(*Editor’s Note: This took serious guts to share. I hope you all appreciate it. Give me serious credit or I shout out about shutting this blog down. It was almost too close for comfort to share this, but I had to be honest.)
I know this has nothing to do with living in Florida but it does. I may be filled with faith in my own way and maybe full of myself and this living in Florida thing or thang. How you say “thang” depends on just here or there where you live.
And there are some people I consider “wise people” that I do listen to on a sliding scale. I even have a few Baptist professors that I have listened to over the years. I still do. I went to Wingate College for the first two years of my college life, now Wingate University, near Charlotte, N.C . Those non -Catholic guys were common sense non fundamentalist dudes. They still are and several are old common sense classmates of mine in N.C.., Colorado and other places . Even the Pope has non -Catholic friends. I have distant Jewish and Islamic family members too. Don’t worry Homeland – they are civil and not fundy like me.
I am going to miss this guy. I am going to really seriously miss this guy. He knew too much about me like a serious good friend who is part of my support system only could. But you cannot ask him because he, uh has left the planet and is now no longer taking messages unless you believe this guy will be a or might be a saint. Whew.. (*He had to work with me and my mischief college sinner friends, so why not? Most of them never did and never would do anything correctly anyhow anyway and still enjoy the wrath of blogger fundy Catholic who piss on the rest of the Internet because they can. Nothing is good enough for the rest of you and me and the Church they secretly hate.) The church should make him a saint because of it.
Twenty four hours later I have almost the same sinking feeling that is almost the same as loosing a close family member. I stress the word, almost. I went to college with friars — good friars and good leaders. I have had some bad ones but he was a good one. I am going to maybe pass on to you later what I learned. I am going to have to think about that. It may be a while and may not be a while. There are good and bad priests and good and bad teachers. Don’t be Snow White and think all apples and old people are bad because one puts you out. There are also good and bad customer service managers and telemarketers and others….
Now, even after and before going back and forth in the mornings with my hub’s IV post op appointments, this came and happened this week. It was a shock and wasn’t a shock.
I am going to miss him.
I got a text from him last Christmas saying he was making what was to be a final Christmas visit to his family. He never went home to his original family Christmas. I knew he was sick and since we moved to “this side of the Tampa Bay. It was my last text. Last June was my last visit to Tampa. I am glad I did.
Ever have that “feeling” when a friend is sick? I just knew then that this old friend was hurting but made time for me to visit. I knew that months of not communicating and his not wanting any of his old students like me to know he was sick or threatened with a life threatening something like cancer was his “way”. I gave him his privacy and time to be with his friar brothers.
But when he walked out during the last visit with a walker then a cane, I knew something was up. Dead give away. You can’t fool me. I had known him because my third cousin Fr. Gus was one of them. They are all family and he is family. Fr. Cousin Gus died when I was at Disney World in 2008 on my birthday. I knew on the inside out he was gone. I just knew . You know that stuff with that type of family.
They can’t duck out and he cannot duck out that easy. I have learned that those friars thread out. They don’t duck out. They don’t leave with fanfare. They leave when you least expect it. They push away to keep you from clinging and point to a Creator. You know they are going but they leave when they want, like attempted gentlemen who are awkward and not perfect. Sometimes it is more awkward in the attempt to love and not be perfect. Sometimes it spells of just plain loving nerds.
Maybe I should write fiction based on fact about all of them. It would be about various personalities and how those personalities handle faith. That’s going to take more thought. It is also going to scare a few of them. Some of it would be the truth. Nothing would be standard or expected. I am a good observer and know they were and are not perfect .
Truth is this: They have done some doosey things like start a failed covenant community at my University that I ran from even looking at joining. Instead, I ran home here in Tampa Florida where I have lived all my adult life. And they have done some not so doosey things like show me the possibility of a Creator who loves unconditionally because the Creation exists with the good and evil in this world. People make the choice to go Evil. People build in the wrong place and most disasters maybe avoided.
I have learned also it is possible to be my true best self and avoid abusive people in and out of family and to stand up for myself in my own awkward attempt to use and seek using my talents while seeking my MaSter’s degree from 2005 to 2008. That was my doosey. But it was a good doosey. That is only the tip of the Golden Iceberg.
I am taking this better than even I expected. Why? Maybe it is because of my own Dad who pushed me as well. I would love to share how he pushed me but I am working on a writing project about just that. It is going to have to wait or you are going to have to wait until that is done. It is almost done.
I am going to miss this guy and all the wise guy wisdom he gave me. I am going to miss this guy because although those friars can be wise guy nerds at times and laugh at my red Nine West shoes when the other old ladies in church wear doofy sneaker shoes and don’t care, I do care. They know that and so do I.
I am going to keep wearing those red Nine West shoes to show my individuality. Tough.
So it is off to his funeral tomorrow to say goodbye or “Vaya con Dios” on the inside in and inside out. O God tell them or let them know I will try and behave myself and not be a total fashionista to upscale those doofy old ladies who are clueless about how to dress with their polyester and doofy shoes. Yeah, I am lying about this.
But dear Friar friend, thanks for all the good you have pushed me to do: the service to others, not being able to kick the living bleep out of the Mommy bloggers with no common sense. not being able to bleep my family for stupid things they have done, taking the inside out baseball bat from me, taking the idea away from me that we are all so separate that we cannot connect with others, and a few other deep screwball lessons that I should share.
What lessons? One was in 2004, and that was when the deep wisdom became deeper. One sentence said in passing at a dinner made me think. I can and might share more later. I will never ever blindly follow anyone but good wisdom is just that to be followed.
Cooking for him with my hub was a true experience of sharing food, faith and wisdom and the stuff that life is made of on the awkward and non awkward occasions that any of us shares anything that life is made of. He would come to dinner on a quarterly basis. My dog Alfie Beagle barked when he first met him. Then , the second visit he shut up because the good Franciscan brought or gave him treats. Then, they got along.
God only knows and his friar brothers only know what he told them about my good cooking. I know I now have a good chef reputation for my real food many of them have never ever got . I could still invite the rest of them after the kitchen renovation or living room renovation. I will have to think about it. No fussiness allowed.
I am going to miss this guy. Stay tuned in the near future for what I learned. It is worth it and maybe the real reason why I don’t buy the nonsense of some of these other fundy bloggers. Why? I have already played that ping pong game where we toss ideas and they get bounced back to me for another step up of higher wisdom that points to the Creator Divine.
I am going to miss this guy. But I still carry the memory of the humor and the wisdom. And I carry the awkwardness of telling you all to stay tuned to actually get me to share the good I have learned. I carry the awkwardness of 13 years worth of lessons of discussing with a good friend who was older and is now gone to his reward.
I am going to miss this guy, this friend who never went but threatened to go on one of my hub and I’s road trips around Florida. Good thing you never went dear Father Friar. Why? My music is always played with serious Florida attitude and there’s a Florida resident parody for just about every over played 80s and 90s pop song. I also play the music too too way too loud you can’t even think. Look down from heaven now when we went event the next trip. Get heaven’s earplugs because we are not listening but enjoying the scenery. Like didn’t you teach me how to do that? It’s creation. So? I also put my feet on the dashboard and make faces and I have damned told the whole world now. You are now the one who knows about this last.
Truth is this: there will never be any of them who will go with US ON A REAL ROAD TRIP WITH MY HUB AND I. Road trips are for non fussy non fundy people who are not party poopers and can adapt to sudden change. We decide on a drop of a hat where to go at the last minute. Next trip is when we get another car. That is soon.
I am going to miss this guy, this friend who blessed my marriage on my 10th anniversary.
Thanks my friend, a dear spiritual “uncle” who knew me and my family since my mother’s wedding in 1955. Truth is this: that is where he got his vocation.
I am going to miss you …… 🙂 I am going to miss you dearly.
Now I am going to have a Margarita to celebrate all the wisdom you gave me.
I am not kidding. I mean it. Those Baptists will not not approve.
That’s fine with me.