have internally, the vestiges of loved ones’ passing, the scars that bloomed from broken moments. My Dad. My Grandparents. Close friends from childhood.

Monty Howard. Clark Oden. Selma Witzke. Rita Jamison. Bob Sackett. Nadine DeWitt. Tomi Sackett.

Then I started thinking about how—even though I miss my family and friends—the pain of their loss has seemed to lessen. New growth has sprouted and soothed the dead areas brought about by their passing. Sure, it still hurts. Sure, this Sunday is Father’s Day and I’ll undoubtedly think about Dad. But just as surely, my heart continues to heal.

I wish that for all of you. My prayers for you to start and continue to heal match my own prayers for the same. I hate that any of you ever hurt; if I could take it from you, I would. But please know that we all have spots, that all of us have been through something devastating to varying degrees—each unique with its own sense of pain—and that many of us are willing to sit with you and say nothing, just ‘be’ with you during your hardships and your low moments of life. Tomorrow is one of those times for this parish. As we remember Tomi and her life, we wrap Chani, Eric, Brett, Grant, and Emily (among many others) up in steadfast love and prayers. Just as we’ve done for many before them and just as we’ll continue to do for many others in years to come.

May all our spots grow over, but may our memories remain. May the peace of God be upon all of us who grieve. May the love of God enfold us, emanating from Him to us, and from us to one another. May the Grace of God see us through the difficult times. And may all those who went before us rest in peace and rise in glory.


Fr. Sean+