Lawrence Charles McClarey: In Memoriam

Friday, May 19, AD 2017

Larry McClarey

Lawrence Charles McClarey

Birth:  September 5, 1991

(Feast day of Saint Lawrence Justinian)

Death:  May 19, 2013

(Pentecost)

[53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality. [54] And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. [55] O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?

1 Corinthians 15:  53-55

 

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12 Responses to Lawrence Charles McClarey: In Memoriam

  • “Pro Amore Usque Ad Victimam.” – St. Maximilian Kolbe

    For love, to the sacrifice of my life.

    In our spiritual journey we will hopefully come to this profound offering, this offering in our own state in life. For most of us it’s a small offering. A commitment to serve God and offer more than an hour a week Mass attendance. For St. Kolbe it was “all in,” and complete. Somewhere in between we fall in this spectrum.

    For Larry it was all in.

    The very same Jesus Christ who held the victim Kolbe in his arms on the fourteenth of August in 1941, carried Kolbe home.
    Home to a celebration. They made it in time for the feast of the Assumption.

    In like manner Jesus held Larry in his arms to celebrate the beginning of Christ Church, Pentecost. The gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Jesus saw completion in both of the lives of our brothers. He saw perfection.

    Pro Amore Usque Ad Victimam!

  • Thank you, Philip for saying what is in my heart. May God embrace us each and every one. Now, we pray to Larry McClarey

  • Mary De Voe.
    God is so good to us!
    He writes with broken stubby pencils.
    May we be fit instruments in the Pure Hands of Our Mother Mary who interceded for the groom and bride and now for the wine stewards who clumsily partake in distribution of the Kings wine.
    Let us not spill a drop.

    Peace Mary.

  • May he rest in peace. Each evening I remember in after-Rosary prayers for my beloved (they loved me better than I did them, something I work on every day) departed, I include Lawrence Charles. I know he is among the saints and near to Jesus.

  • He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

    Rest in peace Lawrence, and God’s peace be with you Donald and your family as you remember him.

  • I will say a prayer for Larry and the Donald McClarey family that we all gain understanding that God’s will for us and the actions He takes are always the best thing that could happen.

  • Thany you my friends. The anniversaries tend to be hard days, but yesterday was not so bad. Of course our grief for those who die in Christ is for ourselves rather than those now in bliss. Intellectually I understand this, but emotionally is still another matter.

  • If you figure out how to bridge that intellectual vs emotional gap, please share.
    “I miss him” is pretty small words for what they mean.

  • Has it already been 4 years? My continued condolences, Don, for you and your family.

  • Continuing condolences and prayers.

Pentecost and Renewal

Sunday, May 14, AD 2017

 

So ever the king had a custom that at the feast of Pentecost in especial, afore other feasts in the year, he would not go that day to meat until he had heard or seen of a great marvel.

 

When my children were small as the family drove to Mass, I offered the kids a dollar for the first one to sight the Questing Beast, tying the Arthurian legend with the great feast.  When my son died on Pentecost four years ago, the bright spot on that bleak Pentecost was when my bride gave voice to a thought that had occurred to me:  Larry has gone after the Questing Beast.

The birthday of the Church, inaugurated with the great miracles of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the tongues of fire underlining the universal nature of the mission of the Church, at Pentecost has always reminded me that since the coming of Christ we live in an age of miracles, if we only have the wit and the faith to see them.  I know this from personal experience:   since the death of Larry I have received a small miracle to assure me of his love from the other side.

We live in a time in the West of great cultural pessimism and spiritual sickness that has infected the Church.  We forget that over 2000 turbulent years Christ has never failed us and that we Christians should never give way to despair.  We do battle with Principalities and Powers, and not merely misguided or evil fellow men, and Christ is ever ready to aid us if we call on Him in humility and love.

The Holy Spirit, Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us, brings us renewal:

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2 Responses to Pentecost and Renewal

Larry and Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, March 1, AD 2017

ash_wednesday

(I will be reposting this each Ash Wednesday.)

My late son Larry always seemed to enjoy Ash Wednesday.  Four years ago in 2013 I went up with him to receive ashes.  He heard the traditional admonition:  “Remember man thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.” and had the ashes placed on his forehead.  He then did the normal circle turn that he did after receiving Communion, and we went back to our pew.

Little did we know that this would be Larry’s last Ash Wednesday.  He died in the wee hours of Pentecost in 2013 of a seizure.  (On that dreadful date I said to my wife that one of the greatest gifts God has given us in this life is our inability to see the future.)  Now Larry’s physical body is well on its way back to dust, awaiting the Resurrection when it will be reunited with his soul.

Larry is now in the land which knows not Ash Wednesday, but only Eternal Easter, and we are left to experience this Ash Wednesday without him.  I have always found Ash Wednesday to be a bleak day and it will be much bleaker yet without my son.  However, Ash Wednesday, like death, is not the end, but merely a beginning.  As Ash Wednesday is the portal to Easter, death is the portal to eternal life. 

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11 Responses to Larry and Ash Wednesday

  • My little baby boy received his first Ashes today, so I can only begin to imagine how difficult Ash Wednesday is for you and your wife.

    Ash Wednesday is a very sobering day, and reminds me of my own insignificance.

    Dear Donald, my prayers are with you and your family this day as you miss your beautiful beloved boy Larry.
    His Eternal Soul is enjoying the shining face of God. Larry pray for us.

  • Thank you Ezabelle. May God bless you and your family. A long and good life to your baby boy!

  • Joining with Ezabelle; “Larry pray for us.’

  • God browses among the lilies. “Larry pray for us.” Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us. Thank you, Donald R. McClarey for sharing your sorrow in this vale of tears.

  • Larry pray for us, and prayers for Larry, and you all during this time.

  • My friends you have almost moved me to tears and after 35 years of practicing law that is a hard thing to do. Thank you.

  • Donald.
    You have moved us.
    Your devotion to this site, the current event’s and history lesson’s. The weaving of relevant issues and catholicity..combined with family life. I enjoy and sorrow over yours and others triumphs and tribulations.
    We pray for each other. Correct each other, console and humor each other. To me, this is family. This is what it means to be an American Catholic.
    Tears are okay Donald.
    Larry would be okay with that I bet.
    We love you and yours.
    Peace.

  • I am always touched by your love for your son, Donald. Thank you for sharing that love. I hope your and your wife feel God’s consolation.

  • Thank you, Don.

    I just saw this.

    As a father who loves his kids, but lost them, physically, for the large majority of their lives, I understand, in a very small way, your circumstances. Please, do not be put out by me saying that, as my children are still living. But, I rarely get to see them, or our grandchildren, especially the daughter who was most wounded from her parents break up but who holds me responsible. God be with all of you.

  • Karl: A priest once told me to send my guardian angel to be with my children and my loved ones, even all people. Angels can do that immediately. Put yourself in God’s hands. God made you, God will take care of you. Larry McClarey is a gift from God. “Now it is bread. Now, it is Jesus .”

Things that Bring Tears to My Eyes: A Continuing Series

Wednesday, August 31, AD 2016

Remembering my son Larry, this choked me up:

Michelle Malkin tweeted this story out earlier and I have to say it really is the best thing I’ve read all day. Maybe you’ve seen the photo already but what’s important is the story behind it.

FSU large

Florida State University football players visited a Middle School today. During lunch, wide receiver Travis Rudolph noticed one student, Bo Paske, who was sitting off on his own and decided to ask if he could join him. When a picture of the two sharing lunch made it back to Bo’s mother, Leah Paske, she posted it on Facebook and explained why it was such an emotional moment:

Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #autismmom #fansforlife

I’ve read this three times now and it still gets me.

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10 Responses to Things that Bring Tears to My Eyes: A Continuing Series

  • Amen!

  • I don’t know you other than through your blog. I don’t know Larry other than what you have shared about him. You, Larry and your family have been in my prayers because I got to know you all somewhat by your blog. I saw this story as a headline earlier today somewhere and didn’t read it. Then I saw your blog headline and your mention of Larry and I had to read. And you’re right, it is the best thing I have read all day. Maybe the guy just needed a place to sit and eat, but how many others saw that same open place with the same need and for some stupid reason went somewhere else.

    By the way, the best things you have shared among many very good things have been your reflections about your son. Please share some more and make our day again.

  • Thank you Steve, your kind comments mean a lot to me.

    Larry was extremely patient during the endless visits to bookstores that punctuated his life, and the lives of his brothers and sisters during their childhoods. It used to be a saying of our daughter that something was amiss if we didn’t go to at least one bookstore on our outings. Larry would normally be by my right side as I browsed, although if there was a play area at the bookstore he would take advantage of that when he was a small boy. One day when we were at the Barnes and Noble in Kankakee an older gentleman I had never seen before or since came up to me and praised Larry’s demeanor and behavior, and how he reminded him of his son. I thanked him, and it struck me then that his son must be autistic also. My wife and I would often tell well meaning friends that Larry was no burden to us, which was the simple truth, but rather only a source of sheer joy. Seeing the other older father I could see that he understood this, and I have always remembered his remarks because of it.

  • Heart rending and uplifting story reminding us of how we need to be in situations like this. Thanks Don for all you do and all you share. This helps make your blogging unique and valuable. Blessing to you and your family.

  • Beautiful story.
    “What so ever you do for the least of my people, that you do unto me.”
    Jesus found in you is a stone falling into a still pond. The ripple effect reaches outward, moving the still waters, stirring souls to imitate the stone.
    Great story Don.
    Larry, pray for us.

  • Donald, I am the mother of a 51-year-old autistic son who brings us great joy as you said of your Larry. Times can be difficult occasionally, less now than in the past, but he is a treasure and a source of price and inspiration in ways difficult to describe. This piece by this mother expresses what all parents of children with disabilities feel whenever attempts are made to accept and engage in normal behavior with our children. I have felt it and I thank God for such kindnesses for I know that my man/boy understands his difference and appreciates all attempts by others who offer him a token of normal friendship. Your little vignette about your book store trips remind me of my own son’s patience as we browse the library stacks, greeted by the librarians who have come to know him and his obsession with arranging books ‘just so’ considering him their help mate. I truly feel blessed to have him in my life.

  • Anna, we parents of children born with disorders like autism, understand that the treasures of God come often time in the most unlikely manner. There is not a day gone by when I do not thank God for the 21 years and three quarters he game me with my Larry boy.

  • I’ve shed a tear more than once from reading about Larry — his quirky pivot when receiving communion, his midnight snacks, his running ahead of his family “like a gazelle”, his orange room at you office. He has also enriched our lives and will continue to do so as you remind us of the treasure of his life. Thank you, Larry, and thank you, Mr. McClarey. I’m reminded of “All things work together for God’s glory.”

  • Thank you Ginny. Larry was the most unique individual that I have personally known in this life and as I told my wife after his passing, he was our great and grand adventure. Our life seems prosaic without his physical presence among us.

  • Note: the story of the lunch made it in today’s NYTimes. Nice to know the gesture is recognized and appreciated.

Larry and Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 10, AD 2016

ash_wednesday

(I will be reposting this each Ash Wednesday.)

My late son Larry always seemed to enjoy Ash Wednesday.  Three years ago in 2013 I went up with him to receive ashes.  He heard the traditional admonition:  “Remember man thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.” and had the ashes placed on his forehead.  He then did the normal circle turn that he did after receiving Communion, and we went back to our pew.

Little did we know that this would be Larry’s last Ash Wednesday.  He died in the wee hours of Pentecost in 2013 of a seizure.  (On that dreadful date I said to my wife that one of the greatest gifts God has given us in this life is our inability to see the future.)  Now Larry’s physical body is well on its way back to dust, awaiting the Resurrection when it will be reunited with his soul.

Larry is now in the land which knows not Ash Wednesday, but only Eternal Easter, and we are left to experience this Ash Wednesday without him.  I have always found Ash Wednesday to be a bleak day and it will be much bleaker yet without my son.  However, Ash Wednesday, like death, is not the end, but merely a beginning.  As Ash Wednesday is the portal to Easter, death is the portal to eternal life. 

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10 Responses to Larry and Ash Wednesday

The Gift of Life

Tuesday, September 22, AD 2015

Michelangelo-Creation-Hands-SM1

Are you afraid of death?
Well, I can’t say that I have
any great affection for it.
Look below you, my friend.
For 70 years,
I’ve watched the seasons change.
I’ve seen the vibrant life of summer,
the brilliant death of fall…
the silent grave of winter.
And then, I’ve seen
the resurrection of spring
the glorious birth of new life.
And my father and my father’s father
have seen it before me.
Nothing ever dies, my friend.

Prince of Foxes Screenplay, 1949

 

 

My twins’ godmother wrote this to Donnie my surviving son this week:

 

Happy baptism anniversary!  I’ve been thinking lately about how precious the gift of life is.  I wrote an article on it for the parish newsletter.  I was thinking about Larry when I wrote about people with different abilities.  I had a chance to stop by his grave on my way back from a workshop on Saturday.  So I thought I’d share part of the article with you:

 

The Gift of Life

 

God loves you.  God just loves you. And the best evidence that God loves you is that he created you.  God can create anyone that he wishes to and he can see how each person will grow and develop, so he’d be nuts to create someone that he didn’t love.  But he’s not nuts.  He has chosen to love you.  His love is the spark of life in your soul, the beat of your heart, and the breath in your lungs.  When we “die,” his life in us changes, but does not end.  We continue to live as his creation, deeply, deeply loved by him forever.

The gift of life is the evidence that God loves us, not just you, but each of us.  Perhaps this is why we value life so much.  The love and respect that we have for every person is an expression of the love and respect that we have for God.  Emergency workers, for example, often risk their own lives to save others.  What we share with others God counts as having been shared with himself.  Parents, for example, give more than they thought possible to care for their children.

God’s love for us does not depend on our age or abilities.  It begins when he begins to knit us together in our mother’s womb and continues forever.  Before our bodies are formed, before we think our first thought, before our talents are known, before our parents know of our existence, God has chosen to create us because he loves us.

As we grow through life, all of us are loved by God.  Whether we’re athletically gifted or klutzy, whether conventionally beautiful or unattractive, whether we find it easy to love and trust others or not, whether intelligent or simple, whatever our gifts and talents, we are loved by God.  Even if we are hurt by abuse, or trauma, or addiction, or accident, God loves us.  We know that he loves us because of his gift of life.  And the loving care that we have for others, regardless of their gifts, shows that we are learning to love as God loves.

No matter how we leave this life, God’s gift of life continues.  If you die in an accident, if you are struck down suddenly by disease, if you linger for many years as dependent as a child, if you die gently in old age, no matter what, God loves you and his gift of life continues forever.  The respect and care that we have for those nearing the end of this life shows that we get it, that we understand how precious is God’s gift of life.

Life never ends and God’s love never ends.  They continue in the next life.  It may be that the only way we can continue to express our love for those who have passed on is by our prayers.  And this, too, shows that we have learned from God how to value his gift of life.

October is Respect for Life month, but respect for life is an everyday thing.  We constantly express it in the way we love and care for others, regardless of their age and abilities, but simply because God loves them, as he loves us.  But it’s good to recognize everyday things and to appreciate their value. 

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5 Responses to The Gift of Life

Opus Dei

Monday, September 7, AD 2015

LarryMcClarey2012

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

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21 Responses to Opus Dei

  • How sad, but somehow a deeper beauty comes through. What does a person do without God as the center of all things?

  • God bless your son and Chris, their strife is o’er, everlasting joy to them.

  • Yes. In your first report to us of Chris’s death, you told us of her talking with Larry in her last days in this vale. That really “spoke” to my heart . I told a couple of different people who are now dealing with the mystery of death about how your son, disabled as you knew him, was Able to bring peace and help to Chris and her family from heaven. I will give them this update. We trust God’s marvelous provision.

  • I suspect Larry watches loved ones plus certain autistic people in various countries and intercedes for them and for others assigned to his heart. It’s not work in Heaven since the onerous doesn’t enter there. It’s extremely delightful interceding which Christ does until history ends as said here:

    Hebrews 7:24-26 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

    24 But this, for that He continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood,
    25 Whereby He is able also to save for ever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us.

  • Donald McClarey said; “I see the hand of God in this.”. Absolutely!
    His love is not held back from you our your wife in relationship to this difficult event. To those with little or no faith it might seem that God had taken your love away, yet that is not the case. He, God, loves Larry so much that one more hour without him in Heaven was not an option. This grace you share with us is proof of His Love for you and your whole family, including Larry. The readings, the conversations Chris had with Larry.

    The room you set up for Larry was love, and the author of that love said, Wait until you see the room I’ve prepared for our son Larry. You will see it. Your wife too. For this room is filled with memories that brought the greatest smiles to Larry. This room is overflowing with love, and the speech Larry is preparing to give you when you go home, will overflow with river’s of precious peace this other room called your heart. He has so much to tell you. So very much.

    God love you and yours.

  • Orange, Chris’ labor of love, Pentecost, Tongues of Fire, autism, Chris speaking to Larry, the reality of Heaven — just a few of my thoughts about your beloved son, Larry, and your devoted secretary, Chris. I would probably hang a Crucifix in that room that you and Chris prepared for Larry.

    Your writings about Larry and Chris give me hope and courage in this Vale of Tears. The thought of Heaven brings strength to me. May God continue to comfort you and your family.

  • Mr. McClarey, the good Lord, in His infinite wisdom, saw fit to burden you and your family with the cross of Larry’s autism, a cross that he also had to bear. As you know, life is not fair and God decides when it is time to leave this world. Larry provided you and your family with joy that cannot be replicated and is worth more than all the gold in the world.

    I can sypathize in a small way. We have lost three babies due to miscarriage. Only the last one were we able to bury and the only item we have is an ultrasound picture of a little baby with no heartbeat.

    Every so often, I think of my dad and my uncle and all the other relatives I have lost over the years. I wich my sons could ahve known these people. I am grateful to have two healthy, normal little boys. It would have been nice to have a larger family bout one needs to learn to be happy with what God gives him.

    Have a great Labor Day.

    I know hot weather isn’t your favorite thing, so this will soon pass. As for me, I’m a little sad to know the warm weather will soon go, because we are fast approaching the time of the year when the leaves fall off the trees, the flowers will die and the fruit and grain will be completely harvested. This coincides with the end of the liturgical year when Holy Mother Church remembers those who have gone before us and reminds us that death is a certainity to us all.

  • Thank you and may God bless you all.

  • Mr. McClarey, thank you so much for this beautiful posting. The Lord brought me to your blog and it gives me so much joy and sustenance. I lost my dear mother a year and 1/2 ago at the age of 90. Shortly after that, my brilliant, sweet husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers at age 64. and now I’m having serious medical problems as well. My husband and I weren’t blessed with children and unfortunately, after my mother’s death, one of my beloved nieces stopped talking to me over something I said to her mother (my sister) on the day of my mother’s death (I asked her to please stop b*tching about the Catholic Church for just this one day). My nieces were always like my children and I doted on them all their lives. Now our families no longer speak despite many attempts on my part. My sister has been suffering from some serious, unaddressed mental issues for some time. They are all hard-core atheists, to the point that they believe that all churches everywhere should be destroyed. I’m so sorry for them because I can’t imagine what they go through without the solace of the Lord, especially now because they adored my mother and we were such a close family. I pray for all of them constantly.

    Sorry for blathering on, can you tell I’ve been a shut-in for the past 5 weeks? I’m having surgery again next week, hope this fixes my medical issue. Anyway, I just want to tell you how much your blogs means to me, and I’m sure to many others. I copied and pasted this blog entry into MS Word so that I can refer back to it. It fills my heart with joy to think of Larry & Chris, happy and without pain. And I thank the Lord for giving you the very special gift of being able to find just the right words to put things into a clarifying and spiritually meaningful perspective.

  • Don, I knew that Larry’s h.s. diploma was a major accomplishment. After reading today about his limited speaking ability, I understand how major. Whenever you mention Larry, I always think of your earlier description of reading to him in early morning, the daily father and son time that was so special.
    My adult sons are arriving today for a brief visit. The older one is in from the west coast and his schedule of work and socializing on the east coast keeps changing which is frustrating for my husband and me. However after reading this post I’m going to let the irritants go. Only God knows how many of us will be at the next family gathering.
    Penguin Fan, I have been told that parents whose children pre-decease them never get over the loss of a child no matter the stage of development or the age. I am sorry for your and your wife’s many losses. I do enjoy the change of seasons. The green is gone, but the colors of fall are awesome and the peace and beauty of the landscape after a snowfall reminds me that God is omnipresent. What a wonderful plan of God’s to schedule the birth of His Son in the bleakness of winter. In fact my favorite Christmas hymn is In The Bleak Midwinter.
    Back to the present, all I hope can enjoy the holiday.

  • I’m just finishing up a novena for your secretary and everyone affected by her passing. (I might be on Day 10. I always lose track.)

  • CAM, I concur that each season has its charms. One thing about a winter snowall is the quiet. No birds, no crickets. I find amazing when there is a night-time snowfall and the sky isn’t dark. From where I live, just such a snowfall blots out the sounds of the planes approaching the Pittsburgh airport and the traffic on I-79. Having said that, I think I can stand to be amazed by a January and February where every day it’s in the 60s and 70s, like where my brother lives in Tampa.

    I hope everybody enjoyed their Labor Day. I took my oldest son to the wave pool, which was packed due to the hot weather and it being the last day of the season for the outdoor swimming pools. He wore me out.

    There are a lot of important feast days coming up. Tomorrow, Sepetmber 8, is the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. September 12 is the Most Holy Name of Mary, in commemoration of the victory of the Christian forces at Vienna over the Ottoman Turks on September 11, 1683 (Veni, vici, Deus vincit – King Jan III Sobieski). September 14 is the Exhaltation of the Holy Cross. September 15 is Our Lady of Sorrows. Ember Days are September 23 through September 26 and the Feast of St. Michael is September 29 (the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael in the Ordinary Form calendar).

  • Thank you Pinky and thank you for all your kind words my friends.

  • Thank you for sharing this.

  • Penquin Fan, I vaguely remember seeing Ember Days noted on the calendar and church bulletins. To refresh my memory I read the history of them at the Catholic Encyclopedia which led to opening more threads. Thanks for noting the various feast days. I knew about the Winged Polish Hussars and Jan Sobieski’s victory over the Turks in Vienna, but had forgotten the actual date. Our youngest son’s birthday is Sept 11. He’s part Polish and my mom always said he looked like Karol Wojtyla. Since 9-11 he hates his birthday; now he knows how important another Sept 11 was.

  • Thanks Don for your profound witness of faith, hope and charity. May God confer many blessings on you and all your love ones. And may God help us to accept His will in our lives and sorrows as we try to understand the many benefits of His often mysterious actions.

  • What a beautiful tribute and memory. Thank you for sharing them.

  • Thank you for sharing this beautiful post Donald. God only takes the best. May we be half as pleasing in Gods eyes as Larry and Chris. His wonder and love shines through His faithful servants. If only to keep us going here through our own “Vale of Tears”.

  • Wow, thank you for sharing. Oh what deep beauty shines through these events.

  • “Hours before she died, Chris was talking to Larry, she having been quite fond of my son during his life”

    Don, this is not the first time I have been told of a Christian, in the throes of death, talking to another Christianwho had died earlier. God is so awesome; He is so good to us! Even in our very death, He can use us to provide comfort and joy to others. Thank you for this post.

Jesus Wept

Tuesday, August 26, AD 2014

 

 

Since my beloved son Larry died last year, not a day has gone by that I have not thought of him.  Immediately after his death I would think about him, literally, almost every minute of each day.  Now it is usually once every 15 minutes.  He enriched beyond measure the life of myself and my bride and I miss him with all my heart.  Larry had autism, and, as a result of his autism, my conversations with him were limited in words, although we each got our meanings across.  I greatly admired the way in which my son did not let his disability add sorrow to his life, and the joy he normally radiated warmed my soul.  I have had several privileges in my life that have been granted me by God, but I think the greatest was being entrusted with Larry.

Then I read how some parents who are having their unborn children tested for Down Syndrome react:

 

Rayna Rapp, a former abortion clinic worker who aborted a baby with Down syndrome herself, conducted a survey of women and couples who sought amniocentesis to screen for Down syndrome and other problems with their babies. All of the interviewees intended to abort if the baby was found to have Down syndrome. Some of the things that these parents say about Down syndrome children are deeply troubling to anyone who values life. Here are some comments from men and women who said they would abort if the test came back positive for Down.

  • I would have a very hard time dealing with a retarded child. Retardation is relative, it could be so negligible that the child is normal, or so severe that the child has nothing… All of the sharing things you want to do, the things you want to share with a child – that, to me, is the essence of being a father. There would be a big void that I would feel. I would feel grief, not having what I consider a normal family.(133)

  • I have an image of how I want to interact with my child, and that’s not the kind of interaction I want, not the kind I could maintain. (133)

  • I’m sorry to say I couldn’t think about raising a child with Down’s. I’m something of a perfectionist. I want the best for my child. I’ve worked hard, I went to Cornell University, I’d want that for my child. I’d want to teach him things he couldn’t absorb. I’m sorry I can’t be more accepting, but I’m clear I wouldn’t want to continue the pregnancy.( 133 – 134)

  • The bottom line is when my neighbor said to me: “Having a “tard,” that’s a bummer for life.” (91)

  • I just couldn’t do it, couldn’t be that kind of mother who accepts everything, loves her kid no matter what. What about me? Maybe it’s selfish, I don’t know. But I just didn’t want all those problems in my life. (138)

  • If he can’t grow up to have a shot at becoming the president, we don’t want him.(92)

  • It’s devastating, it’s a waste, all the love that goes into kids like that. (134)

  • I think it’s kind of like triage, or like euthanasia. There aren’t enough resources in the world. We’d have to move, to focus our whole family on getting a handicapped kid a better deal… Why spend $50,000 to save one child?(146)

All of these mothers and fathers (for they are already mothers and fathers to their babies growing in the womb) had chosen to have abortions if the baby had Down. The book did not specify which pregnancies actually tested positive and how many went on to abort. But all of the quotes above were made by men and women who fully intended to kill their babies if they turned out to be mentally challenged.

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28 Responses to Jesus Wept

  • With parents attitudes as bleak and weak as theirs, who in Gods name would want to be their children?

    You are given an Angel that just also happened to be in human form, and just so happened to be created from the love you your wife and God share.
    This Angel wasn’t pure spirit mind you, however Donald was close to that caliber. I say this because I have a neice that is a Downs syndrome baby, and the light that fills our hearts comes from her smile love and positive energy.

    You are given of of Gods greatest gifts, and there is no past tense here.
    He loves you sees you and hugs you.
    He lives in our homeland. He calls you “my dad on Earth.”

    You’ve been so blessed to share his years on Earth…as he was just as blessed to share in your families years.
    Peace Donald.

  • “The sins of the fathers will be visited on the children for ten generations.” Jesus fell under the cross three times. The Downs syndrome child is doing reparation for the ten generations before him. Least a person could do is appreciate the sacrifice, the Downs Child is making for all of us…lest God wipe us all from the face of the earth. Thank you dear. See you in heaven when we will talk.
    .
    The Downs child is more one of us than any other.
    .
    The despicable responses from those who have contempt for God and God’s people is pukes.

  • typos…excuse me please. “…however Donald he was close to that caliber.”

    “You are given one of Gods greatest gifts.”

    Mr. McClarey. I write from my heart.
    The posts about your mom and your son
    Reveal a love of and from God.
    It is in this spirit that my poor fingers fly faster than my intellect. Please keep this in mind. I love God and try to love my neighbors in His love. I’m in great awe of parents like you.

  • What a gift you had in your son, Larry.

    One day you’ll be reunited in Heaven…forever. Then there’ll be no more tears.

  • “Then there’ll be no more tears.”

    Only eternal joy and the love that surpasses our understanding here below.

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  • “I will eventually summon up the will to pray for these parents…They are the truly disabled, in heart and soul, not the priceless children who have the misfortune to be their offspring.”
    God yes. That brought a tear to my eyes Don, knowing the loss that these parents unknowingly have. The truly disabled. Yes indeed, pray for them.

  • We can pray that when these twisted souls have a normal child, God will use them to save their parents.

    In Christ there is always hope!

  • Their excuses are all I Self and Me – the essence of liberalism, progressivism, modernism – whatever you want to call it.
    .
    God bless you Donald for how much you loved Larry.

  • Years ago I read a satirical article written by an adult with autism (Aspergers) in which he described “neurotypicality” (i.e. not being autistic) as if THAT were a disability — one that makes people too obsessed with popularity, being “cool”, impressing people and fitting in with the crowd. Sounds to me like some of these people cited in the article have a really, really bad case of it. It isn’t always easy having an autistic daughter as I do, but give me a kid like her over one of these clowns any day.

  • Honestly, many of us felt this way before our first child, and God granted us a child who awakens us from such thoughts. It doesn’t even require a disabled child or one with a lot of needs. Just realizing a child’s will and temperament are not one’s own, his interests are not one’s own, her taste is not the same, etc. is often enough to move us from our thoughts of what parenthood is for to His thoughts of what parenthood is about.

    It is evil that there is an industry of people to help kill our child just because we are selfish for a time. But most of us are selfish beyond measure, and parenthood is God’s plan to teach us humility, charity, true love. Don’t be so angry that a not-yet parent would not yet know true love. Save that anger for the evil that feeds off it.

  • Dear Mr. McClary, thank you for this article, and for sharing your experiences with Larry. Please keep a friend of mine in your prayers. He is fighting a very aggressive form of cancer and the prognosis is grim. One of his children is a young man with severe autism. They are very close, and we are all concerned about this young man’s well-being if he loses his Dad. They would appreciate prayers from everyone reading this, as I am sure Larry is praying for his spiritual brother and family. Thank you.

  • Sincere condolences with prayers for your family. I lost my younger daughter on 09/11/01 in the world trade center . She was only thirty and she was my sunshine and the sunshine for her father and brothers and sisters as well.
    We learn to live with our losses but we never stop loving and praying we will meet in heaven.

  • My prayers for your daughter Cathy. Death has no power over true love.

  • Donald, My heart goes out to you for having to suffer the flaws of the human character via their comments about your son. It speaks volumes of your character as to your forgiveness to their wronging/hurting you and ability to withhold your anger at their ignorance/shortsightedness/bigotry. Walter

  • Donald,

    You are a great witness as a Catholic man, husband and father. You are in my continued prayers along with your whole family

  • Donald, are you sure you should even be reading articles like this? I’m definitely not telling you who you should and shouldn’t pray for, and you may be displaying a heroic courage that I’d be in no position to understand, but even exposing yourself to this kind of thing strikes me as imprudent. For what it’s worth.

  • Ah, Pinky, thank you for your concern, but I see far worse in my professional life regarding terrible things done to kids.

  • “You are a great witness as a Catholic man, husband and father.”

    Thank you for your kind words Botolph. I look at myself as a sinful attorney who needs all the prayers he can get. I am fortunate in that the people around me have tended to be very good people indeed.

  • “It speaks volumes of your character as to your forgiveness to their wronging/hurting you and ability to withhold your anger at their ignorance/shortsightedness/bigotry. Walter”

    Thank you Walter. I am afraid that I have a bad temper that I strive to control with imperfect success. I actually feel more pity than rage at people who can have such contempt for the most innocent among us.

  • I don’t understand why an obstetrician at a Catholic hospital* insists that pregnant women have amnios to screen for Down’s syndrome, especially when those women insist that they have no intention of artificially aborting any child no matter what.

    *Now the chain that operates that hospital calls itself Dignity instead of Catholic.

  • Micha Elyi: “I don’t understand why an obstetrician at a Catholic hospital* insists that pregnant women have amnios to screen for Down’s syndrome, especially when those women insist that they have no intention of artificially aborting any child no matter what. *Now the chain that operates that hospital calls itself Dignity instead of Catholic.”
    .
    Wrongful life ( a life not worthy of live) lawsuits have been decided against the doctors.

  • As horrible as these sentiments by the expecting parents are, it only gets worse. For each challenged child that gets aborted, think of the effect on other or subsequent siblings as well. My brother has cognitive challenges, and if he were not around, I doubt I and my other siblings would be as aware of the true contributions he and others like him make. It would make an even more callous world of one that is already far too callous to begin with.

  • As an educator of specially abled kiddos–the reality is this: no child can ever live up to those expectations. The other thought I had–accidents happen. Would these parents kill their child with a traumatic brain injury? I’ve worked with several students that have had this happen, and the efforts and battles to keep the child from dying is ALWAYS fully supported by the parents, no matter how the child’s brain is damaged. I am near tears thinking of the arrogance and stupidity exhibited by these parents. I will pray for them.

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  • Some of these comments are unfair. I am prolife. I had a baby at 39 – my first – Thanks be to God. I has amniocentesis. To this day I do not know what I would have done. I struggled for the time period it took for the tests to come back. When they called to tell me all was good – I could not hear the voice giving me the good news I had to have my husband call. I had to deal with truth and I began to research all the possibilities. Do not judge harshly – but embrace and forgive as Christ would and feel blessed for every gift you are given by God. I hope you never have to know the torment of what to do if……

  • “I hope you never have to know the torment of what to do if……”

    If I had known Patrece that my son Larry was going to have autism it wouldn’t have changed the love that my bride and I had for him and his brother in the womb by one iota. We specifically had no amniocentisis performed because we do not believe in search and destroy missions in utero. As my bride told her pediatrician, the babies she carried were coming to term no matter what.

Dear Future Mom

Saturday, March 22, AD 2014

Hattip to Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report. A very well meaning person once told my wife and I that she understood what a cross we had to bear due to the autism of our son Larry.  I responded by stating the simple truth:   that Larry had never been anything but a blessing from God for us.  So he was, from his first day to his last, and continues to be as he went ahead of us to the next world.  In this Vale of Tears many terrible things can happen to us, but the birth of a child, no matter what, is never among them.

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17 Responses to Dear Future Mom

  • Couldn’t have said it better myself. My own daughter, now 18, is autistic as well, and while there are certainly many difficulties there are also some difficulties that parents of “normal” children have which we have been spared. Just one example, she couldn’t care less about the toxic swamp of youth/popular culture and is content with far fewer material possessions than I suspect most young people her age would be.

  • Innocence is always beautiful.

  • A deeper love, a perfected love is revealed to the parents and society when embracing a child of God such as yours Donald and Elaine.
    God bless parents like you.

  • My father passed away last night. Life is beautiful, it’s temporary, and it’s followed by something better. Praise to the Author of Life!

  • May he now be enjoying the Beatific Vision Pinky.

  • Pinky.
    I’m sorry for your loss.
    It’s been just over 4 months since my father passed on.
    May your dad share in the company of the Holy ones forever.

  • Pinky, prayers for the repose of the soul of your father. I will try to remember to pray for him tomorrow at Mass.

    We recently found out that my wife is pregnant. I am 50. She will be 45 next month, so this is already considered a high risk pregnancy. We will accept what God gives us.

  • Thanks. As Don can tell you, it may be true that none of us are worthy of Heaven, but there sure are some good people up there. Penguin, congratulations. Yeah, nervous about it I’m sure, but congratulations.

  • That should have been “thanks all”. Thanks all.

  • “We will accept what God gives us.”

    Prayers on the way PF for a good result! That phrase has been a saving grace for me during last year.

  • God never makes mistakes. Children such as these are God’s gift to us, and how we welcome and care for them is our gift back to God.

  • Don and Penguin’s Fan: ““We will accept what God gives us.”
    Prayers on the way PF for a good result! That phrase has been a saving grace for me during last year.”
    .
    Make me as holy as I am to be holy.
    .
    Victor R. Claveau, MI: “God never makes mistakes. Children such as these are God’s gift to us, and how we welcome and care for them is our gift back to God.”
    .
    Thank you.

  • Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and kind words. I am in need of them and I am grateful.

    I knew some of this before getting married or even before I met my wife – that children belong to their parents – in one sense – for as long as the live, but in a larger sense, for only a little while. It is an awesome task to meet the everyday responsibilities of caring for young children and to work to prepare them for the world that awaits them when they reach adulthood. I had some sense of this as my three brothers are younger than I am and, not being a completely average kid, saw and realized what goes on. My wife was an only child. She had no brothers and no cousins her age. It is a greater challenge for her to deal with a two year old boy that is high strung and a kindergartener. She thought she would homeschool and then found out that she does not have the temperament for it.

    The local parish has a Catholic school. I became unhappy with the way Mass is celebrated there and I have the nagging suspicion that this school is no better than the Catholic school I went to in the 1970s.

    One thing I have developed is a greater sense of understanding and sympathy when people take their young children out in public – be it a dinner (usually at a family restaurant), at Mass, shopping for groceries, traveling, you name it.

    One develops a special kind of anger at crooked politicians, inept clergy, mindless bureaucrats, selfish people and foolish businesses who embrace silly current fads that will have a long lasting and damaging effect on the world that today’s children will inherit.

  • Dear Future Mom was beautiful and heart warming. There is so much ignorance about these exceptional children. I hope it was and will be broadcast on network TV as a public service announcement.

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  • First of all, to Pinky: my sincerest thoughts and prayers with you and your family on the occasion of the loss of your father. Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis.

    Secondly, to Donald, thank you for describing the gift of Larry, your son. Every situation is different: I learn of more and more people every day it seems that have a “special-needs” family member in their lives. We are the fortunate ones.

    My autistic brother, of whose care and custody I have, now that our own father has passed, is a daily occasion, yes, DEFINITELY sometimes of frustration and annoyance, but predominately, of happiness, liveliness, and unbelievably zany humor that only, we the fortunate ones, can know about.
    ******************
    So, I thought, here are 8 things that are the unique gifts of having an autistic child/sibling/family member in your life:
    8) Strange little humming noises can be very pleasing and satisfying.
    7) Harley Davidsons are the most exquisitely Awesome Machines on land. MUST STOP AND WATCH.
    6) Forget Frank Lloyd Wright and Mary Jane Coulter: Some telephone poles are true works of art.
    5) The pipe organ is the most exquisite instrument of music—and esp, the music of JS Bach, Julius Reubke, Maurice Durufle, and Jehan Alain make it talk!
    4) Boeing makes the most Awesome Vehicles that Fly: MUST STOP AND WATCH.
    3) Certain people’s voices, either speaking but especially singing, are Very Annoying.* (*and watch out for them, I have learned he is telling me…)
    2) Nirvanic Rocking can be very soothing to anyone, especially after a very stressful
    day: try it, while you think about what to do next.
    1) And finally: Blessed are the pure of heart, for of such is the Kingdom of God.

Larry and Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, March 5, AD 2014

ash_wednesday

 

My late son Larry always seemed to enjoy Ash Wednesday.  Last year I went up with him to receive ashes.  He heard the traditional admonition:  “Remember man thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.” and had the ashes placed on his forehead.  He then did the normal circle turn that he did after receiving Communion, and we went back to our pew.

Little did we know that this would be Larry’s last Ash Wednesday.  He died in the wee hours of Pentecost last year of a seizure.  (On that dreadful date I said to my wife that one of the greatest gifts God has given us in this life is our inability to see the future.)  Now Larry’s physical body is well on its way back to dust, awaiting the Resurrection when it will be reunited with his soul.

Larry is now in the land which knows not Ash Wednesday, but only Eternal Easter, and we are left to experience an Ash Wednesday without him.  I have always found Ash Wednesday to be a bleak day and it will be much bleaker yet without my son.  However, Ash Wednesday, like death, is not the end, but merely a beginning.  As Ash Wednesday is the portal to Easter, death is the portal to eternal life. 

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13 Responses to Larry and Ash Wednesday

  • Don, I pray you and your wife feel the Peace of our Lord, as you attend Ash Wednesday Mass today.

    Your words really resonate.

    I love how you constantly refer to this life as we all live it- in a “Vale of Tears”. It expresses so accurately how much we yearn for God.

    Your beautiful son Larry now lives eternally, right by his Heavenly Father, watching down on you his earthly father.

    You and your family are in my prayers on this day.

  • A beautiful reflection, Don.

  • Your son is in the loving arms of Jesus, his Savior.

    Soon, we’ll be there right along side of them.

    A blessed Lenten season to all here.

  • Larry looks like you, Donald. Blessed Larry.

  • “You and your family are in my prayers on this day.”

    Thank you Ez. Saint Francis of Assisi used to call himself a beggar completely dependent upon God. Until my son died I didn’t really understand his words and now I think I do.

  • “A beautiful reflection, Don.”

    Thank you Michael. Larry led a beautiful life, and it brings me peace when I think or write about him.

  • “Larry looks like you, Donald.”

    I like to think he did. He had his maternal grandmother’s curly hair, and the lean, lanky build of his paternal grandfather. He had the big feet of his maternal grandfather, and when he laughed or was angry he always reminded me of his paternal grandmother. Whenever I looked into his eyes I usually saw the gentleness of my bride looking back.

  • “Your son is in the loving arms of Jesus, his Savior.”

    I believe that with every fibre of my being OA.

  • “one of the greatest gifts God has given us in this life is our inability to see the future.”

    Well said Don.

  • Eloquent is how I would describe that ‘turn of joy’. Of course, trying to imagine the moments, I wonder whether you or someone in your family might be there behind him.

  • My son Larry always walked before me when we went up for Communion or ashes. I still find myself instinctively keeping a space for him.

  • Don:
    Your magnanimous (great-souled) words touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye. They made Ash Wednesday come alive for me. If we knew the future, would we act differently. Since we do not know the day nor the hour, should we act as if was imminent and strive even greater to bring out the best in others and ourselves while we traverse this vale of tears on our way to what we hope will be a heavenly reward? I guess in the end, it’s not what we “give up” for Lent but what we do for Lent.
    Peter

  • Thank you Pete. Since Larry’s death I think I do appreciate the gift of each day more than I did before. When I was a kid a priest once told me that I should live each day as if it was my last. That piece of ageless advice makes much more sense to me now than it did then.

Larry’s First Christmas in Heaven

Wednesday, December 25, AD 2013

Larry McClarey

But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

I am choking back tears as I post this.  Some very kind anonymous person left a package on our porch that had a framed copy of a poem in it:

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below

With tiny lights like Heaven’s stars reflecting the snow.

The sight is so spectacular- please wipe away the tear

For I’m spending Christmas with Jesus this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear

But the sound of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here

I have no words to tell you the joys their voices bring

For it’s beyond description to hear the angels sing

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart

But I am not so far away, we really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me dear ones you know I hold you dear

And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift for my heavenly home above,

I sent you each a memory of my undying love.

After all love is a gift more precious than pure gold. I

t was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other as my Father said to do.

For I can’t count the blessing of love he has for each of you.

So have a merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.

Remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

 The poem was written by Wanda Bencke.  Her 13 year old  daughter Lysandra Kay Bencke had cerebral palsy.  She had a seizure and went into a coma on Christmas Day, 1997, and died five days later.  During those awful five days her mother wrote the poem.

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37 Responses to Larry’s First Christmas in Heaven

  • You are right.
    They are where we wish them to be.
    What a first Christmas for them.
    What Joy.
    Please know their Joy is what they want for you.
    Not sorrow Donald, but complete JOY.
    My Dad and your cherished son know more than we could ever know in 160 years of formal education and experience…they know the embrace…and they want us to know it too.
    Bless you dear soul.
    Peace and Merry Christmas.

  • Thank you.
    The ability to glimpse into the most profound insights and commentary from an educated and illuminated source is a humbling and fascinating experience for me.
    I know I try the patience of your loyal contributors but it is not in contempt. The TAC is a chance for me to ponder the depth of experience and knowledge that I would otherwise never gain insight to.
    So pleasr accept my thanks and forgive me of my poor grammar.
    I do hope that my perspectives can add in some small way to the betterment of the whole. Hope, not assuming that it is.

  • It is good to be reminded that the church, militant and triumphant, are one in Christ Jesus our Lord. We have before us a ‘great cloud of witnesses.’ Merry Christmas, Donald!

  • Bless you dear soul. Peace and Merry Christmas…Philip

  • Mary…thanks. Your one of many that I mentioned in my earlier post…one that swims in the deep end. 🙂

  • Epistula ad Romanos 8:38-39

    Certus sum enim quia neque mors neque vita neque angeli neque principatus neque instantia neque futura neque virtutes neque altitudo neque profundum neque alia quaelibet creatura poterit nos separare a caritate Dei, quae est in Christo Iesu Domino nostro.

    For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    —–

    It is the hope of salvation, Donald, that one day you will be enjoying that Beatific Vision with your son.

  • “It is the hope of salvation, Donald, that one day you will be enjoying that Beatific Vision with your son.”

    That is my chief remaining desire Paul.

  • Donald, in your love for your own beloved son, Larry, we now have a “hint” of the Father’s love for His only-begotten, Beloved Son, and through that love, His love for each of us.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

  • Thank you Botolph. That is greatly appreciated.

  • Donald,
    Don’t choke back the tears, they are the safety valve to the heart.
    You and those dear to you are remembered in prayer by many.

    Pingback ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwBIUC0deLE
    http://www.tcfatlanta.org/HolidayPoems.html#Holidays%20in
    Peace.

  • Donald, I share your sadness and your joy. Peace be with you. ~Bill

  • “Don’t choke back the tears, they are the safety valve to the heart.
    You and those dear to you are remembered in prayer by many.”

    Sound advice Maureen. I thank you for that and for your prayers.

  • “Donald, I share your sadness and your joy. Peace be with you. ~Bill”

    Thank you Bill.

  • Thank you for posting this poem. God bless you and your family.

  • Thank you DJ. God bless you and your family.

  • Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not here; I did not die. (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932)

    My prayers have been offered for you and your family.

  • Good Heavens, Donald. I have been absent from this blog for quite a while and did not know about Larry’s passing. My deepest condolences.

    I shall say a prayer for Larry and your family tonight.

  • “I shall say a prayer for Larry and your family tonight.”
    Bless you Donna!

  • Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem. Larry and your family remain in my prayers. A blessed Christmas to you all — because Christmas isn’t over yet.

  • Quite right Elaine, and thank you.

  • Thank you for posting the beautiful poem and the comments. Very uplifting and needed as we remember deceased loved ones also at this Season.
    At our Christmas Dinner table we had two guests who each had lost a child, one as a teen and the other as a young adult. The mother who lost her teenage daughter had earlier confided in me that her goal in life was to be reunited with her daughter in heaven. She was concerned because a priest’s description of heaven said that it would not be like that. As a lay person I had no answer for her: however, I will print out Wanda’s Bencke’s poem for my friends.
    “Don’t choke back the tears, they are the safety valve to the heart.” – I think many a cardiologist would agree.
    To the McClarey family and all the readers of this blog, my prayers for joy and peace for the Christmas Octave.

  • “She was concerned because a priest’s description of heaven said that it would not be like that.”
    The priest is an idiot. The idea that we would not be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven strikes me as a very peculiar notion of Heaven indeed. Our God who became part of a human family would not create such a joyless Heaven.

    Thank you for your very kind prayers CAM. I pray that you and your family, and your guests who lost kids, may have a joyous year in 2014.

  • CAM.
    #1821 in the C.C.C. ; We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.

    The Church Triumphant is made up of “family.”

    On this feast of the Holy Family…take heart brother Cam and proclaim with confidence…The banquet table will be surrounded with cherished holy souls that loved and served the Lord.

    Peace be to you and yours.

  • Did not Jesus himself say to the good thief; Amen I say to you, this day you shall be with me in Paradise.(?)
    🙂

  • “Not be like that”?????? Buy that priest a copy of the Catholic Encyclopedia. To wit:
    “The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices. The participants in that solidarity are called saints by reason of their destination and of their partaking of the fruits of the Redemption
    (1 Corinthians 1:2”
    For me, there is no question but that we shall share Heaven with our loved ones and all the saints. The only real question is whether there will be at least beer in Purgatory. 😉

  • Many a holy monk was “inspired” to make a tasty concoction.
    Beer in purgatory???
    Great Wine in heaven…yes…that we can be sure of. Is.25 6-10 I believe. Choice wines on his Holy Mtn.

  • “The only real question is whether there will be at least beer in Purgatory.”

    Will Walsh.
    I share your sentiment, being a beer conoisseur from way back. The problem is, that when it gets poured into the glass, the glass will have no bottom, so it will never fill – and even if it does, it will taste like horse urine.

    Sorry buddy, you’ll have to wait to get to heaven to enjoy the perfect nectar of the hop. 🙂

  • “The banquet table will be surrounded with cherished holy souls who loved and served the Lord.” When Jesus becomes present on the altar during every Mass, there too, will be your son, Larry, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

  • I feel Larry’s presence occasionally at Mass. He would always sit, kneel and stand by me at Mass in life, and I suspect he is often still doing so in death.

  • “I feel Larry’s presence occasionally at Mass. He would always sit, kneel and stand by me at Mass in life, and I suspect he is often still doing so in death.”
    Larry loves you.

  • To Philip, William Walsh, Don and others: Thank you for the references and comments. Though my friend speaks fluent “American”, her first language is a European one. Seeing the words in print will giver her peace of mind.

  • CAM.
    Your welcome 🙂

  • Cam,
    Pleased are we to be instruments of His peace, unawares. 🙂
    Bill