Monday, July 27, 2015

A Prayer for Uncles & Aunts

Uncle Bud is second from the left.  These are the siblings
of my mother's generation:  l to r:  Patricia (my mom),
Harold (Bud), Donald (DJ), Barbara, & James (JJ).
Written in honor of my Uncle, Harold "Bud" Johnson, who died on July 23, 2015 at the age of seventy.  Uncle Bud was like glue--he brought people together and helped hold them here.  The family level of extroversion has dropped dramatically with his passing to the next life.  May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
for the gift of the brothers and sisters
 of our mothers and fathers.
We call them uncles and aunts, funny words.
You use them to bless us, to show us our own glory, your gift to us
Our parents give us wings and teach us to fly.
Our uncles and aunts teach us to do tricks in our flight, and the many ways of landing we will need.
Most of these are safe.
Their job is delight and wisdom that sometimes we will listen to
because they are not our parents.
It is a kind of learning to grow up sideways.
In the mist of the roots of our language
it is no surprise to us at all
that the word "uncle" was once a verb
that the word "aunt" comes from the same source as the word "adventure."

The sadness is that as we grow we inevitably lose them
and their joy at seeing us--and we them--becomes memory.
As you bless them in the life beyond this life
bless us also to keep their memory in our wings.

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