Christmas Memories

I remember my life in flashes…
Below are more flashes or Christmas memories from Super 8 movies shot by my parents when we were growing up. These are screenshots are from 1965 and are of Mom and my sisters and I. By the smiles you can see it was a happy time for us all. Dad was shooting the film.

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Flashes

I remember my life in flashes…
I look back on my life and I seem to remember it in flashes. I remember a given moment but I don't remember what happened before or after that moment. Mom and Dad took lots of photographs and Super 8 movies of us as kids. So, perhaps I am remembering the images not the real events.

Easter Flashes –

Giving up something for Lent.
The Way of the Cross on Fridays.
Getting Palm on Palm Sunday.
Mom exchanging the old Palm for new behind all the Crucifix in the house.
Mom burning the old Palm and letting it blow away in the wind
A week off from school - Easter Vacation.
Holy Week Services - Washing of the Feet and Adoration of the Cross.
Mom planting her flower and tomato plants on Good Friday. For "Good Luck" she said.
Dying eggs on Holy Saturday.
The smell of vinegar and watching the dye tablets fizz into bright colors.
The purple dye never worked. Even with food coloring, purple eggs never looked right.
Names magically appearing on some eggs thanks to Mom and the white wax crayon found in the box of dye.
Mom always, always told how she dyed eggs as a child, that is with orange and blue crepe paper from her dad's office… Gulf Refining Co.
Waking up Easter morning to find three baskets wrapped in colorful cellophane.
Dressing alike in new dresses for Easter Mass.
Mass being very full and long if Bishop Greco said Mass.
Ham, always a ham, topped with pineapple and maraschino cherries.
Finding eggs hidden by the easter bunny in the backyard except for one Easter when it rained and he hid the eggs in the house.
Playing with the plastic eggs. Miss-matching the colors halves. Pink with purple was my favorite.
Dad hiding the eggs again and again and again…
There was always an egg or two hidden in the clothes line pole too tall for us to reach.
Eating the ears off the chocolate bunny first.
Dad taking 2 boiled eggs to his buddies at work on Monday.
Creamed eggs over toast the week after Easter.
Mom complaining for weeks about the Easter grass she kept finding when she swept the floor.

Images (flashes) below I made from the Super 8 movies my Parents took of myself and my two Sisters at Easter over the years.

Have a Happy and A Most Blessed Easter.

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Calendar Page

February
Today is the feast day of Saint Blaise. I find it a bit ironic that my father died of Esophageal Cancer one day before this day in 2003. According to Wikipedia… "Saint Blase was the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia during the fourth century. Very little is known about his life. According to various accounts he was a physician before becoming a bishop. His cult spread throughout the entire Church in the Middle Ages because he was reputed to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died because of a fishbone in his throat. From the eighth century he has been invoked on behalf of the sick, especially those afflicted with illnesses of the throat.”

For as long as I can remember, I have stood in line following the Mass to have my throat blessed. Two blessed white candles in the form of a cross are placed around my neck and the blessing given… "Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

My Father too had this blessing year after year. Yes, Dad is gone now but I believe he was blessed with a long life and good health until the end. He grew up in the house on my January 2017 calendar page. Flannery O'Connor words say …"Where we think we are going to never was there"…
. and the Bible says… “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” I like to think Mom and Dad are some place of such grace and beauty that we can't even imagine. I pray they are both in God's arms on this day.

Have a most blessed weekend.

P.S. I just read where Pope Francis accepted Bishop Ronald Herzog's retirement request yesterday. It is a sad farewell and I send many prayers for the great Bishop. Bishop David Talley has been welcomed with open arms to the Diocese. He has a warm and loving personality and speaks the same. My heart leaps with joy when he says Mass. God Bless them both.

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Calendar Page

November
Digital Assemblage Art

Calendar Page

October

Digital Assemblage Art

Mom

Miss You
I pray you are resting in the arms of our Lord.

Digital Assemblage Art

Home

Still Standing

The old house is still standing
Though the paint is cracked and dry
And there's that old oak tree I used to play on… It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.


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Calendar Art

September 2016

Digital Assemblage Art

Uncle Son

Photographs and Memories

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My Uncle Son passed away this morning. He went peacefully. His wife and daughter were at his side. He donated his body to science so there will be no funeral. He was an old man, worn down by life. He had this theory, that I named the “Uncle Son Bucket Theory”. It goes like this: The mind is like a bucket filling with water and as one ages the bucket get so full that new information simply flows over the edges. I added an addendum to that theory. It goes like this: when one gets a hole in the bucket it’s called Alzheimer’s. Uncle Son had a hole in his bucket.

I didn’t know him as a kid. He was simply one of my Dad’s many brothers I didn’t see very often. It was later in life that I got to know him. We both shared a fondness for family photos and our visit usually ended up in his den of photographs. Uncle Son had taken a staple gun and stapled the family to the wood paneling. To me it was beautiful. Only Uncle Son could come up with that. The room was full. The photos got him to talking and before his bucket developed a hole he would tell stories. One of his last was this…

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My Grandfather, Uncle Son’s dad was the "McNamara" in O’Neill McNamara Hardware Store in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was their top salesman. He would leave on a Monday morning from Vicksburg. He would travel into Louisiana across the Mississippi River bridge and then travel south thru Louisiana till he got to Vidalia. He would cross into Natchez Mississippi and head north ending back in Vicksburg on Friday. He would always take one of the McNamara boys with him… not the girls. One week he took very small Uncle Son. They climbed into his Model T. On the floor of the back seat was large jug of whiskey. It soon became clear to Uncle Son why his dad was their top salesman. As evening set, they arrived at a large plantation house in Louisiana. Here, Uncle Son was to spend the night. Hand in hand they walked to the big house. Uncle Son ask my Grandfather what the large bell was for in the front of the mansion. He explained that the big bell was used to call the help to work in the mornings. After my Grandfather dropped Uncle Son off, having arranged for him to stay the night, he then traveled to a near by farm. There, after a night of poker and whiskey, he would return to pick up his son with his bulging sales book full of orders for tools, seed and farm equipment. Uncle Son woke very early the next morning in a strange bed in a strange house. He looked out the window and saw the big bell in the yard. He slipped out, unnoticed, and walked to the big bell. On his tip toes he pulled the rope that set the bell to clanging. From all directions the help came running. The were yawning and rubbing their eyes that were filled with fear as the thought they had overslept. Uncle Son took off running back into the plantation hoping to avoid the punishment that was sure to follow.


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I will miss his stories, his BBQ ribs, his dry humor, his den of photographs and his love for life but I believe he is in a better place. I believe his bucket will never be full again and will never have a hole. I believe he is with my Dad and his other siblings. I believe he is swapping stories with them all of growing up in the McNamara home, the Model T, going to the Brother’s school, WWII and so much more that I was never told.

I have his photos and stories to remember him by. I have a set of 100 year old encyclopedias he gave me. Ones that he purchased from the Vicksburg library book sale. And as frail as he was he insisted on helping me load them in my car. I have the clock my Dad gave to him when he was home on leave from the Navy. But I will still miss him….

This isn't good by simply a…see ya later Uncle Son.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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