Saturday, February 27, 2010

L’Chaim -- To Life!

This is me, 73 years ago...four months after I emerged into this world at St. Ann’s, the maternity unit at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Dayton, OH, 3:40 AM, February 27, 1937. My entrance into the community of Christian faith came shortly after, on March 14, 1937, when I was baptized at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

I’m such a lucky guy, with a wonderful family: two children and a granddaughter: my best gift to humankind; three of four surviving brothers and three sisters; three surviving aunts, two surviving uncles, multiple nieces, nephews and cousins, and many fantastic friends and colleagues! Thanks be to God for so many blessings!

George Herbert (1593-1633), great Anglican priest and poet, whose liturgical commemoration happens to fall today on my birthday, wrote the following poem which sums up my birthday sentiments as well as anything:


I Made a posy, while the day ran by:
Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
My life within this band.
But Time did beckon to the flowers, and they
By noon most cunningly did steal away,
And wither'd in my hand.

My hand was next to them, and then my heart:
I took, without more thinking, in good part
Time’s gentle admonition:
Who did so sweetly death’s sad taste convey,
Making my mind to smell my fatal day;
Yet sugring the suspicion.

Farewell dear flowers, sweetly your time ye spent,
Fit, while ye liv'd, for smell or ornament,
And after death for cures.
I follow straight without complaints or grief,
Since if my scent be good, I care not if
It be as short as yours.

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