Lover's Key, Florida

Lover's Key, Florida
I WILL FIND OTHER SEAS.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

FATHER RAY


It was he who taught me
to throw a curve ball
hit a 7 iron
dip shiny Smelt
from  a cold, spring creek
when we were just kids.

It was he who
blessed us with his presence
and asked us
to repeat the words
with this ring
until death do us part
and then said
go ahead, kiss her.

Now today I hear
that he has died
and it is my turn
to recall
when he once again
blessed us with his presence
in a time of deep sorrow
seeking only solace
and understanding
and we did all
that we could do
and it was enough.

He has left the peace
he had in this world
For a greater peace by far
he knows our sorrow
we remember the blessing
of his presence.
  
John A. Bayerl, January 18, 2012
on the occasion of Fr. Raymond Hoefgen’s death.

Today I heard that Ray died of a heart attack yesterday.  He was a first cousin, we played together as youngsters, then he went off to be a priest, and I went about living my life.  Surely it was not a coincidence that Ray was ordained as a priest the week before Gwen and I were married.  I served as an usher at his ordination.  The next Saturday he officiated at Gwen's and my marriage.  Then we lost touch with each other except for occasional contacts until about ten years ago when Gwen and I were living in Marquette.  While there we had a visit from Ray right after he had received some devastating news.  I won't go into detail about that; it's not important anymore.  On that occasion Gwen and I were able to be with Ray as witnesses to his pain.  We felt that life had come full circle.  Ray will be missed.  He blessed everyone with his presence.

Tomorrow I will take the long trip to Menominee for Ray's funeral on Friday.  

Today I had intended to write about yesterday when I had healing and rewarding talks with my friend Carl, then Bob, and in the evening Mary.   Sometimes I need reminders that I am not in this alone.

I was so proud of you that night Dear, when you opened our front door and your heart to Ray.

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