Today is the sixth anniversary of my father’s death. He died, post-surgery, in the very early morning hours of March 2, 2014. May I ask you in your charity to offer a prayer for his soul? Any prayers are most gratefully accepted, and may God reward you.

Back then, during his surgery, I wrote some thoughts here. Today I offered my Mass intention for him, and am moved to write a little more.

Six years. It hardly seems possible. Life goes on, and all our battles continue

One of the little joys in our family life was that my youngest daughter, and my brother’s youngest son, were both born before my father died. His birthday was in February, and at our last family party he got to hold each of them. A very treasured memory. I often ponder the signal graces in my life, and here is one: Psalm 127 was read at our wedding Mass, and is one of our favorite psalms (Blessed are they who fear the Lord and walk in His ways…). Ever since Dad’s last birthday party, I reflect often on the last verse: And mayest thou see thy children’s children. Though Providence may have other designs of course, it appears that those were the last two grandchildren to be born in his line. So my Dad sure had the blessing to see his children’s children, and I am grateful for that.

My father’s surgery was planned, and he confessed and received anointing of the sick in the new rite a few days before surgery. After surgery, as he was in extremis, he received extreme unction. He was enrolled in the brown scapular, but I don’t think he wore one for a long time. My brother was vigilant enough to suggest he wear it then. I placed my own scapular on him, and he died wearing it. I still wear it today. During my recent medical scare, one of the thoughts racing through my mind was that I was wearing it, and that two people might be checking out wearing it. Weird?

I think about my mother. I can’t imagine being without my spouse for six days, let alone six years. I know she misses him, and there’s not much I can do to help; the presence of a grown child is not the same as one’s soulmate. If you can spare a prayer for her, I would appreciate that, too.

As Kermit the Frog famously said, “Life is a series of meetings and partings. That is the way of it.” True, and I’m sure I’ll never forget my Dad, or this first parting among us.

May Our Lord bless us all in these troubled times. May we all meet in the heavenly kingdom.