After a seemingly unremitting siege of grief and death in these pandemic years, we enter the season of the Día de los Muertos (Oct 31-November 2) and the Christian Allhallowtide, (Halloween, the feast of All Saints, and the feast of All Souls). This moment in "the thin place," during which, in Celtic lore, heaven and earth come closest, feels both fraught and more evident than ever.
This year I raise up the memory of two women who were part of my childhood, even if neither was much part of my life when I grew up. Both died this past year.
I find I have childhood pictures of them both.
Marjorie devoted her later life to promoting our great grandfather, Doc Adams, for induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame as "One of the True Fathers of Baseball." The New York Times ran a lovely obituary account of that as yet incomplete quest.
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We attended different elementary schools, but later the same high school. And there we drifted apart. Occasionally we exchanged Christmas cards, but I've never been good at that custom.
She died last week in Beverly, Mass. Here's a sweet obituary.
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The eighteenth century preacher and hymn lyricist Issac Watts' paraphrase of Psalm 90 comes to mind:
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
soon bears us all away. ...
When it is one's age peers departing this life in perfectly normal circumstances, it's hard not to contemplate mortality. And why not? We will all go. Think how much more of a clogged mess the planet would be if all the humans ever born hung around, taking up space and resources forever ...