Good Lives On

Chris and Family

      [27] She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle. [28] Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her. [29] Many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all.

Proverbs 31:  27-29


The two daughters, Christina and Courtney Bissey, of my secretary, Chris Bissey, who died on August 28 of this year, and who I eulogized in a post which may be read here, just stopped off at my house, wished us a Merry Christmas, and dropped off cookies and other baked goods as a Christmas present.  Chris was famous locally for her Christmas baking of cookies for friends and families, and her daughters are keeping up the tradition.  The good that we do in this life often survives us.  A good message to recall on Christmas eve.


Opus Dei


King David: That soldier who laid his hands on the Ark – he was only trying to be helpful.

Nathan the Prophet: It is not for us to question the ways of the Lord.

King David: I question nothing, yet the sun was hot that day, the man had been drinking wine, all were excited when the ark began to fall. Is it not possible that the man might have died naturally from other causes?

Nathan the Prophet: All causes are of God.

Screenplay, David and Bathsheba (1951)



Not that Opus Dei.  When my son Larry died on May 19, 2013 he had just completed high school on the Friday before he died.  He had one day of rest and then he died.  I had always wondered about what work I could find for Larry to do after he graduated from high school.  Because of his autism he could never have held down a regular job.  I planned for him to come to my office, although I wondered just what we could have him do.  It is quite possible he would have spent most of his days in a spare office room, watching TV and playing computer videos.  My secretary Chris painted the office room a deep orange, a color chosen by Larry, and I purchased a large new couch and had it put into the room.

Larry never spent a day in the room.  I assumed that God had work for my son to perform in Heaven, and I thought it had something to do with speech.  Larry died on Pentecost which struck home with me.  In life he was only able to answer yes and no questions and state the names of items.  It was impossible to carry on a normal conversation with him.  In the next world I was certain this would not be the case, so I had inscribed on Larry’s tombstone, “In Heaven He Speaks of God’s Love.”

At the time of my son’s death, my secretary Chris was recovering from her first bout with breast cancer.  The cancer came back in November of last year and Chris died from it on August 28 of this year.  She worked throughout as she battled this terrible illness, taking daily naps on the couch in what would have been Larry’s room.  Hours before she died, Chris was talking to Larry, she having been quite fond of my son during his life.

A mass was said in my parish for Larry yesterday, a date chosen at random by our priest, one of several masses we have had said for Larry since his passing.  I was stunned by the first and third readings:

Thus says the LORD:
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.
Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water.

Isaiah 35: 4-7

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Mark 7: 31-37 Continue Reading


Requiescat in Pace: Chris Bissey

Chris and Family

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

John 11:25

My secretary and office manager Chris Bissey passed away in the early hours of this morning, age 51, ending her over two years fight against cancer.  I have seen many a valiant fight against cancer in my life, including that of my mother who died at 48 on Easter Sunday 1984, but never a braver one than that fought by Chris.  Throughout her ordeal her spirit was ever unbroken, she usually cheering up those around her.  She was bright and optimistic, just as she had been throughout her life.  She worked up until Wednesday of this week, telling the Grim Reaper that she had tasks to attend to and he could just wait until she was ready.

She worked for me for thirty years.  I called her my secret weapon.  If I needed a hearing scheduled and she was told that it was impossible, she would get it scheduled anyway.  Astonished Judges often asked me how I managed to get a hearing set before them on a date when they said no more settings.  I replied that it was by black magic, black magic that went by the name of Chris Bissey.  She routinely did the impossible for me, imposing order on hundreds of open files, typing up my endless documents at lightning speed, making friends among courthouse staffs and charming all who came into my office and called on the phone.  It was a rare week when I did not receive at least one compliment in regard to Chris.

She was much more to me however than a secretary.  She was also a good friend.  Over the years we looked out for each other and helped each other through our triumphs and our tragedies.  Outside of my immediate family, no person was closer to me than Chris. Continue Reading