Saturday, December 22, 2012

Then we have to take care of each other

We wish you a Merry Christmas


Sarah Z arrives with us to go to Teddy’s funeral, She remembers him arriving a year ago. And all the many times when she was in Manhattan when she would just swing by for a hug and a good word. Soon enough Jamie swings by in her car and we are off to Suffern for the funeral.

It was a classic Irish Catholic funeral. Pretty full sanctuary. His children and sister both spoke of how his last months were his happiest and how they felt like West-Park had given him their father and brother back.  It all ends in the church yard with flowers tossed on the casket while the Irish piper plays. It has gotten very cold...

Back at the church, there’s little time to get everything done. Hope has arrived soon enough to  start the hot mulled cider for our carolling on the steps. I close the door so I can get some work done.

ready for carolling
Don is back from China at last with a box of pears and candy. Anna has come with puppy. Jamie comes with wine and Santa hats. Stephen has his voice warmed up and ready to go. Jamie’s longtime friend and colleague, Nancy. Even Rachelle is there.  Marsha knows a surprising number of words. I’m leading and throwing in harmonies. 

Jamie and Martin
People on the street stop and smile. A little girl applauds. A man adds his own harmonies. Buses come and go. There is a feeling if warmth in the cold air. When we come  inside for a warm up, Martin and his daughter Stella and nephew Juanito join us. And Christopher too. Three young adults from Brazil in New York for holiday stop in for conversation and quickly learn of our historic connections to Brazil. 

Soon enough we’re back on the steps to finish our carolling. I lead a small group across the street with wine and hot cider for Dominc and les merchants de les arbres de noel. We sing for them. Share our refreshments.  As they say thanks, Jamie swings into full negotiation mode. They offer a small wooden reindeer. We wind up with two Christmas for the church and one for a Puerto Rican lady passing by with her cart. With her dog, esparky. She takes off her watch cap to reveal badly singed hair from a gas burner. Dominic seems to be well acquainted with her. We head back across the street to finish our time of fellowship, bringing our tree with us. 

Later at the B, Ellen and Jamie and I will smile as Dominic strikes up a conversation with Carla the Brazilian bartender.  A night in New York, getting close to Christmas.

I’m remembering Teddy’s review of Dzieci’s Fools’ Mass.  No references to Marat/Sade or Peter Brook. Just straight out: What I see is like when the one who takes care of us isn’t there anymore, we have to take care of each other. Like with God. When you pray and there’s no answer and it feels like no one’s there. Then we have to take care of each other. I need to remember that. 

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