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Christmas Greetings From Larry

(This is a repeat of a post from 2013.  Recently my bride and I purchased a new Ford Transit Connect Wagon.  When my bride came out on the morning of December 21, 2017 to drive into the law mines she found all the windows rolled down.  The car doors were still locked and nothing had been disturbed in the car.  The car automatically locks after the drivers door is closed, and it would have been impossible thereafter to lower the automatic windows.  Now many people might find this incident puzzling or even alarming.  However, we took this as yet another visit from our late son.  Larry during his life liked sneaking into our cars to retrieve  music cds.  We suspect this was his way of saying hello to us at our fifth Christmas without him.  No greater Christmas present could have been given us.  Death stands helpless before lasting human love and the hope beyond the grave that all Christians possess.  Special things can occur at Christmas and such an event has blessed my family.)

 

 

Something for the weekend.  One of my favorite Christmas carols has always been I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.   It is based on the poem Christmas Bells written  by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas Day 1863.  Still devastated by the death of his wife in a fire in 1861, he had been rocked by news that his son Charles, serving as a lieutenant in the Union army, had been severely wounded at the battle of New Hope Church in November of 1863.  In a nation rent by civil war, along with his personal woes, one could perhaps understand if Longfellow had been deaf to the joy of Christmas that year.   Having suffered a grave personal loss this year, the death of my son Larry on May 19, I can attest that the message of salvation and eternal life that Christmas brings has a special meaning to me this year.

Christmas Bells

I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

 

And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.

The poem was set to music by John Baptiste Calkin in 1872.  Another version was written by Johnny Marks in the 1950s.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

6 Comments

  1. I believe that the veil is thin between our battleground and the eternal hills.
    Picturing Larry ever so meekly being allowed to send his parents a kiss, via the Ford wagon, is just another reminder that God is love.

    On the evening of my father’s passing, after spending an hour and a half of searching through family photos, I had finally come to my river of tears.
    Each photo was loosening the dam I had built to keep from crying.
    I was alone and decided that I needed to step outside.
    It was drizzling that evening. I said this prayer; “Lord. I hope I did you and my Dad a good service these past three years of his convalescence.” As my short prayer ended suddenly my dome light went on in my Chevrolet.
    It stayed on for no more than 10 seconds. I was moved. I walked over to it and checked each door seam. Tight as a drum. I took great comfort in this kiss from beyond. God-incidence.

    Peace.

  2. Donald I just love this. I always look forward to the posts when you write about your beautiful son Larry. I can only begin to imagine how much you, your wife and your family miss him. Larry pray for us that one day we too may share in the peace and glory of Heaven as you do.

  3. I don’t know what to say. Normally I discount stories of people acting from beyond the grave. But God allows what God allows. If this event causes greater love, then surely it is no work other than of God.

    Thank you for sharing this, Donald. As you miss your son Larry, I miss my earthly father who died in church where he wanted to die.

  4. LQC- while it’s a rather odd miracle, Larry seems like a rather good candidate for at-the-throne type sainthood, and like you said, Himself will do…and this seems like something the guy whose prophecy tends to be blindingly obvious puns in retrospect. (Hey, guys, God will Walk Among You. You’re going to CALL HIM GOD WALKS AMONG YOU. Really, I’m not being poetic, I’m being literal, here!)

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