Skip to main content

And then we flew to Michigan.

We came into Lansing at a little after midnight. Barry and Sandy picked us up and we drove back down to Jackson. We went to the hospital the next day to see Gaga. I don't really know how to write about seeing her. She looked so different from the last time we'd seen her, at Christmas. Her vitality was gone, maybe everything that made her her was gone, or maybe it was invisible, or resting in a hidden place. She had dozens of get well soon cards taped to the cabinet doors of her room, and framed pictures of herself and her husband, her kids and grandkids and greatgrandkids and greatgreatgrandkids (!) on all the available surfaces. Sarah's sister Rachael made a collage of family photos from the last fifty years. The hospital staff were so kind and conscientious, checking in to see how everyone was doing, bringing breakfast and snack trays, and just being really warm and supportive. Thank God for good people.

Gaga died a few days after we arrived, the day before Adam and Mary arrived from Maine. I feel really lucky that we were able to be there to see her before she went, and to be there for Sarah's Dad and the whole family. Stuff like this, in my limited experience, is such a strange balance between sad and festive. Deaths have the capacity to bring family together, and that brings a dynamic that swings between retrospection and finding out how loved ones have changed and grown since the last time everyone was together. Lyle Lovett has a great song that I think captures this feeling, called "Family Reserve" from his album, Joshua Judges Ruth.


L to R: Rachael, Mary, Sarah, Mandy


Mary


L to R: Bill, Adam, Rachael, Z, and Barry


Barry Myers


Barry and Rachael

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Family and Gender in Ancient Rome

I mentioned below that Prof. Diane Lipsett delivered a wonderful lecture on the conversation currently taking place between New Testament scholars, family historians, social archaeologists and the like. The title of this post is actually the title of en entire semester-long course taught by Prof. Lipsett, so for our, geez, ninety minute session she condensed her focus to Men, Women, and Children in Ancient Rome. With her permission, I am posting my notes from this lecture below, tweaked a little for readability.

Prof. Lipsett is interested in studies of gender formation among non-elites as well as elites, those people about whom we know much less because they did not have the resources or clout to commemorate and study themselves, generally speaking.

Roman households were much broader than we conceive of in modern terms, with a wide spectrum of people connected by family and employment living under one roof (the terms domus/eikos/ikea capture this idea of an indiscriminate household…

Catching Up and Overtaking

Around this time last year I stopped using Facebook. This was not a principled, or even conscious, decision: one morning I pulled my phone out, and as my finger hovered over the Facebook icon a deep and uneasy resistance came over me. After a few days the initial desire to log in faded and a kind of reverse inertia set in: not checking Facebook became as much a habit as checking it had been.It was a bad year, scandals-wise, for Facebook, but the haphazard nature of my nonparticipation kept me from feeling smug. Plus I'd really ramped up my Twitter use, and Lord knows that platform has its own issues. What's more, Twitter amplified a side of my personality in a way that Facebook didn't (or at least as much): mean-spirited, factional, shitposting. Anger is an important emotion, and expressing it is important; but there are times on Twitter where I just feel *hostile*. Unkind. Certainly unministerial.Meanwhile in the real world, I spent the last year diving much more deeply i…

Be true to your school now!

This is a cross-posting of a comment I left on peacebang.com's recent post about my school, Starr King School for the Ministry. PeaceBang, who is apparently a UU Minister in the Northeast, posted a few days ago an item about my school's supposed "banning" of the term, "brown bag lunch," because of the racialized connotations of brown bags.* Her post was, to my reading, haughty and dismissive, and she seemed awfully pleased with her own wit and ability to take cheap shots at others with little to no basis for her opinions. I think the comments for that post are up to 40, and it's a pretty lively back and forth. So, here is my contribution:

"This may not be the ideal forum for “deep, serious conversation,” but one of the cornerstones of Educating to Counter Oppression is the importance of having deep, serious conversations wherever they happen. The status quo of “waiting for the right moment or forum” to engage with these issues too often leads to…