Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Stay - A Touching Story by Anonymous

Death Gazes Upon Naked, BaltimoreImage by cleopatra69 via Flickr

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.

"Your son is here," she said to the old man.

She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lightedward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.

He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.

Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

"Who was that man?" he asked.

The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.

"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

"I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."

I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His Son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this Gentleman's name?

The Nurse with Tears in her eyes answered, Mr. William Grey..............





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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Goodbye to Our Loving Father - by Patty Mooney

Joseph Edmund Mooney, age 85 a longtime resident of Saint Clair Shores, Michigan died Saturday, April 24, 2010 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born September 04, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan the son of the late John Henry Mooney and the late Margaret Jenny (nee: O'Meara) Mooney.

Mr. Mooney was the beloved husband of Magi (nee: Richard). He is the dearest father of Patty Kay Mooney (Mark Schulze), Joseph, Jeanne (Andrew) Barrett, Thomas, Marge Mooney (Freddie Cunningham), and Rita Mooney (Glen Merritt). He was brother of Mary Tremayne, and also survived by 11 grandchildren; Lindsay Ferlin, Brian (Michelle) Mooney, Michael Mooney, Rachel Mooney, Aiyana Mooney, Erin Merritt, Max Merritt, Charlie Barrett, Jack Barrett, Emily Cunningham, and Matthew Cunningham. 6 great-grandchildren; Cody Mooney, Peyton Mooney, Kaela Cunningham, Devon Washington, Maddie Cunningham, and Theo Cunningham. Further survivors include his Goddaughter, Shawna (Devine) Frohriep and his two Favorites Jan Taylor and Dawn Singleton. There were many who considered Mr. Mooney as "Dad" or "Grandpa" including Sam Singleton and Alexander Rivard.

Good Bye to our Loving Father By: Patty Kay

Queen Elizabeth said “Grief is the price we pay for love.” The thing is we could all see Dad marching towards death for the last ten years as he suffered with dementia. So we have long known that the day of his ultimate departure was nigh. And yet, when that moment arrives and you finally know that you will never again be able to look into his eyes that twinkle when he sees you, and you will never again hear him say things like “You’re leaving already?! But you just got here!” – it’s an earth-shattering moment. It’s not only the journey of our Big Chief; it’s the journey of our entire family.

Our father, Joseph Edmund Mooney, was a handsome man, a charming man. A loving man, he was a faithful husband to Magi Richard for 56 years, and father to Patricia Kathryn, Joseph Patrick, Jeanne Marie (Barrett), Thomas John, Margaret Ann and Rita Anne. He was a seminary and law student while studying in college, however World War II called him into service. He was stationed with the United States Army Air Corps in Molokai, Hawaii. After his military service Joseph became a corporate salesman for Chrysler for 29 years, and then when Chrysler gave him an “offer he couldn’t refuse” he returned to college and in 1980 passed the bar and realized his lifetime desire to become an attorney. He worked for the remainder of his career as assistant to an Attorney General Frank J. Kelley in Detroit. Dad was a man about town, faithful Catholic, dapper in a hat, enthralled with golf, a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Dad was an adoring family man who was, for the last years of his life, a constant presence in his corner in the family room, waiting for us all to come home.

He was there for me at the beginning of my life, making sure I didn’t fall off the horse on the carousel. And I’m happy I could be there to hold his hand as he made his passage apart from us, his beloved family.

I distanced myself from him and my family by moving west and making a life there, following Dad’s sage advice, “Whatever makes you happy.” It is a healthy and successful bird that flies away from the nest.

I joked that I hadn’t had Dad’s undivided attention for 52 years since when I was two. So during the last week, it was my greatest joy to have him press my hand with his hand as I sat beside his deathbed watching him sleep. I cherish the precious memories of him awakening to see me and smile. And the moment when I asked why he looked so sad. “What are you thinking right now, Dad?” I asked. “About you,” he managed weakly. “What about, Dad?” “You are a beautiful girl,” he said. That was one of his last lucid moments. It amazed me that after suffering the ravages of dementia for ten years, Dad had such moments of crystal clarity. All along, he was able to recognize the voices of each of his four daughters over the phone, and that’s not easy for anyone.

For two weeks, friends and relatives stopped by to pay their respects, thankfully while Joe was still around to appreciate it. He had orchestrated the greatest Irish wake ever. Please raise a glass to honor the memory of Joseph Edmund Mooney.

Visitation for Mr. Mooney will be Monday from 3-9 pm with a 7pm Eulogy Service at the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Rd. at Common (12 ½ Mile). Mr. Mooney will lie in state Tuesday 9:30 am at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, until the time of the Funeral Mass at 10 am. Memorial donations appreciated to: St. Patrick’s Senior Center, 58 Parsons Street/ Detroit, MI 48201 (please join the family on Sunday at the center for the festival). Please share memories of Mr. Mooney at his guest book.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saying Goodbye to My Father - by Patty Mooney

It's a surrealistic feeling to be back with my family in Detroit as my 85-year-old dad lies dying. He's set up in the family room in a Hospice bed with oxygen and a comfort pack that contains morphine if he needs it. He was so excited the night I arrived, to have the majority of us (four of his six children) around, that he stayed up until 2 AM. He goes in and out of sleep and he's sleeping right now. The television is off, which is a new thing (and welcome) as it's been a constant presence for him in the last decade of his declining years.

Six of our eight-person family are here. A brother and sister could not make the trip. We are going to have some friends and family here tonight for a little party to celebrate being together, and of course, Dad's passage.

It's amazing and interesting how a family can come together and just take up where we left off, with decades apart. Of course we have gathered for events in the ensuing years, but this event has called for a family to gather and make decisions and arrangements for the funeral of our Big Chief, our Father, the one who brought home the bread and butter to raise his family to the people we are today.

The process is ongoing. I have been sitting in a chair beside his bed, holding his hand. The way he squeezes my hand and his lucid moments, after a decade of Dementia, have touched me as I have never been touched before. As I can clearly see, the Passage of our Big Chief, is a journey for the whole family. I am so happy to be here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Remedy For Insomnia - A Poem by Vera Pavlova

April is Poetry Month and there's this cool program Knopf has where you get a Poem-a-Day.

Today's poem is #66 in the hundred poems that comprise If There Is Something To Desire, the first collection in English by the stunning Russian poet Vera Pavlova—stunning because of what she can do in under ten lines, sometimes under five. Her work is translated by her husband, Steven Seymour. This is a fabulous collaboration in that Pavlova's translator is the one person who knows exactly what she is talking about in her poems, especially the ones that involve him.

Pavlova rarely titles her poems—this one is an exception—and her book is the first in the history of Knopf's poetry list to show an entire poem on the front jacket, designed by Knopf's Peter Mendelsund with hand-lettering by the illustrator Leanne Shapton.

A Remedy for Insomnia

Not sheep coming down the hills,
not cracks on the ceiling—
count the ones you loved,
the former tenants of dreams
who would keep you awake,
once meant the world to you,
rocked you in their arms,
those who loved you . . .
You will fall asleep, by dawn, in tears.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

When Small Planes Could Still Fly Over the Grand Canyon - by Patty Mooney

As a video producer who is concerned about the disintegration and subsequent loss of 20-something-year-old VHS masters, I started digitizing some of the videos we have shot, and rediscovered this one. It's one of the first documentaries I ever made, of a little trip to the Grand Canyon in a small plane with my father-in-law who is a pilot, Rolf; and two wonderful friends who were visiting from Switzerland at the time, Antoinette and her son, Andreas, who is also known (at least to us) as "Little Smedley."

The first time anyone first sees the Grand Canyon in its total vast "beingness," is truly monumental. I shot this documentary of the occasion. At the time, linear editing was such a brutal process, that most videographers just performed "in-camera editing." I spent some time last night re-editing it to some excellent tunes with my non-linear editing software, so grateful for the technology that would allow me to share this special (and vintage) time in my history...

And with no further ado, here's "Antoinette and Little Smedley Fly to the Grand Canyon" - 25 years ago.

Antoinette and Little Smedley Fly to the Grand Canyon (1985) from Patty Mooney on Vimeo.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

My 15 Minutes of Fame - by Patty Mooney

Big Bear Cross Country 1989Image by cleopatra69 via Flickr

I don't know if I ever mentioned I was a mountain biking champion, back in "the day." Although I had the endurance for cross country and uphill races, my preferred event was the "downhill," as I admit to being an adrenaline junkie. After having been a mountain biker now for nearly 25 years, riding a rollercoaster just hasn't been the same.

What I love about mountain biking is that it gets me out into nature with some of my best and favorite friends, and exercise is a by-product of having fun. The thought of spinning in a gym when the sun is up and the sky is blue, is absurd to me.

I have ridden in some amazing locations including San Diego, Canada, Costa Rica, Moab, Wales, Switzerland, Greece, Tahiti, Australia and India.

Here is a clip of me on a local news station, back in 1994. I hope it gives you a giggle.

Channel 9 Segment on Patty Mooney, Mountain Bike Champion from Patty Mooney on Vimeo.

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