Two years later.

Two years ago today we lost for a time the company and conversation that, in significant measure, shaped the lives of my sister and brothers and myself. I knew as the call came that Mom had died peacefully during the night that we had lost one irreplaceable. It’s true in every such occasion, I know. Every person is indeed irreplaceable. And that in no way blunts the trauma of the going-forth of any one of them.

No lines of words could do her justice. I’ve tried. Living with fierce determination for the causes and the folk and the hopes that you know matter: that will come closer to paying fitting tribute to her life, to the life she gave to us. To the life she shared with us.

This year, as I remember and thank God for Mom, I am thinking with gratitude of the closest companions she gave me for life: Joe, Jim, Tom, Terry, Ann Marie. And baby Michael who was with us so early and so briefly. (And whose name shines again in another Michael McGinty, Joe and Carol’s son, my nephew).

‘Sibling’ comes from the old and Middle English ‘sibb,’ which meant “kinship, relationship; love, friendship, peace, happiness.”

Through much time and many places, in a manner shared by our American first cousins, Séan and Alice, we siblings have been all those gifts to one another I love those gifts, through thick and thin. Each one so real, so unique, so beautiful. And each one refreshed more and more deeply as a gift through beautiful times and through wrenching painful times as well.

Today, on the 2nd anniversary of Mom’s death, I give thanks to Mom and Dad for the living gifts of my sister and brothers. First gifts, first blessings. Thank you Mom.

Words from the day of Mom’s death …

Our Mom, who has carried full life since the day of her Baptism, now lives that life completely. She was called home during the overnight. The nurse who called was crying. They loved her so well.
I sat with Mom this morning before the funeral home came. I prayed out loud, tearful words of loving gratitude. She was entirely Love in her motivation, even when she was telling you what-for!
I love my Mom with all my heart. I don’t know what it will be like to live on without her ear, her voice, her loving eyes.
I am so grateful to all of you who read this, who have held her in prayer. Pray once more, a prayer of gratitude that God graced this earth with such a woman. And pray for us that we carry on in her own spirit.
As she said to me yesterday as I left her room, the same last words I was moved to receive from Dad 20 years ago, “Thank you.”

I’ll be grateful as long as I live to my brother Tom who took this picture. Somehow it captures much.

She loved us all, with undying energy, and apparent effortlessness. She was born to do it so well.
In the foyer at Little Sisters, where she often held forth in song.
Mom’s bedside table at the time of her death.

Mary Sweeney was born on Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland. She died on American soil on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, 91 years later. Here are words from Our Lady of Guadalupe’s message which comforted me two years ago and tonight as well …

And finally this … (thinking of all who you have been given to love) …

“Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”

~ C S Lewis

Stay in touch …

2 thoughts on “Two years later.

  1. John & the entire Family, Your beautiful & wonderful Mom will always be with you. Our Family treasured Mom & Dad’s many visits & fond memories together. Our love & prayers are with you always!

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