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Point of view; storytelling; sharing are the main reasons to blog for others to see.

What is the goal?  To improve writing skills; to meet new people; to think about what’s important enough to write about.

Establishing a time line of when things happen helps us to understand why they happened and perhaps keep us from making the same mistake – if it was one.  If not, it is a memory that should be cherished, and perhaps both should be written down as Memoir.

I hope to hone in on these skills and at the year’s end have a story or a poem, along with unique photographs that reflect my life, my faith, my hope for the future, by remembering the past.  Front Gardens 259

I see a clock, it does not stop

I watch the seconds, minutes and now an hour go by

Round and round the hand revolves

Until I am dizzy – its effort to change remains the same

A clock.  Tick, tock: seconds, minutes, hours – my life revolves.

 

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, America was in the midst of an economic resurgence and baby boom.  Blanche was still five months away from delivering her fourth child, the second daughter of her and John.

            Born May 1, 1942, the robust daughter, blessed with a head full of tight curls, was named Shirley; her namesake being none other than the famed, pipe-curled heroine of post depression cinema, Shirley Temple.

            It was John, though, who aptly named the leg and arm-dimpled charmer.  When he and others called, it was to Punky that she responded best.

Woman of Wisdom

I rode by the tree several times before I realized she was speaking to me.  I took a few pictures of her, and settled in for a solemn but silent conversation about life and death and everlasting life.

My oldest brother had just been buried; less than two months before his death, my older brother had died.  She comforted me, this aged. once dead tree, as she communicated through new growth the promise of everlasting life.

Both of my brothers were altar boys and often they served mass together, though two years apart.  Those were the years of prayers in latin; light bells that rang the Kyrie; and incense that choked as it crept into our nostrils.  The service proclaimed the eucharist as the living flesh and the wine as the blood shed by the Christ.  We were taught that by Faith we were saved.  By following Christ and living His commandments, we had blessed assurance of eternal life.

Sinners that we all are, though, it is impossible to live the human life without grace and forgiveness.  Grace is given freely, each day without cost.  When we confess and are truly repentant, we are forgiven, and our sins are removed and forgotten.  It is us who have to forgive.  We have to love one another, and set things right before the sun goes down.   We have to forgive ourselves as we have forgiven others; for some it is a life-long process.

I loved my brothers and I believe that they live in eternal life with Christ.  I believe that their heavenly experience is a continuum of their worship on earth, and they continually shower us with communal prayers for peace and comfort.  Blessings abound for the Bonaguide family bereft of brothers yet sanctified by the hope and promise of everlasting life.

Death brings with it a time of silence; a period of searching and confrontation.  We search our hearts and confront our past looking to amend the present and ultimately change the future.  Death sets things in their proper place.  Wisdom helps us to make the life-changing choices.

This morning at 5:45, a cool breeze wafted through the bedroom window and lightly touched the sheet covering my aged, naked body.  I was aroused by its insistence to reach across the length of the room and awaken me with its caress.  I knew it was time to cut back the front lilies.

This had been a splendid summer for the flowers.  They bloomed for most of the month of July, four weeks of continuous beauty with no work other than to snap the spent blossoms each morning so those in waiting would not be inferior.  Clip, snap, pull, water;  summer vocabulary of the resident gardener.

Armed with shovel, hoe, clippers and wheel barrel, the rusted, three-wheeled hefty bag in metal had been filled and disposed of its contents twice before breakfast.  In less than two hours, my Monet-type summer garden looks sparse and incomplete.  Where it was once thick and colorful, the land is barren with clumps of the yellowing stems in earth that has been raked naked.

Nearby rocks are moved and set into the most obvious spaces.  Invasive species with interesting color are transplanted and cut back, urging them to thicken and hide the marred landscape.  I hesitate on moving my elegant brass pin wheel to the front, but decorum wins over fear of loss, and there is a new element in the wind.

In June 1944 the weather in New York turned torrid.   Adults in the hi-rise buildings of the Italian neighborhood took to the stoops; they bedded on metal fire escape.  Children played ball in the evening hours and sought the cool waters of day when fire hydrants were released.  That summer, city pools and playgrounds remained open, but few of the Mulberry Street  neighbors would send their children.   There were two war fronts that year; the one in the Pacific where many of its young men would die, and the one stateside where a polio epidemic was ravaging the young.

Fear gripped the city.  Was it the heat, the city pools; was it because people did not wash their hands properly?  Was it because the playgrounds were still open to baseball, and its children were falling prey to too much energy from the sun and too little rest?  Parents were perplexed and scared.

There was little known of the disease in those days; the incubation period; whether or not carriers who did not get the disease could infect others.  Mothers panicked when their healthy children’s nausea turned to vomiting with abdominal pain.  They feared the combination of fever and muscle aches; invariably thinking of paralysis.

Many of the families who could afford it, sent their children to camp in upstate New York, thinking they would escape the outbreak. No longer were they concerned that the Germans might infiltrate the country through its harbor.  Their passion was reserved for an indiscriminate killer; a virus that had no cure.  Little did the families know that polio had carriers, a nameless society, who would unknowingly infect others yet be safe themselves.  The camps were not exempt; there was no known immunity from the virus that seemed attracted to the vibrancy of youth.