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.

Memorial Day Thoughts

Monday, May 30, AD 2016

18477897_135337960269

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

Prior to my son Larry passing away three years ago I had never spent much time in cemeteries.  That of course has changed.  Over the past three years I have been a weekly visitor, except when the snow is too thick to get in (one time I got stuck at the gate in the snow making the attempt) to Mount Olivet Cemetery here in Dwight.  I have always been struck by the peace there as I talk to my son at his grave site and pray.  A train runs along a side of the cemetery, something Larry would have enjoyed, and no doubt his spirit does, as he was fascinated by trains during life.  Each season has a special grandeur at the cemetery:  spring with its new life, lush summer, brilliant fall, and silent winter.  However, without a doubt, the most beautiful time is Memorial Day where the graves of veterans in the cemetery are decorated with flags.

Going to the graves we see veterans who lived to old age and veterans who died young in war.  Graves dating from the Civil War and graves dating from recent conflicts.  Graves where the sorrow of the loss is dimmed with the passage of time and graves where the sorrow is a fresh wound.  All the graves have in common is a small American flag marking them on this day, a sign of respect and love for their service.

Remembering our dead is a tribute to the human capacities for memory and love.  It is all too easy to forget our dead in the hurly-burly of life, but it is essential that we do not do so.  God loves each man as if there was no other.  Each life is worthy of remembrance, for good or for ill.  We are not Mayflies that live brief lives and perish.  What we are echoes both in time and in eternity and no man’s life or death should be ignored.

In a cemetery we see the panoply of life spread out before us:  infants who died at birth to people who died beyond the century mark.  Beloved wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, sons and daughters.  Graves of the obscure and the famous.  Graves that are frequently visited and graves where the loved ones of the departed have long since departed themselves.  All alike waiting for the Final Day when their bodies will rejoin their souls when Christ comes to judge all.

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3 Responses to Memorial Day Thoughts

  • Here are the lyrics of a song I wrote a few years back regarding the war fallen:

    At the dawn of their lives, they heard the call. Stepped right up and gave it their all.

    Brothers in arms who went into harm’s way knowing full well the price they might pay. They gave their tomorrows so we could be free today.

    This is a story that needs to be told, of these boys who will never grow old.

    But like a hero’s song left unsung, these same boys will be forever young.

    War is a time that’ll try a man’s soul. To face his own death and not lose control.

    No greater love can any man send than when he gives his life for a friend. The kind of love upon which lives depend.

    There is a time when good men go to war, when there are things they need to fight for.

    Still some say that might doesn’t make right, but there are times we’ve to fight, fight with all of our might to do what’s right.

    War is a thing one should never wish for. But you know there are things that are much worse than war. Like living’ in tyranny that robs a man of his dignity and denies his humanity.

  • “My bride and I have plots on each side of our son, we making the decision the week of his death that as we held his hands as a small boy in life, we will do so in death.”
    That made me choke up.

  • I’m a regular at Queen of Heaven in Hillside, IL. The mausoleum contains the remains of over 30,000 individuals-the largest in the US I am told. I will walk through there praying for the poor souls; I enjoy the company of the deceased better than the living. Outside several of my relatives are buried. If you are ever in suburban Chicago you need to check it out.

    Across the street Capone is buried at Mt. Carmel. Also many of the archbishops of Chicago are buried there. If you wait outside of their crypt on Sundays on the hour, custodians will unlock their crypt. The interior is covered with gold. The crypt was built in Italy, taken apart and the artisans came over to rebuild on site. It is beautiful

Lawrence Charles McClarey: In Memoriam

Thursday, May 19, AD 2016

Larry McClarey

Lawrence Charles McClarey

Birth:  September 5, 1991

(Feast day of Saint Lawrence Justinian)

Death:  May 19, 2013

(Pentecost)

12 Now if Christ be preached, that he arose again from the dead, how do some among you say, that there is no resurrection of the dead?  13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. 14 And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.  15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have given testimony against God, that he hath raised up Christ; whom he hath not raised up, if the dead rise not again.  16 For if the dead rise not again, neither is Christ risen again. 17 And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain, for you are yet in your sins.   18 Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished.  19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep :  21 For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead.  22 And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.  23 But every one in his own order: the firstfruits Christ, then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming.  24 Afterwards the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father, when he shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, and virtue.  25 For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet.  26 And the enemy death shall be destroyed last.

1 Corinthians:  12-26

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8 Responses to Lawrence Charles McClarey: In Memoriam

  • My morning offering is including you and your family Don. That the same loving Christ child that radiated such joy and light from Bethlehem will warm and brighten your hearts on this anniversary.

    Your sincere posts about Larry throughout these difficult years, have touched my life, and others as well I’m sure. Great love!

    That Great Love is a force that reaches out to strangers in a chat room and unites us in this journey. Your candid style of expression regarding your greatest treasure helps us to know what true love is. Thank you.

    Larry Frank and Joan might just join me this morning as I start my Rosary. They too are treasure that belongs entirely to God.

  • Thank you for your kind words Philip. I have always said that death does not stop love, and with Larry I understand the emotional truth behind the words.

  • Back in the 1991 Eric Clapton’s three year old son Conor tragically fell to his death. His song Tears in Heaven, that he wrote with Will Jennings, was inspired (for the lack of a better word) by that horrific event. I think any parent who has lost a child can relate to the hauntingly well-written lyrics to that song:

    https://youtu.be/VRsJlAJvOSM

  • Philip’s comment reflects my own.
    Although I no longer comment here, for this young man, I am making an exception.

  • I have a brother named Lawrence, with severe autism, and he is everything to me. God bless your family and his soul Donald.

  • Thank you Clay. Larry was named after my brother Larry who was named after my uncle Larry, who is now the sole surviving uncle I have. Kind people would sometimes say while Larry was living that they knew what a cross we were bearing. My bride and I always told them the simple truth: Larry had brought nothing but joy into our lives.

  • May the soul of Lawrence Charles McClarey, and of all the souls of Donald R. McClarey’s family, relatives, and friends, and of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
    *
    Enroll your loved ones here?: RORATE CÆLI: Purgatorial Society. I have.

Larry Facts

Monday, October 26, AD 2015

LarryMcClarey2009

 

I had not intended this for publication but a recent attempt by criminals to subject one of my computers to ransomware has caused me to publish this to give it “internet immortality”.  These are facts about my son Larry that I wrote down in the days, weeks and months after his death on May 19, 2013 as an aid to my memory as the years rolled by.  The list is given as written with no attempts to edit, especially in regard to facts which may be repeated.

 

Not for publication, but to preserve in Don’s memory facts about his son Larry.

Facts about Larry McClarey:

1.  He cried when he was baptized which Father Iserman advised his parents indicated, according to the Poles, that he would have a long life.  (The crying was probably because he had a poopie diaper.)

2.  Larry was the first of the boys to get out of the crib, by leaning over the top of the crib and doing a slow motion fall.

3.  Before he could walk Larry would “porpoise” on his back across the floor.

4.  The first word Larry spoke was “Ozmobile” in reference to our green focus wagon.  The first phrase he spoke was “Great Dinosaur Atlas” one of his favorite books.

5.  Larry loved the book Animals in Winter to be read to him as a toddler.

6.  The first book Larry read by himself by sounding out words was a story in the phonics book, A Pig Can Jig, Wag the Dog.  Larry was tickled by Wag. that bad dog.

7.  Larry was a slow talker due to his autism, and learning to read actually helped Larry become a more voluble speaker.

8.  Larry as a youngster had a lovely singing voice and could sing more clearly, and readily, than he could talk.  The desire to sing deserted him as he entered puberty.

9.  Larry would kick off his shoes on the stairs leading down to the basement, allowing them to fall where they would.  His Dad constantly had him pick up his shoes.  His Dad wishes, with all his heart, that he could hear the clattering of Larry’s shoes just one more time.

10.  Larry early appreciated music, especially anything with a strong rhythm.   He loved the score of Evita, a favorite of his parents, his entire life.  He was terrified of the bowflex commercial as a youngster, perhaps because of the deep voice of the announcer.  Larry was scared of the deep voice of Darth Vader as a youngster.

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13 Responses to Larry Facts

  • Wow. I am so grateful that you shared this history of your son. It was a pleasure to read. This is the best history you’ve posted.

  • I should write down what I remember now about my children before I forget it! thank you

  • I agree with Steve, wholeheartedly. Although I must admit that #131, where your
    son Donnie blew out his birthday candles and wished his twin brother a happy
    birthday, made my heart ache. Mr. McClarey, I am so sorry for the loss of your son.

  • A priest once told me a wives’ tale that if a baby screams at baptism, it means he had a demon in him. No scream, no demon. Either way, Larry was pure after the sacrament.

  • What a great look at someone being a precious human. Nice job. I’m sure that we all feel that we know Larry now.

  • You ARE a great Father Don.
    Indisputable. Without question.
    This love list says much about the parents, as it says about Larry.
    My Dad passed away the same year as your Larry. Frank was solid. I miss him much.
    His heart was Gold.
    I hope my Dad and Larry share a stroll through our Lady’s garden one day. I think Larry would like my dad.

  • This is an impressove list. I agree with Philip. You are a great father, Don.

  • Thank you for your kind words my friends. Larry was a great son and I take comfort in my memories of him. I go out to his grave at least weekly to talk to him. It is a lovely place with a train track running right by it, something Larry would have loved.

  • Thanks for sharing this list — a great tribute to a great young man. My own daughter, who also is autistic, has some of these traits as well, including an affinity for condiments (particularly mustard, which she slathers over all her sandwiches, and sometimes she will make a sandwich of just mustard and two slices of bread). It is all those little things, and even the little annoying things, that make us “us” and which we too often take for granted.

  • “His Dad wishes, with all his heart, that he could hear the clattering of Larry’s shoes just one more time.”

    Don, you WILL hear Larry’s shoes clattering again. Some have written that all good earthly things are preserved in Heaven through God’s grace. Heaven is not just being with our loved ones, but is also a preservation as to why they are loved. I do believe this, and find great comfort in it.

  • Knowing not what to say, I have spoken silence. Reading the beautiful, very beautiful comments of the gentle people over your loss of Larry, your son, I am glad that you have written the poems of your heart, especially: “84. At Mass Larry would often say “First its bread, now its Jesus”, and “First its wine, now its Jesus”, as his Mom taught all three of the kids to say.” “First it is bread, now, it is Jesus. First it is wine, now, it is Jesus” is so profoundly simple and true that it is, might I say, relevant to all people, Larry’s mother inculcated the Summa in two sentences. On November 2, we will celebrate Larry McClarey.

  • “On November 2nd, we will celebrate Larry McCleary.”-Mary DeVoe…..

    Add yours to the ” very beautiful comments of the gentle people. “

Larry Sightings

Monday, October 26, AD 2015

 

LarryMcClarey2012

I had not intended this for publication, but a recent attempt by criminals to subject one of my computers to ransomware has caused me to give this internet “immortality” by publishing it here.  Those who wish to may conclude that these “sightings” are the product of the mind of a Father crushed by grief.  Faithful readers of this blog, who know how I attempt to adhere to facts when writing about History and the Law, may decide that I am being truthful when I state that what is written below is a purely factual account.  I will update this in the future as necessary.

 

Larry Sightings:

1.  Toilet paper on floor next to toilet bowl in upstairs bathroom on May 21, 2013.    (Larry in life was in the habit of constantly putting a length of toilet paper on the floor at the right side of the toilet bowl in the upstairs bathroom, where the lengths of toilet paper have been found since his death.  Each time one has been found since the date of his death on May 19, 2013, the other members of the family have denied putting it there.)

2.  Larry’s grandmother reported unexplained chimes at night in her house beginning the evening of May 18-19, 2013.

3.  A glove that looked like one of Larry’s was found in the new car of his Grandmother on May 26, 2013 right before she was returning to Kenosha.  Larry had never been in the car.

4.  Toilet paper on floor next to toilet bowl in upstairs bathroom on June 1, 2013. 

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8 Responses to Larry Sightings

  • These are just reminders from Larry that , in case you all had forgotten , he is still a vital member of the family. He obviously loved the family very much.

  • My then-girlfriend had a very vivid dream in which her father told her very clearly that “I like this one the best.”

    “This one” being me, as it turned out. Sometimes, we get a sign. It appears you are getting several, and for that I am happy for you, Don.

    “And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

  • I’m not sure this is the right thing to write, but it kinda thundered into my head:
    “What part of outside of time and space is hard to understand?”
    ***
    Understanding may be relatively easy– believing something you desperately wish for, less so.
    So you get reminders…although the toilet tissue seems like a Father Brown mystery level note. (Translation: seems silly, is actually deep.)

  • I think Foxfier’s comment about space-time is correct.

  • Today’s reading from Romans; 8:12-17 reads, “If we are children, we are heirs as well: heirs of God, heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with Him so as to be glorified with Him – Romans 8:17

    The suffering you and your family shoulder each day from the loss of Larry is a suffering shared by Christ. He shares it, carrying some of the weight when it’s impossible to do it yourselves.

    Can he not also share some of His glory too?

    As an heir, and a faithful loving one at that, He may be allowing these moments as a kiss or hug from Larry to you and your family. Why not? I certainly don’t know, however what if this was a kind reminder of his, Larry’s, unending love for you. He too is an heir of the Father’s Kingdom. It is possible that Grace is being shared…Larry style…to say to you..Hi Mom, Hi Dad…I Love You.

  • Thank you for such public love of your son.

  • I thank you for your kind words my friends. I have always held that death cannot conquer love, and I guess Larry is intent on demonstrating that.

  • I’ve had a communication 3 times. I was with each of my parents when they died. 1. About a month after his death, I saw my father’s shadow at the end of a hall and heard his voice telling me not to be so hard on my oldest son, that he was a good lad. 2. Around the first anniversary of my mother’s death, I kept having a recurring vivid dream that I was dying. As a result I went to the doctor and ended up in a cardiac unit. I’m healed now. When I told a dear friend about my father’s “visit” she told me that in her experience a deceased loved one often communicates one last good-by; could be a dream or a touch on the shoulder or a voice. 3. This same friend was in a very unhappy marriage and was later diagnosed with a degenerative disease. Our daily phone calls gradually ceased. I left short messages on her phones, sent Mass cards or whimsical cat cards always with the same message, “Please, just let know you are okay.” Sometimes my phone would ring with her CID, but there was no voice on the line. One week a pen would roll off my kitchen counter while I was working at it. First time I thought I knocked it; subsequent times it started to bother me. Then one morning of that week I had a voice mail from her husband telling me her ashes had been interred the day before; that she had spent 10 weeks in the hospital and a stroke had left her mute. I was recounting the story to an employee and out of nowhere a bit of cat hair floated down and landed on my hand. We decided it was my friend telling me she was finally okay. I apologize for my wordiness.
    So I absolutely believe that Larry has visited your home on those occasions. When he left this earth it was abrupt without family members present. Maybe Larry is trying to assuage your grief and give you some peace. It’s his positive gift letting you all know he’s okay and that he loves you.

Lawrence Charles McClarey: In Memoriam

Tuesday, May 19, AD 2015

Larry McClarey

Lawrence Charles McClarey

Birth:  September 5, 1991

(Feast day of Saint Lawrence Justinian)

Death:  May 19, 2013

(Pentecost)

38. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might,

39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 38-39

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7 Responses to Lawrence Charles McClarey: In Memoriam

Larry and Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 18, AD 2015

ash_wednesday

(I will be reposting this each Ash Wednesday.)

My late son Larry always seemed to enjoy Ash Wednesday.  Two 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. 

Saint Paul noted almost 2000 years ago that if our hope in Christ was limited to this life only that Christians were the most pitiable of men, and that those who slept in Christ would then be the deadest of the dead.  Our hope, however, is not limited to this brief sojourn through this Vale of Tears.  Christ taught us to call God Father to remind us all that we are children of a loving God.  His resurrection revealed to us that God’s mercy and love is not limited to this world, but is for all eternity to those who love God and our neighbor.

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9 Responses to Larry and Ash Wednesday

  • Amen Donald. Amen.

  • Donald, you must miss Larry dearly.
    My prayers for you, your wife and family. Larry will be enjoying the Beatific Vision indeed.

  • Thank you Ezabelle. I do not know how people who do not believe in God can possibly endure the loss of a child.

  • Dear Donald R. – Many of us have children and grandchildren who – for now – to us are “lost,” but their presence in Heaven is one thing that keeps me going, trying to be good here to shorten my stay in purgatory, and wanting to be with God [and them] for all eternity. They are there now because of His will and I ask Him to let them help me to say, and mean it, Thy Will Be Done. And I dearly want that to include hugging them, dancing with them, and learning the nicknames they have come up with for me as Daddy and Grandad. God bless you and your family and hold all of you safe in the palm of His hand until you hug Larry again. Guy McClung, San Antonio.

  • Thank you Guy. Larry being on the other side removed from me whatever small residual fear of death I had, since I know a joyous reunion, please God, will be ours after I go through the gate of death.

  • Thank you.
    Our girls had the first Ash Wednesday where they understood we were going to go up, although their reaction was… well, let’s say there was a lot of totally inappropriate to “you are dust, and unto dust you will return” smiling, and trying to explain it for a five and three year old without being scary* is an interesting exercise in theology. Ended up going with the sackcloth and ashes version, so “it means we’re really, really sorry for doing bad stuff, and to remind us to try to fix it.”
    *my impulse was to be very literal, and “that means you’re going to die” is NOT something that one should tell a very imaginative five year old, much less a three year old who is sure there are monsters in the dark. It WILL be translated as “really soon now.”

  • Mr. McClarey, I have been reading your blog frequently over the last year and I appreciate your point of view. I, too, had to experience this Ash Wednesday without my son. He had a heart condition, and unexpectedly left us on May 1st of last year. He couldn’t wait to get to Heaven, and always talked about the things he “would ask God when I get to Heaven.” I, too, am confident that he has asked God many of those things (though I doubt he’s had time to ask them all). He was only ten, and this is the greatest struggle I have ever endured. I take great comfort in the fact that I am able to share some of our Blessed Mother’s sufferings and that our Catholic faith helps me to see a greater meaning in suffering. I look forward to the day of our joyful reunion, and pray for God’s mercy. God bless you and your family as your continue to bear this cross.

  • “He was only ten,”

    My heart so goes out to you Joan. God bless you and your family. I pray for the intercession of your son and my son for all parents who lose children.

Love Makes All the Difference

Friday, October 24, AD 2014

20 Responses to Love Makes All the Difference

  • Perfection. Your love for God and family is nothing less than perfection.

    Todays psalm 24:3,4 reads; “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He (Larry) whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.”

    Your description of your love for Larry is incense so sweet and so pleasing to God most high. It’s extremely sad that the woman in the story could not find what your family has such an abundance of…love.

    God is Love.
    Peace Mr. McClarey.
    Peace.

  • Beautiful writing Don. So inspired by faith, and so inspired by your son Larry.

  • Thank you Philip and Tom. God has been gracious to me in surrounding me with good people throughout my life. Larry was the icing on the cake.

  • Donald McClarey: “Christ gave us as His two great commands: Love God and Love our Neighbor. No one is more our neighbor than the children God gives us. Without this love, a pale reflection of the love that God has for each of us, we are but poor beasts indeed.”
    .
    Stunningly beautiful.

  • Such a gorgeous and elegant response to that horrifying article, Mr. McClarey. My twin brother Patrick is autistic and also has seizures (though he hasn’t had one in over a year, thank God). He can be such a pain sometimes, but this just affirms the fact that he’s human. Thank you so much for this wonderful post.

  • Thank you Mary and Rodney for your very kind comments.

  • Yours is the story and the example that should have been presented to the recent Synod on the Family, Donald. You turned a Cross – the disability of your son – into a Crown of how life should be. When I read your description of Larry and his disability, I am reminded of what St Paul wrote, that the power of God is made perfect in human weakness. Thus does disability turn from detriment into asset. Should we ask to become half as disabled? If only to become half as holy? For without holiness no man shall see God.

  • “Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

  • Veritatis Splendor – 80. “[…] Whatever is hostile to life itself, such as any kind of homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and voluntary suicide; whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution and trafficking in women and children; degrading conditions of work which treat laborers as mere instruments of profit, and not as free responsible persons: all these and the like are a disgrace, and so long as they infect human civilization they contaminate those who inflict them more than those who suffer injustice, and they are a negation of the honor due to the Creator.” (132)
    .

    Sipping from the poisonous cup of social justice . . . Doubt and confusion. Muddy the waters. It’s how they rationalize advancing abortion and all the evils attendant with progressivism.

  • My hope is that you may be led to reach out in love rather than reject in condemnation.

    Is this woman, who has expressed her feelings, not your neighbor?

    Might you consider laying down the stone and sharing your love?

  • Elizabeth, this woman wishes she had slain her son and encourages other women carrying Down’s children to do so. The height of love is sometimes to tell someone when they are acting like a monster.

  • You have brought tears to my eyes Donald, esp when I got the the two words, “my boy”.
    That love and the difference between you, your wife and other children, and that woman.. is grace. Available to her too, but it must be received.
    You have grown closer to God no doubt because of Larry. Thank you for being willing to share with us.

  • Thank you Anzlyne. My eyes often well up when I think of Larry, but that is counterbalanced by the fact that I know I will see him again. That, and the good memories of him that will remain with me throughout the rest of my journey through this vale of tears.

  • Mr. McClarey, you and your family accepted your son Larry as a blessing rather than as a cross to bear -although I’m sure there were times it felt like a cross, as all parents who love their children know.

    Children with disabilities force their parents to realize that these children will always need them and that the carefree retirement in the Sunbelt and long vacations and ocean cruises aren’t going to happen. The ones who look to the Lord can find the strength to deal with the situation. Those who are selfish – and who isn’t a little selfish from time to time, as I can be – act like the lady in the Daily Mail. One day she will meet her Maker and answer why she did not want to carry her cross.

  • Extraordinary words and writing, Mr. McClarey, and beyond “touching the heart”.

    I have briefly commented before that I am honored to be the guardian for my brother, Joe, who like Larry was, is an autistic adult; in Joey’s case, is blessed with extraordinary good health and strength; but like Larry did, he makes our lives every day unique, intriguing and decidedly un-dull. Like Larry, he loves to lead us in prayers, esp. before meals (can’t drop that!), and prays the “Eternal Rest” prayers also for all the family before every sitting; he also loves going to Mass and knows it is something very important about God and Jesus and “Sweet Virgin Mary” (=his articulation). At Mass: he is quiet as a mouse–amazing! And perhaps best of all, I am/we are always fortunate to have someone who will always say the Rosary with me/us, no matter how long the drive and no matter how many Mysteries we’ve gone through already. A veritable Rosary Machine!
    I can only imagine the hole in one’s life without Larry, based on how much I wonder how poor would my life and a very generous Mrs. Phoenix’s life would be, without Uncle Joe.
    ….
    What is the value of a life, and its meaning? “I know our lives would have been happier and far less complicated if he had never been born. I do wish I had an abortion. I wish it every day.” (Daily Mail excerpt) Some people will never know: the value of a life. It is the secret of a life, the secret of the Rosary, the secret of God’s presence in unbelievable circumstances. Franz Werfel said it best: “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible”.

  • “My eyes often well up when I think of Larry,”
    Don, mine did reading this. Thank you

  • Thanks, Don. I needed to read this.

  • “I know our lives would have been happier and far less complicated if he had never been born.”

    Less complicated, maybe, but happier? That is the fatal assumption far too many people make in our culture of death: that less complication, less inconvienience, less effort and less pain always equal more happiness. Many people discover, far too late, that this is not true.

    Oddly enough, I stumbled across a VERY lengthy article in Newsweek (online) yesterday concerning a rather sordid case of a wealthy New York woman on trial for murdering her autistic son. The article goes off into quite a few tangents about the mystery of autism, the search for cures, the “neurodiversity” movement (which advocates accepting autistic youth and adults as they are rather than trying to change them), etc. but way, way, down toward the end of the story is one priceless quote that could apply to any disability:

    “A day at Oak Hill (a residential school/facility for autistic youth in California) reminds you that autism spectrum disorder is exactly as complicated, frustrating and inscrutable as human existence disorder. This, I think, is where the neurodiversity crowd, which can sometimes lapse into anti-science, has a point: Autistic people are, above all, people. We all have our own pathologies. Some are visible. Some are not. Some we can cure. Some, not yet. Some, maybe never.”

  • “You have one here who is greater than the prophets.” Jesus Christ was not referring to His divinity. Jesus Christ was referring to His humanity. Jesus Christ was referring to the opportunity of people to love.

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August 22, 1864: Lincoln Addresses the 166th Ohio

Friday, August 22, AD 2014

 

Lincoln, six feet one in his stocking feet,

The lank man, knotty and tough as a hickory rail,

Whose hands were always too big for white-kid gloves,

Whose wit was a coonskin sack of dry, tall tales,

Whose weathered face was homely as a plowed field–

Abraham Lincoln, who padded up and down

The sacred White House in nightshirt and carpet-slippers,

And yet could strike young hero-worshipping Hay

As dignified past any neat, balanced, fine

Plutarchan sentences carved in a Latin bronze;

The low clown out of the prairies, the ape-buffoon,

The small-town lawyer, the crude small-time politician,

State-character but comparative failure at forty

In spite of ambition enough for twenty Caesars,

Honesty rare as a man without self-pity,

Kindness as large and plain as a prairie wind,

And a self-confidence like an iron bar:

This Lincoln, President now by the grace of luck,

Disunion, politics, Douglas and a few speeches

Which make the monumental booming of Webster

Sound empty as the belly of a burst drum.

Stephen Vincent Benet

(I originally posted this on February 9, 2012.  The comments it contains regarding my late son Larry reminds me that in this Vale of Tears we can never know the ending of our personal history, but we can do our best to make it a tale worth reading when we come to our end, something that I think both Mr. Lincoln and my son accomplished on vastly different scales.)

Today is the 203rd birthday of the Sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.  The above video is an interesting and imaginative interview of Lincoln, if the film technology of the Thirties of the last century had been available in 1860.

Lately I have been reading a book on Lincoln with my autistic son.  I point at the words and he reads them, an early morning ritual we have carried out for the last 14 years.  Young Lincoln’s struggles against the poverty of his early years, and his lack of more than one year in total of formal education, strikes a chord with me in regard to my son’s struggles against his autism.  One of the many reasons why I find Mr. Lincoln’s life endlessly fascinating is the theme throughout it of the most extraordinary possibilities in all of us, no matter the cards that Fate dealt to us initially. more

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2 Responses to August 22, 1864: Lincoln Addresses the 166th Ohio

  • My only comment on the video is its laud of the election of a black President. I am ashamed that the first black President had to be someone like Barack Hussein Obama and not a business man like Herman Cain or a surgeon like Ben Carson or a war hero like Col Allen West. I despise, loathe and abhor Barack Hussein Obama NOT because of the color of his skin but because of the color of his heart. I hold in highest esteem Herman Cain, Ben Carson and Col Allen West again not because of the color of their skin – as black or blacker than that of Barack Hussein Obama – but because of the color of their hearts.

  • Oh darn, I hate it when I type my email address wrong!

God, Death and Faith

Sunday, June 15, AD 2014

 

Grief and Hope

Kyle Cupp has a heartrending piece up at The Daily Beast in which he discusses the death of his daughter and his subsequent loss of faith:

 

In the months following the death of our newborn daughter, I had remained steadfast in my faith, devout and prayerful. I had not for years imagined God primarily as a figure of power, like some cosmic orchestrator of all that is, so I did not feel inclined to blame God for our loss and our sorrow. I didn’t have an answer for it, but I didn’t look to God for an answer. I didn’t expect such a response. I let God be.

As time passed, however, my faith weakened. I lost the feeling of God’s presence and the impetus to pray, and perhaps as a consequence, the ideas I had of God began to make less and less sense to me. I lost clarity of what I believed, finally confessing to my wife late one evening that I couldn’t honestly say whether or not I still believed in God. This was not a confession that brought us peace. A cloud of unknowing separated me from the words of the creed I recited at Mass, and on that evening, sitting close to the love of my life, staring into her misty eyes, I feared that it would separate me from her as well. 

To make matters worse, I had no answers to give her. I couldn’t explain my lapse. I couldn’t point to any decisive event, something that had pushed me off the precipice. Instead, as we reflected back on the previous months and years, I felt as though once solid ground had changed into the wisps of a cloud without my having noticed, and only now did I realize that I was falling. If my broken heart was to blame, it has taken its bitter time, acting stealthily.

I hadn’t fallen into unbelief or atheism, exactly, but more of an agnosticism or skepticism about what I believed and whether I believed. I could no longer say what my faith, such as it was, meant in my life. I no longer had a sure sense of how the Christian story was true. I couldn’t answer where its myths ended and reality began. Occasionally I shot a few words of prayer in what I hoped was the direction of an unseen God, but I struggled and doubted even these simple practices of my faith. Neither Paul nor Kierkegaard were kidding when they wrote of fear and trembling.

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6 Responses to God, Death and Faith

  • It is easy to point to Job 38:1 through 40:2 when I have not (yet) lost a dear loved one. It is hard when the tears obscure the vision and the weight of the Cross bears heavily on the back.

    I have not (yet) lost; however, my 12 step sponsor used to point out to me, “Paul, ‘yet’ means ‘You’re Eligible Too.'”

    Maybe all we can do is hope that God in spite of our unworthiness will be merciful enough to reunite us with our dearly beloved ones who have passed on before us.

  • My own experience with the death of a child is somewhat different. My wife has miscarried three times. Each was early in pregnancy. Only the last miscarriage provided us the opportunity to bury our baby.

    Did not Mother Teresa write in her memoirs how she did not feel the presence of God in her daily life and how it hurt her? Did not St. Teresa of Avila not write much the same thing?

    The idea/notion/fact that God can and does withhold his presence is highlighted in The Screwtape Letters.

    Perseverance is part of the Christian life. Only Jesus was perfect. Only Mary was protected from sin by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The rest of us who reach an age of reason do sin. Often, repeatedly.

    We all lose things and people that are dear to us throughout life. I was nine when my best friend, a girl my own age who lived across the street from me from the time I was two, moved away. I saw her one more time and then never again. I lost my beloved German Shepherd when I was 11 – a dog I had from the time I was six months old.

    From 1990 to 1995, I lost a grandfather, an uncle, my dad, and a grandmother. also, good friends of ours lost a daughter in a car accident in 1995. Most young adults – 20s to early 30s – do not realize that death is going to kick you in the rear end, over and over, before it is your time to go. I knew this when I was 31.

    I never blamed God for any of it. We are all born to die. The only thing remotely fair in life is death, and when it comes is something we do not get to decide.

  • “Silently and sacredly, Vivian lives in our love.”

    ………….and in the perfect Love and Presence of our God.

    My heart goes out to Kyle and his wife.
    I lost a little sister aged two years, when I was ten years old, in 1953. It was a very sad occasion as I recall, but at that age I was too young to fully comprehend, and we used to comfort our selves in that youthful simplicity that she is now a little angel. Mum appeared to get over it after a while, and mum and dad increased our family with another brother and two sisters. But she told me , many years later, that for many years she would weep silently at night grieving for her lost daughter. About 1975 she went to a Catholic Women’s Convention, and there met this priest Fr. Tom Williams – who was later to become Cardinal . He told her that he could “see”- or sense – a type of darkness clouding her spirit – I think they are the words she told me. She told him of her continuing grief for her daughter, and he prayed over her. I recall mum becoming very emotional as she told me how she felt this dark cloud lift away from her, and she felt a totally serene peace and joy come over her. From that day on, she was always a cheerful, positive and happy woman, till the time of her death four years ago at 91.

    My older brother had a serous accident in his truck when working in Saudi Arabia back in 1979. The truck had rolled in some soft sand, and was carrying a large crane. the crane fell on the cab and crushed it, and partly crushed Bruce’s hand and pinned him in the truck for many hours till help came. He said our little sister Lynda came to help him and keep him awake and positive during his ordeal. From that day on, he had a particular devotion to out own little saint.
    I pray that Kyle and his wife will look on their little girl as their own saint, given to them by God for only such a brief time before He called her back to Him. They have their own little saint there in the complete joy and peace of the presence of God and His angels and saints, and interceding for them.

    “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”

  • My brother Gregory died after only one day after his birth. I know he cares for our mom, more than I know how.

  • I haven’t read much of Kyle’s writings, but this is the first time I recall him considering the current state of his faith as troublesome. He’s been writing for years about doubt as if it’s, if not a virtue, then at least a viable expression of Catholic faith. Reading this article, I think he may be coming to the idea that he was deluding himself. I’ve been critical of his writings as misrepresenting orthodox thought.

    I will continue to pray for him, and for his family as well.

  • In 2006, I received a phone call that my daughter, then 17, had been critically injured in a vehicle accident as a passenger with a group of students visiting Los Angeles. She actually was ejected from the van she was riding in, and yet, miraculously, on the Ventura Freeway at Lankershim, during a weekday, all the traffic managed to screech to a stop and she was protected, sheltered and removed to Cedar Sinai emergency care.
    For days, she hovered between life and death, with several disheartening setbacks. At one point she appeared to have recovered and was discharged into my step-daughter’s care: when suddenly without any warning, her spleen ruptured. She collapsed on the bathroom floor with a clunk. Fortunately Nicole, my step-daughter, being an RN, diagnosed it immediately, took emergency action, phoned the nearby hospital where she worked and got her on the operating table, somehow within 15-30 min; at that point, appeared to have saved her life again, but it was still ‘beyond critical’, were that possible to be so.
    During this latter phase, I finally came to an understanding with God and also the Blessed Virgin, of whom I have had a childhood devotion to Our Lady of Mt Carmel: “I understand, God Our Lord, and Our Lady, that many parents I see on the night news, disconsolately weeping, having lost their child prayed that this cup would pass. Who am I to ‘demand’ that my daughter should not be one of these?So be it: ‘Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands..” (excerpt, from OL Carmel traditional prayer). I made the best resolve of my intention that I accepted this outcome, as that appeared to God’s permitted outcome, for His mysterious reasons. Of course, I continued night and day praying the St Louis de Monfort prayer (“Little Crown of the BV”), but I had accepted she was going to pass, that I had had 17 wonderful years with her, and now I needed to pray for her soul before her meeting with Christ.
    Mysteriously, the next day, a certainty I can say I have never experienced before or since came into my mind that she would in fact recover and live. I had no doubt at all. She did in fact, by inches each day, recover. Also in fact, the ER doc who saved her the second time was amazed too: when she had recovered, he gave the credit to Nicole and her alacritous action, “You know,” he told my daughter, “another 15 minutes and I wouldnt have been able to help you.
    She has however, since, made a “full” recovery (although living without her spleen involves certain precautions) and has had her first child, now living with her husband in Belgium. I also knew that Our Lady told me this was a singular favor granted to me and to her: “Now DO SOMETHING WITH IT.”
    As we all know, I can only observe also that the loss of a child is a parent’s worst experience; I DO feel pain that I cannot express for those, like Don McC., who had to drink the full cup. I do think that I know what Kyle Cupp has gone through and is going through: “how can a good God, etc.” For some of us, the bitterness is seemingly with a depth beyond measure. But this bitterness cannot “end in death” but has to be for the ineffable glory of God (Jn 11:4). and as for us, we two were very “graced”: now I pray we can make something of it.

Lawrence Charles McClarey

Monday, May 19, AD 2014

LarryMcClarey2012

Lawrence Charles McClarey

Birth:  September 5, 1991

(Feast day of Saint Lawrence Justinian)

Death:  May 19, 2013

(Pentecost)

38. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might,

39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 38-39

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13 Responses to Lawrence Charles McClarey

  • Peace to All of your family.

  • I cannot believe that a whole year has gone by. Your son is, I am sure, praying with us and for us at this moment. Your family continues to be graced by his life, thank God.

  • Donald M McClarey

    As I am sure you know, 19th May is the feast of our patron saint, Saint Yves Hélory (also known as St Ivo or St Ives)

    One can venerate his relics at Tréguier in Brittany, where he is known as St Erwann.

    On his 700th anniversary, Pope St John Paul II wrote, “‘N’an neus ket en Breiz, n’an neus ket unan, n’an neus ket eur Zant evel Zan Erwan.’ ‘There is not in all Brittany, there is not a single one, there is no saint like St Ivo.’ These words from the canticle to St Ivo express the full fervour and veneration with which the crowds of pilgrims, with their Bishops and priests but also all the magistrates, lawyers and jurists, continue today to honour the one whom popular piety has nicknamed ‘the father of the poor.’ May St Ivo help them to fulfil their aspirations to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with their God (cf. Mi 6: 8)”

    In France, there are masses in his honour in all the principle towns and advocates and judges attend in their robes.

  • Eternal rest grant unto Lawrence McClarey, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen
    .
    May God grant you Mr. McClarey, your wife, and family the comfort, peace, and sure knowledge that you will be reunited with Larry in paradise. Amen

  • I hold in my memory and heart some insights into the character of your family and your beloved son, Larry, that you have related on your blog — Larry always running ahead of his family like a gazelle, Larry’s customary pivot after receiving communion, and his brother being honored to accompany Larry and his classmates on a field trip.

    I am remembering you and your family in prayer on this day.

  • Your son continues to be a blessing to you and all who know of him. I think he is in heaven and his heart is full of love as he continues to intercede for his family and friends as their mortal lives go on.

  • Thank you for the reminder, Don. It seems like a few days ago…..

  • Lawrence Charles McClarey is a joy.

  • Thanks Don. My prayers are with you all today.

    That song is beautiful – ‘What wondrous love is this’ – I have not heard it before (one of the penalties of living on the fringes of civilization 🙂 )

    Is certainly appropriate.

  • Thank you my friends. Your kind comments helped make a hard day yesterday easier.

  • May God, the Father of each of us, bless you and all in your family with His special presence at this time — on your son’s first anniversary of death.

    Do listen to the following talks by Fr. Rick Arkfeld, a saint in my judgment, who died of cancer in 1996. These talks will give all in your family deep insight and great solace.
    1. Death of a Child, 2. Stories about Life and Death, 3. The Best is Yet to Come, 4. Rest in His Peace, 5. May I Have This Dance, — all are available at:

    St. Joaseph Radio, P. O. 2983, Orange, CA. 92859 — E-Mail: [email protected] — WEB: http://www.stjosephradio.com

    Thank you for “The American Catholic”

  • My brother, whom I am honored to care for, is a fully disabled autistic adult [also, I believe, like Lawrence Charles] and they appear to me at least to bear a remarkable resemblance: blue eyes, brown hair, and a far off angelic look. As one person told my sainted WW2 vet dad who devoted his life to Uncle Joe: “It makes one wonder who are the ‘disabled ones’ at times.” And every day is something new, altho’ always a little upside down and quite quirky. RIP Lawrence Charles. Thank you, Mr. Don McC.

  • “It makes one wonder who are the ‘disabled ones’ at times.”

    Amen to that Steve. I learned more from Larry than I taught him. He always walked by my right hand when the family was out and about, and I still feel his presence on occasion. Larry was by far the most unique individual I have encountered in this Vale of Tears. A very well meaning woman once said to my wife and me that she knew what a cross we had to bear. We responded honestly that Larry was never anything but a blessing to us. Occasionally he was an exasperating blessing, frequently a humorous one and often a heartwarming one, but always a blessing. We thank God for the 21 and three-quarters years He gave us with Larry.

God and Suffering

Tuesday, October 15, AD 2013

 

As superb look at suffering by Dr. Peter Kreeft, courtesy of Prager University.  I agree with his division of suffering into what Man causes through our actions, wars are a classic example, and suffering caused by nature, the type of suffering caused by the seizure that took the life of my son Larry on May 19, 2013.  He is also correct that when we cry out against such suffering inflicted by nature we are appealing to a standard that presupposes a God, since nature cares not a whit about human suffering or the lack thereof.  It is only by belief in God that the scales of what occurs to us in this brief life are ever balanced.  To us death is often regarded as the greatest of evils.  To God physical death is merely our gateway to Him.  CS Lewis captured this perfectly in Letter 28 of his Screwtape Letters:

They, of course, do tend to regard death as the prime evil and survival as the greatest good. But that is because we have taught them to do so. Do not let us be infected by our own propaganda. I know it seems strange that your chief aim at the moment should be the very same thing for which the patient’s lover and his mother are praying – namely his bodily safety. But so it is; you should be guarding him like the apple of your eye. If he dies now, you lose him. If he survives the war, there is always hope. The Enemy has guarded him from you through the first great wave of temptations. But, if only he can be kept alive, you have time itself for your ally. The long, dull monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather. You see, it is so hard for these creatures to persevere. The routine of adversity, the gradual decay of youthful loves and youthful hopes, the quiet despair (hardly felt as pain) of ever overcoming the chronic temptations with which we have again and again defeated them, the drabness which we create in their lives and the inarticulate resentment with which we teach them to respond to it – all this provides admirable opportunities of wearing out a soul by attrition. If, on the other hand, the middle years prove prosperous, our position is even stronger. Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is “finding his place in it”, while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home in earth which is just what we want. You will notice that the young are generally less unwilling to die than the middle-aged and the old.

The truth is that the Enemy, having oddly destined these mere animals to life in His own eternal world, has guarded them pretty effectively from the danger of feeling at home anywhere else. That is why we must often wish long life to our patients; seventy years is not a day too much for the difficult task of unravelling their souls from Heaven and building up a firm attachment to the earth. While they are young we find them always shooting off at a tangent. Even if we contrive to keep them ignorant of explicit religion, the incalculable winds of fantasy and music and poetry – the mere face of a girl, the song of a bird, or the sight of a horizon – are always blowing our whole structure away. They will not apply themselves steadily to worldly advancement, prudent connections, and the policy of safety first. So inveterate is their appetite for Heaven that our best method, at this stage, of attaching them to earth is to make them believe that earth can be turned into Heaven at some future date by politics or eugenics or “science” or psychology, or what not. Real worldliness is a work of time – assisted, of course, by pride, for we teach them to describe the creeping death as good sense or Maturity or Experience. Experience, in the peculiar sense we teach them to give it, is, by the bye, a most useful word. A great human philosopher nearly let our secret out when he said that where Virtue is concerned “Experience is the mother of illusion”; but thanks to a change in Fashion, and also, of course, to the Historical Point of View, we have largely rendered his book innocuous.

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10 Responses to God and Suffering

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  • I’ve heard a number of Professor Kreeft’s talks and my wife and I got to meet him once…he is a very gracious man. He also did an adult Catechesis series, Luke E Hart, which is on the Knights of Columbus website in both PDF and audio book. It’s a good 30-part series for any Catholic raised in the latter half of the 20th century and beyond as well as anyone interested in a summary of the Catholic faith.

    On a related note, I find it intriguing that some of the best modern Catholic apologists weren’t cradle Catholics (Kreeft was Calvinist)…and Lewis, though he disappointed Tolkien by not swimming the Tiber, was an atheist before he joined the Church of England. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain is a pretty good work related to the topics of suffering as well. The audiobook is strangely appropriate for mowing a yard or working in a garden…

  • Sorry for your son, Donald. My prayers for you and your family.

  • Thank you Pedro. I believe my son is now enjoying the Beatific Vision and that is a great consolation.

  • For over 8 years, every day has been filled with some level of pain because both knees are affected with degenerative arthritis. I can barely make it around with a cane. I could moan and say why me? But I accept it as a blessing because it gives me a tremendous chance to emulate the suffering of Our Lord and offer it to help the poor souls in Purgatory atone. Advil helps blunt the pain but never completely removes it. I pray to God only for perseverance. I am confident that those I help are helping to sustain me. I am 86, and when I leave this world, I don’t believe I will leave it alone. That also sustains me, and I don’t think I will lose my joyful sense of humor until the day after.

  • “I am 86, and when I leave this world, I don’t believe I will leave it alone.”

    Right you are Robert!

  • So often, it seems to me, angelic children, like Larry, run ahead to enjoy the Beatific Vision, leaving their families in deep grief. Perhaps the suffering that families endure over the loss of a beloved child is refining, purgatorial, and is God’s way of preparing the bereaved for reunion with that beloved child to enjoy the Beatific Vision together for all eternity. Dostoyevsky wrote, “The darker the night, the brighter the stars, the deeper the grief, the closer is God.”

    May God and His Holy Angels surround you and your family with kindness and comfort.

  • Thank you Ginny! That is precisely the way I like to look at it. Larry was always running ahead of the family when we were going to some favored destination, and now I look upon him as a Heavenly Advance Guard for the rest of my family.

  • Pope John Paul II (and Job) taught:

    “Suffering – as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris – […] Christ does not explain in some abstract way the reasons for sufferings, but says first of all: “Follow me”, Come, with your suffering share in this work of salvation of the world, which is realized through my suffering, by means of my Cross” (n 26). …

    “Suffering is transformed when we experience in ourselves the closeness and solidarity of the living God: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last…I shall see God my savior” (Job 19:25-26). With this assurance comes inner peace, and from this a spiritual joy, quiet and deep, springing from the “gospel of suffering” which understands the grandeur and dignity of human beings who suffer with a generous spirit and offer their pain “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God” (Rom 12:1). This is why those who suffer are no burden to others, but with their suffering contribute to the salvation of all.”

Love Conquers All

Wednesday, October 2, AD 2013

 

Commenter Sywink sent me the above video.  My response:

 

Well that brought tears to my eyes.  My twins had a similar relationship.  When my non-autistic son was praised for helping my autistic son, he would always respond:  “He’s my brother.”  He got back in time from college to act as a chaperone for his brother’s class to a zoo.  When I asked him if he would do this he said, “I would be honored”.  This was on the Tuesday before Larry’s death.    Numerous photographs were taken of this outing.  His class after my son’s death put together a collage of the pictures that have Larry in them.  One shows his brother hugging him.  Needless to say that these pictures are now priceless family heirlooms.  Love conquers all, even death.

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Euthanize Your Autistic Kid!

Tuesday, August 20, AD 2013

 

 

Charming.

The letter demands that Begley take action over her “retarded” son Max.   The Ontario mother said she had no idea who would send such a hateful  letter, which left her family shocked and devastated.

She tearfully told City News: “Who would do this to a child?”

The letter goes on to criticize Begley for allowing Max to play outside and  says: “That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares  the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!”

The letter also tells Karla that she has a “retarded kid” and “should deal  with it properly”.

“What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!!! I HATE  people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are  entitled to special treatment!!! GOD!!!!!!”

The writer finishes by demanding the family “go live in a trailer in the  woods or something with your wild animal kid!!!” and asks the family to do the  right thing and move or “euthanize him. Either way, we are ALL better  off!!!”

Go here to read the rest.  As the father of an autistic son, Larry, who I loved more than my life, and who died on May 19, 2013, I can imagine quite clearly the pain of the parents who received this hateful diatribe.  The author is a true spiritual descendant of the murderers of the Third Reich who gassed autistic kids.  In this vale of tears we all have travails and tragedies to endure, but none are more terrible than the petty hate that so many people carry within their souls.  Those are the humans that are truly handicapped.

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12 Responses to Euthanize Your Autistic Kid!

  • Hopefully the writer of this expressive note will be identified and named. No one who does such a hateful thing should be allowed to hide behind their anonymity.

  • The “author” of this letter must have gotten confused. This garbage is what I frequently see in comboxes -on those rare times when I take a deep breath and “click” to read the vitriol contained therein. I hope, and pray, she has an epiphany and realizes how ugly her statements were and seeks forgiveness.

  • “Go here to read the rest”? Why in the world would I do that? Nothing would make me do that, and I’m sorry that you did.

  • There are several equally frightening possibilities WRT to this letter:

    1. It was written by an actual parent (“pissed off mother!!!”) living in that neighborhood.

    2. It was written by a teenager with a really, really bad attitude, sick sense of humor and penchant for bullying who posed as a “pissed off mother”.

    3. It was a hoax composed by the parent of the autistic child, or a friend or relative, as a way to get attention and sympathy, or to cast suspicion on a neighbor she doesn’t get along with. I know that sounds cruel, but such things do happen (staged “hate crimes”) and the possibility has to be considered.

    All that said, I’d put my money on #2.

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  • I also have an autistic son, so no flowery language will do; this [email protected]* really pissed me off. However, because of His infinite mercy, when we step back and let God back into the driver’s seat we do receive graces.

    When I read “noise polluting whaling” I immediately got a visual of my son, out in the yard dressed as Captain Ahab, yelling “…to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee!”

    That would indeed ruffle the neighbors.

    Thanks be to God the Father of Mercies that I can now regard the author rightfully – as a pitiable wretch who is tremendously more in need of prayer and Christ’s love than of scorn and derision. I can only imgaine what he/she must have gone through to create such a hateful soul. Were it mine to do, I would create whatever conditions necessary for he/she and I to spend a day volunteering at a special needs school. Or a week. Or a lifetime.

    St. Joseph Cupertino pray for us.

  • I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a hoax.

  • I’m autistic myself, and I’ve been dealing with this attitude, quite common among neurotypicals, since I was 5 years old, a quarter century before I was diagnosed, long before anybody knew what was wrong with me.

    I’m now a rather successful (well, if you can call any computer programmer “successful” , this is not the most stable career in the world) 42 year old adult, and not on government assistance. I did this by taking advantage of my OCD and learning to make money with it.

    I see this as the logical outgrowth of the hidden eugenics in North American (both Canadian and USA) culture. Neurotypicals in general are superficial bigots, it is not surprising that given legal abortion and euthanasia, that the attitude of “if you aren’t useful/profitable, you should be killed” is becoming disturbingly common.

  • A hoax and/or some variation of Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome does seem the simplest explanation for this. I’m not sure if believing that makes me more jaded, or less.

    Assuming the letter is genuine, it seems to my untrained eye that there is something organically wrong with the writer, to the extent that they are literally in genuine need of medical care. That being the case, I can understand why such a person would be insecure and hyper-sensitive (as opposed to more understanding) regarding any perceived assault to decorum brought about by those who are mentally challenged in other ways.

    (Then again, it is certainly possible to be pitiably and clinically pathological, and also just plain evil, not to mention stupid.)

  • One of the worst tragedies of our time is people’s unwillingness to accept tragedy along with its redemptive possibilities. Few systems outside the Christian faith make sense of tragedy and find purpose in it.

  • Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.
    –Tom Knox (quoted by Donald R. McClarey)

    So, will this angry anonymous letter writer demand “euthanize him!!!” upon encountering an atheist?
     

    The arc of Communism in the last century…
    –Donald R. McClarey

    …was a long, difficult trek from capitalism all the way to capitalism.

  • .

    On Dateline NBC a few years ago, they showed a case where
    the police were investigating similar notes being received
    by a teacher at a school (and the notes were designed
    to look as of they were sent by another teacher).

    It was later found that the ‘taunted and tortured teacher’
    had actually sent the notes to herself as a cry for attention
    and public sympathy due to feeling overwhelmed with her
    life (and no other ‘teacher’ or ‘outsider’ had sent it to her).

    Also, a couple of years ago a man claimed that he began
    to receive ‘religious hate mail’ our of nowhere from “an
    unknown neighbor” (even though there was no history
    of any of the neighbors having harassed, disliked or
    shown bigotry or hatred toward his family before) and
    within a few weeks his wife ended up “attacked by an
    unknown stranger, possibly the “neighbor”, and killed”.

    It was later found that he felt his wife was a “burden”
    and had composed and sent “the mysterious letters”
    himself as a set up and cover for the crime he was
    planning in order to “set himself free” from someone
    that ‘he’ (not his neighbors) saw as a “burden” in life.

    In both cases, entire innocent-communities (even if
    it were seen as just ‘one’ phantom-person within that
    community) were placed with suspicion and blame for
    something that they did not do and would never have
    even thought of doing — simply because someone who
    felt they wanted to ‘escape’ their own “burdens” in life
    were setting up both the communities and the family
    member from whom they wanted to be set free.

    In addition, there have been story after story of
    late of the many parents and caregivers of autistic
    children who — feeling overwhelmed with taking
    care of a person with severe needs and yet also
    wanting to gain public attention, pity, sympathy,
    support, and a type of victim and/or hero status
    — have plotted for weeks, months and even years
    to ‘get free of their burden’ in such as way as to
    look both innocent and pitiable (and this is often
    done by pointing-the-finger at innocent-strangers).

    My point is that — UNTIL the police investigate to see
    IF this “mysterious note” is actually LEGITIMATE —
    this community should NOT be seen as having
    some sort of hate-monger living in it’s midst.

    This ‘mysterious note’ seems to have a far “too personal”
    touch to it to have been composed by any ‘man’ and / or
    even by ‘woman’ who would have been a ‘stranger’ or
    a ‘near stranger’ to this family — and, until it is PROVEN
    that it IS IN FACT from “someone in the neighborhood”,
    it seems unreasonable to assume that the neighbors are
    not (possibly) being set-up just so that someone who
    may feel overwhelmed with life can literally ‘script’ a
    situation in which to garner both pity and attention.

    It’s not that I’m not trying to be ‘sympathetic’ toward
    the family to whom the memo was directed … it’s just
    that … the situation of “setting things up in order to
    get public sympathy and attention” has been found
    to have occurred so frequently in the past number
    of years that — unless someone has a video of
    a situation occurring — many times it should be
    considered as possibly “one of the usual suspects”.

    http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/munchaus.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_playing

    http://www.salon.com/2008/06/04/exhausted_caregiver/

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/20/letter-telling-ontario-family-to-euthanize-autistic-son-not-a-hate-crime-police/

    http://www.post-journal.com/page/content.detail/id/609417/When-Feeling-Overwhelmed–Caregivers-Should-Seek-Help.html?nav=5208

    .

Patsy Custis, Larry McClarey and Sudep

Tuesday, July 9, AD 2013

MarthaParke_Custis

The Father of our country, George Washington, was never blessed with biological children.  When he married his wife Martha, she was a widow, and she brought two children into their marriage:  John Parke Custis, who was four, and Martha Parke Custis, who was two, and who was called Patsy.  Washington raised the two children as his own.

At the age of eleven or twelve Patsy began to have epileptic seizures.  The Washingtons consulted numerous doctors and attempted endless cures, all to no avail.  Modern medicine was not yet even in its infancy, and anti-seizure medications were over a century in the future.  However, even then it was known that epilepsy was not usually a mortal disorder.  Patsy had frequent seizures but she came out of them each time with no discernible harm.

On June 19, 1773 Patsy was  at Mount Vernon talking to her brother’s fiancée, Eleanor Calvert.  Patsy went to her room to retrieve a letter from her brother who was away at college.    Eleanor suddenly heard a strange noise and found Patsy on the floor having a seizure.  Her parents were summoned and George Washington placed her on her bed.  Family letters describe Washington kneeling at Patsy’s bedside, tears streaming down his face, praying for her recovery.    After only two minutes, Patsy died.  She was buried the next day, George writing to his brother-in-law, that his “sweet, innocent girl had died”:    [Patsy] rose from dinner about four o’clock in better health and spirits than she had appeared to have been in for some time; soon after which she was seized with one of her usual fits and expired in it in less than two minutes without uttering a word, a groan, or scarce a sigh. This sudden and unexpected blow … has almost reduced my poor wife to the lowest ebb of misery.

This is one of the earliest accounts of Sudep (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy).  The mechanism by which Sudep causes death is still mysterious.  It strikes young people, those between 20 and 40 are at highest risk, who are otherwise in good health except for their seizures.  It often occurs at night, and is usually unwitnessed.  The victims are often found in a prone position on their beds, or near their beds.  It is rare, striking one out of 1,000-3,000 of epilepsy sufferers each year.  In order for a death to be considered to be Sudep there can be no other explanation for the death.  The mortality figures on Sudep are uncertain because death certificates often do not indicate Sudep as the cause of death.  It is estimated that some 45,000 Americans die from Sudep each year, which puts it ahead of vehicular accidents by 13,000 for the year 2011 as a cause of death.  Go here to learn more about Sudep.

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18 Responses to Patsy Custis, Larry McClarey and Sudep

  • Dear Donald,
    The return to possibilities and circumstances unknown in your beautiful heart begs me to remind you of the Awesome Grace that surrounds Larry at this moment. A grace that any loving father would not wish his cherished son to be without…even for a second.

    On Sunday the 7th at 9:15am I was performing CPR on a 56 year old Co-worker who had collapsed due to a massive heart attack. While praying with her husband in the CCU last night an acceptance of Gods design came over him. He said; ” She was always His.” HIS.

    They, we, us. We are His, and graced to get to know love and share in His children while we are on Earth.

    My Co-worker will go off of life support today. A harvest team is coming up to give Life to waiting families in need of human organs.
    I do not have the families permission to share their names, however if you could pray for them today…it’s going to be a rough one for them.

    Donald. Peace.

  • “I do not have the families permission to share their names, however if you could pray for them today…it’s going to be a rough one for them.”

    Prayers on the way Philip.

    In regard to Larry I sometimes feel his presence. At his funeral mass I had the strangest wave of joy and peace sweep over me and I suspect that was his way of giving me a very small taste of what he is experiencing now. That knowledge sustains me.

  • Donald you have my heartfelt condolences. I’m sure that your sorrow and that of your family is matched only by Larry’s current joy. I am extremely fortunately that with 5 after me and 10 after them, I can only imagine your pain. May God’s peace and joy sustain you.

  • Thank you Steve. I have no doubt where Larry is. My sorrow is my missing him, and my joy is my memories of him and knowing that I will see him again, God willing, in a land that knows not autism, seizures and death.

  • Your story brings tears to my eyes. You lived a faithful daily love that Larry received and reciprocated. God bless you. That daily sharing is over for now– I sympathize with you, your wife and family. I am glad you get to feel joyful, and his presence for comfort.
    Through your writings on TAC your readers know a bit about your thoughts and priorities. Your story today is of grace in anguish and reinforces our faith. You are generous to help others who love in similar circumstances.
    Take great consolation in your confidence that his soul is saved, that he is living the blessed eternal life we all hope for our children. The same is apparently true for the co-worker of Philip. That confidence of salvation is everything.

  • Indeed Anzlyne. Larry was an unmixed blessing for my wife and me and he is still so. Death cannot conquer our love for him and his for us.

  • Anzlyne.

    My co-worker was a beautiful giver.
    She would ask the deceased family members if she could have one of his/hers favorite article of clothing. They would curiously give her a blouse or jacket. Then a week later, she would give the family a teddy bear she made out of the deceased clothing.
    She also made beautiful Easter eggs out of sugar and decorated them with thoughtful Crosses and faux gems.
    Her kindness and love will be missed in our Nursing home where she worked for three years.

    My friend/nurse and I gave our all on that fateful morn. When the EMS arrived we had 16 minutes filling her lungs and circulating her blood as best we could. The EMS worked another 15 minutes until finally a pulse was attained. We had high hopes however things did not go well.

    No one knows how long she was unconscious prior to being found cleaning a residents room. We gave her our best.

    Now some beautiful families will have had prayers answered by receiving her heart, her organs. I hope that the family will find Peace in that final offering.

  • Don, can I just say ditto to anzlyne? Your family is still in our prayers and we’re carrying a heavy heart for you.

  • Thank you RL. The prayers for us mean more to us than words can express.

  • I find it fascinating that a sick young man like Larry, having had a capacity that most of us would call diminished, can inspire more holiness, more love than all the theologians in the Church combined. There is nothing diminished in what you described above, Donald. Larry’s witness will now bear the fruit that God has foreordained. Romans 8:28-30.

  • Donald.
    As my wishes for you on the morning of Pentecost were for healing and peace, so too for today.
    By know means did I wish to belittle your broken heart. Sincerely our acts for others in need can become a healing balm for our soul.
    Your prayers for my friends family has that two fold benefit. That is not the intent however the love and mercy of God is undeniably infinite. My hope is that you have experienced the peace your prayers have offered to my friends family.
    Larry indeed is a Saint and working in souls around the world.
    Blessings.

  • “By no means did I wish to belittle your broken heart”

    Oh, I know that Philip. I have found all of your comments in regard to Larry on target and comforting.

  • What a poignant and heartfelt post and so characteristic of you to think of others in the midst of your grief. What-ifs are natural after such devastating events but I hope you will soon accept that if it had been God’s plan for you to respond, you would have responded. What sustained me when my wife died of breast cancer in 2004 was that, like Larry, she is in a better place and that the loss as great as it was, is ours not hers since she is in heaven.
    I can attest that you will frequently feel the peace and presence of Larry just as i have of Colette who is never far from my thoughts and. I believe, watches over me..
    One outcome of her death was my taking fa few years to write Colette’s Story about this wonderful woman for family and friends. Many were grateful saying “I laughed, I cried” in their notes of thanks.
    Your family can be assured that you are in the daily prayers of many.
    Best,
    Peter

  • My prayers for Colette Pete. Love is God’s great gift to all of us and it transcends death. Several years ago I had a client tell me that she spoke to her dead son every night. She asked me if I thought she was crazy. I told her that I was confident that she was entirely sane and that when you really loved someone you didn’t let death stand in the way of continuing to love him in the next world.

  • Wishing your family strength, peace and love from our Lord and Savior.

The Pope, The Clown and The Cross

Sunday, June 16, AD 2013

 

skelton_pope

(I originally posted this on September 28, 2009 and it has always been one of my favorites.  I am reposting it now since I assume many current readers of the blog have not read it, and, with the recent death of my son, Larry, it now has a special meaning for me.)

 

 

 

In 1957 comedian Red Skelton was on top of the world.  His weekly comedy show on CBS was doing well.  He had  curtailed the drinking which had almost derailed his career.  Not too shabby for a man who had started out as a circus and rodeo clown and who was now often called the clown prince of American comedy.  He and his wife Georgia had two beautiful kids:  Richard and Valentina Maria.  Then the worst thing in the world for any parent entered into the lives of Red and Georgia Skelton:  Richard was diagnosed with leukemia.  Unlike today, a diagnosis of leukemia in a child in 1957 was tantamount to saying that Richard was going to die soon.  Red immediately took a leave of absence from his show.  CBS was very understanding and a series of guest hosts, including a very young Johnny Carson, filled in for Skelton during the 1957-1958 season.

Red and his wife made two decisions.  First, they decided not to reveal to their son how ill he was;  if  worse came to worst they wanted him to enjoy the time he had left.  The boy’s leukemia was temporarily in remission and outwardly he appeared healthy.    When the boy saw “The Last Days of Pompeii” on TV and was fascinated by it, his mom and dad made their second decision.  They were going to take him and his sister to Europe so the boy could see Pompeii and other parts of Europe and the world, and to allow the parents to consult with foreign physicians and also to conduct a pilgrimage for their son.  The Skeltons were Protestants, indeed, Red was an active Mason, but they had chosen to educate their kids at a Catholic school and Richard was very religious, his room filled with religious pictures and statues.  Like many Christians of whatever denomination, in their hour of utmost need the Skeltons decided to seek aid of the Catholic Church.

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11 Responses to The Pope, The Clown and The Cross

Lawrence Charles McClarey: A Remembrance

Monday, May 27, AD 2013

LarryMcClarey2012

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away.   Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Job 1:21

To those who did not know Larry well, it might be assumed that he was dealt a pretty poor set of cards in this life.  Autistic, afflicted with seizures in his later years, and a brief life of 21 and three-quarter years.  However, to those of us who had the great privilege of knowing Larry well, he was blessed with many gifts, just as his life was a blessing to us.

1.  At his birth he was blessed with a twin brother, Donnie, who all Larry’s life would be his constant companion:  playing with him, and caring for him and guarding him from harm.

2.  He was blessed with two parents who loved him more than mere words can possibly convey.

3.  He was blessed with a beloved baby sister, a loving grandmother and grandfather and a cherished godmother, all of whom helped guide his steps.

4.  He was blessed with a wry sense of humor.  I will never forget the lopsided smile on his face as a toddler as he pretended to touch the computer printer paper roll because he knew that would always get a rise out of Mom and Dad.  His default expression was a smile.

5.  He was blessed with a joyful zest for life, from swinging on swings much higher than they were ever intended to go, to grooving to music he liked, swaying back and forth and rocking his head, to closing his eyes as he savored the big hamburgers he loved.  Life never grew stale or prosaic for Larry.

6.  He was blessed with a bold spirit.  At a year and a half he decided in May of 1993 that it would be a very good idea to walk to Renfrew Park without bothering to get permission from Mom or Dad!  In his later years he was fond of midnight strolls, once again without telling Mom or Dad!  One of my most cherished memories of Larry is him running ahead of the family like a gazelle, to Mass or to some other favorite destination. Life with Larry was an endless adventure, whether we wanted it to be or not!

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29 Responses to Lawrence Charles McClarey: A Remembrance

  • It sounded like he had a blessed life. Thank you for sharing this portrait of Larry, and welcome back.

  • He did Paul. I thank you and the other contributors for posting frequently while I was gone.

  • I loved reading this, your heart-felt appreciation for the glorious life of your dear boy is now at play in the fields of the Lord. Made in the image and likeness of God–sometimes what appears to be less than perfect reveals a much deeper perfection which shines out like pure gold. I wish Gerard Manley Hopkins were here to write once of his lyrical poems about Larry. He would surely convey the glory you were able to see in him.

    I don’t know if you know the story of Xena and Jonny. Jonny is about nine years old and autistic. Before Xena came into his life, he did not talk or allow himself to have physical contact with anyone. Xena is a mixed-breed dog that was found nearly dead of starvation. The picture of her in this state us utterly pitiable. The rescue agency thought she would surely die, but gave her an IV with nourishment and the poor thing rallied. They nursed her back to health and put her up for adoption. Jonny’s mother say a picture of Xena on Facebook and fell in love with her. The family took Jonny to the shelter to see the dog. Xena bounded up to Jonny right away and the bond was fixed instantly. The family took the dog home. Xena transformed Jonny who now talks all the time, sings, and show unbounded affection. Xena is his constant companion. You can follow the story on Facebook. It is proof of the action of grace and the touch of God’s hand in this life. Outreach, kindness, compassion, affection–these unveil the face of God. Your son, Larry, saw the face of God in the love that surrounded him in this world, and he unveiled that Divine Face for all of you. Xena and Jonny are the touch of God to each other. It’s as plain as day!

  • Thank you so much for that loving memorial. It gives us all the perspective we need on what is truly important. We need to focus on Our Lord, Our Church, and our families. The common denominator in all of this, is of course love. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Don,
    Thank you so very much for sharing; what a lovely blessing! God bless you and your family.

  • What a beautiful life.
    Thanks for sharing your love for him with us.
    His zest for life was so lovingly scripted by His best friend…you.

  • Thank you Don, for sharing a snapshot of Larry’s life – and the life and love he shared with you, for too brief a time. Your memories of the happy times will stay with you and turn your tears into joy.
    God bless you and Cathy and Donnie and Mary.

  • Thank you my friends. Our memories of Larry sustain us.

  • Thank you for sharing Larry’s story with us. What a joy-filled young man. We would all do well to emulate him.

  • “ . . . running ahead of the family like a gazelle, to Mass or to some other favorite destination.” And so it is fitting that Larry ran ahead of his family to his final destination, Heaven. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to a beautiful son.

    “The tears . . . streamed down, and I let them flow as freely as they would, making of them a pillow for my heart. On them it rested.” — St. Augustine

    I extend to you and your family my deepest and heartfelt condolences.

  • Precisely the same thought has occurred to me Ginny!

  • Larry, ever a rugged individualist, marched to his own brass band. !!!

    Donald I recognize that in one of my own, and I know your joy and pride and wondering delight!

  • Don

    My sympathy and prayers.

    For 21 years you had a true blessing. His memory, and his prayers for his family at the foot of the Throne will continue to be a blessing.

  • Thank you, Don, for this beautiful remembrance of your son. As some of you know, I have an autistic daughter and she shares some of these traits. It is easy sometimes to get caught up in wondering why these children are not more “normal” and not stop to appreciate their real gifts. Thank you for reminding us to do so, every chance we get. God bless Larry, and your family, always.

  • The picture you posted above of Larry says it all. You can see the gentle, kind and loving innocence in his eyes and in his smile. You were truly blessed to have him as your boy. You and your family have a new saint to look out for you and he happens to be a member of your immediate family. WOW !!!! God bless you all. Will offer Mass & Communion tomorrow for all of you.

  • Children like Larry are God’s gift to us and what we do for them is our gift back to God. May he rest in peace and God give you and the rest of the family consolation.

  • Innocents and virgins. Created and conceived in innocence and virginity, God chose Lawrence Charles McClarey.

  • “We shall run and not grow weary, for our God is at our side, and we shall fly like the eagle, we will rise again!” My song for you and yours this morning!

    May he rest in peace. Gramma Jeanne

  • Praevenire melius est quam praeveniri. — “It is better to precede than to be preceded.”
    Don the pain of losing a child can only be understood by those who have suffered likewise. I hope that 21+ years of memories to cherish, and the sure knowledge of having an energetic patron in Heaven, will sustain you and your family in this vale of tears. Thank you for posting the beautiful memorial to your son.

  • Thank you my friends for your kind remarks. The pain of the loss of Larry in this vale of tears is diminished by my belief that he is in Heaven, my fond memories of him, and the support of good people like yourselves. In most lives there are portions, no matter how small, of pain and regret. I can’t say that about Larry. He led his life with joy and he caused myself and my wife nothing but joy.

  • You painted a beautiful picture of him in this post Don, thank you! I feel I have gotten to know him and your family more. His spirit carries on. I am blessed to have this image and it help with my own mission in the carrying of the Catholic Message.

    God Bless Robert

  • Thank you, Donald. Every life is precious and worthy in God’s eyes. This theme needs to be repeated over and over again in today’s culture of death society.

  • Thank you, Don, for such a beautiful remembrance.

  • Thank you Robert, Paul and Karl. Memories of Larry will help me illuminate my path in a frequently dark world. How anyone could get through the death of a child without a strong religious faith is beyond me. I know that my memories of my son are the dimmest reflection of the glory that he now beholds.

  • It was such a blessing for your uncle Larry and I to get to hear you relay this in person at Larry’s memorial. Even though we never met him personally, after spending time with all of you we felt that we knew him a little. I will look forward to getting to know him better someday in that Eternal Kingdom. God’s comfort and blessing on all of your family.

  • Thank you Aunt Debbie! I can’t tell you how much of a comfort it was to have you and Uncle Larry present at the funeral. At times of tragedy family is so precious!

  • Thank you for this tribute, and again: deepest sympathies and prayers for Larry, you and your family.

  • Thank you for sharing the tribute to his life,family is so precious, I wish we would have gotten the chance to meet him. We will all meet someday in God’s kingdom.

  • Indeed we will Linda, and what a family reunion that will be!