Friday, 21 October 2011

something worth fighting for

Our family friend Carol who died on Wednesday was a fighter. She fought lung disease for many years. But she fought other things too - for peace and justice, for oppressed peoples in Central and South America, pushing at the edges of the church, expecting more, questioning. She was inspirational to me - I could listen to her stories for hours. She was a funny, artistic, outside-the-box, creative, political, musical, irreverent, crazy, and deeply spiritual 60-something woman. 

The Irish tell a story of a man who came to the gates of heaven and asked to be let in. 
St. Peter said, "Of course! Just show us your scars."
The man said, "I have no scars."
St. Peter said, "What a pity. Was there nothing worth fighting for?"

The other day, my daughter found this crumpled-up leaf with a dead monarch butterfly on it. I put it on the windowsill today, and thought of Carol and hoped that there is beauty in death - as hard as it may be for the living to see.


  1. I'm so glad I had the chance to meet Carol. She was truly inspiring (Delore too). I like the quote that you included. and I do believe that there can be beauty in death. Hugs to you all.

  2. Thank you, Wendy. My parents saw Carol last week and her parting words to them were: "Don't do anything I wouldn't do" - kinda leaves the door wide open! But the challenge is there.

  3. Brings tears to my eyes, Rebecca. Carol sounds like a wonderful woman. So hard to think of death and beauty in the same breath. Yet, I flash back to when my Grandma died. Witnessing her last breath, looking at her body after fighting cancer and in some very strange yet profound way I saw beauty. A very different, sacred, outside of the everyday beauty. Now here is hoping that there is some form of afterlife, some place to meet again and hug and feel and chat. My thoughts are with you as you grieve and remember. Hugs across the lines.

  4. Thank you, Shauna. I love what you said there. About your Grandma, and the beauty, and the sacredness. Yes - I hope for that place that too. More fervently since my grandma died too.

  5. When coupled with the music, this text is balm for a grieving soul: "Come ye disconsolate, where e'er ye languish, come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel. Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish. Earth has no sorrows that Heav'n cannot heal." (Mennonite HWB #497; Text by poet Thomas Moore 1816; Music by Samuel Webb, 1792.) Our remembered friends are dear! ~ Marcia

  6. Wow Mush - I can always count on you to pull a hymn out of your back pocket! Thank you.