Our little farm has added 5 new hens and a rooster named Peanut-butter as well as a few more rabbits. We are loving life and all that is in it.
Last week we sadly lost Sean' mom Addie. His brother Eugene wrote a wonderful eulogy that the priest read at the mass for her. I want to simple share it and a photo of a wonderful woman we wil all miss.
Adeline lived out Christ's message of peace and love.
Adeline was a woman of great faith and dedication. Since living in Blue Point she, her son Paul and his wife Nancy and her children Meagan and Cathleen were a regular fixture at Sunday Services at Our Lady of the Snow. My mother was a child of the Great Depression and my grandparents navigated her safely through those difficult days with their Catholicism in such a way that she grew stronger and wiser. It was clear that this period gave her a deep understanding meaning of suffering, sacrifice and the importance of helping others.
I would say one of the best stories about my mother’s faith occurred on a trip she took to the South of France with me. I was invited to lecture at a NATO advanced studies institute and I asked my mother to join me. This was a two week adventure in Bonas, France. Prior to the trip my mother had mentioned several times that she would like to visit Lourdes. After the first week in Bonas – I had hoped that she had forgotten about this – primarily because Lourdes is set in a deeply inconvenient corner of southwest France. I was also naively under the impression that this was some sort of “Tourist Destination” in the south of France. Mother persisted and after another entire week of reminders – it’s was off to Lourdes.
We drove the mountainous and winding roads of the Pyrenees for hours and when we arrived there, we witness several thousand people—the lines of wheelchairs alone is eight deep and maybe 200 yards long—all are carrying candles and raising their voices in song and prayer. The front of the shrine is lit candles up against gold tiles and the only sound besides the singing is the marchers all weeping . My mother looks at me and says hey Eugene “try being cynical in the face of that “.
So we navigate our way in and wait in line for nearly two hours to see the grotto up close. From a distance, it’s not all that impressive: a small cave in the rock with the church above it. The grotto itself isn’t even big enough to camp in, but there is a steady flow of people coming through, leaving candles and tiny flowers on the walls of the grotto. As soon as we near the entrance to the grotto, people reach out to touch the walls and a stains show where hands have gone for the past 150 years. Mothers touch children’s hands to the grotto stone and bow their babies heads to it. Everybody who was whispering suddenly stops talking and goes silent. I said – so mom what do you want me to do? She says "go back to the car and get that big bottle?" I said what big bottle? She said you’ll see it on the back seat. She had lifted an old Pepsi bottle from the cafeteria ! She had this all planned out? So I fill a ½ gallon bottle with this water – she snaps a picture and smiles. Ok lets go light some candles and leave. I’ll never know how she got that big bottle of water back on the plane? But for years and years my mother would send small quantities of water to family, friends and acquaintances who were sick and/or suffering. She would provide a short note and tell them to make a cup of tea and add the water. Or better yet – draw a bath and add the water.
We talked about our pilgrimage to Lourdes frequently and few years back she said to me – "Eugene – Lourdes is not about the water – it was never about the water - its not about the water at all ! It’s about the 10 million people that go there every year – its about faith. When we have faith and give ourselves to a god we find ourselves soothed by feelings of peace, acceptance, and strength that arise in fellowship with others.
Its not about the water you idiot –its about our faith.
I’m not sure when she ran out of that water – but can tell you she never ran out of faith.
Gene Kelly (son of Adeline)
RIP ADELINE PATEY KELLY