Forget that very brief post. You knew I had more to say than that — was just getting started and clicked Publish instead of Save Draft. My last two posts were dispatched on October 31st and December 31st, and today is the last day of February. I want to send this out before March roars in, so this will be shorter than usual. As I said, I signed a new Last Will and Testament this week.  That really focused my attention! I know my son and daughter-in-law will follow my wishes beautifully after I’m gone . But whatever they do, it won’t bother me much where I am.

Absolutely no wake for me —  funeral homes are a cold, expensive modern innovation.  I remember the simple home wakes for my Beatty grandparents and my dad  — three years in a row back in the ’40’s.  Black wreaths on the front door.  Floral arrangements hanging from the crown molding all around the living room.  Open coffins in front of the fireplace.  Adults taking turns sitting up through the night, waking/keeping the deceased company.  Cousins sleeping upstairs, lots of giggling, lying across twin beds pushed together. In the daytime, smells of cooking from the kitchen.  Sounds of talking, crying, laughing.  Lots of remembering, hugging and kissing.

No fancy coffin for me either.  At my funeral Mass, what’s left of me in a closed plain, wooden box — it’s good enough for the Pope, so it’s fine with me.) Among the hymns: “Amazing Grace” and “On Eagle’s Wings.”  Recessional: “When the Saints Go Marching In” —  sing and dance if the spirit  moves you. Everyone invited for hearty food and drink at a good restaurant — on me. Cremation of my mortal remains.  Kieran can dig a little hole later in his dad’s grave in Holy Rood Cemetery on Long Island, and put me in there near him.

In the meantime, life goes on.  I’m taking the train to New York City Sunday, March 8th, have lunch with my friend Therese, then we’ll see Hugh Leonard’s wonderful play “Da” at our beloved Irish Repertory Theatre. I’m staying overnight in the city at a LaQuinta Inn, and have an appointment Monday morning with an ophthalmologist at OCLI in Lynbrook, where they monitored and treated my glaucoma for many years before I moved to Maryland. Had some hassle collecting  my records from several doctors here, finally got the last yesterday, and will bring them with me.

I’m worried about my sight, confused by differing advice on procedures  — Trabectame, Trabeculotomy, Trabeculectomy — and wanted another opinion. I’m ashamed to complain after all the gifts I’ve been given in my long life, and know many others bear heavier burdens. Catching up on Oscar nominees,  I recently saw “The Theory of Everything” — Stephen Hawking still brilliant and hopeful at 73, though physically immobilized, suffering over 50 years with A.L.S.. At one point, he even says:  “While there’s life there’s hope.”  But I can’t seem to lift my low spirits. I’m praying this dark mood will pass, as it has before. And I’d appreciate a kind word on my behalf if you can fit it in with your own petitions.



    • Your comment cheered me this morning. I know you’re going through your own things, too. As the saying goes: “Old age isn’t for sissies!” Will call you next week when I get back from NYC. Am thinking of taking dance class (hate plain exercise!) at McFaul Wednesdays. What are you taking next?

  2. Fran from Gina's office said

    Eileen – Please smile just as I do every time I see you or read your post. You are an inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of making your acquaintance. Please know that I will definitely be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Fran E.

    • Thanks, Fran, for your lovely message. This long, cold winter hasn’t helped my spirits. But I’m feeling better today after a visit from a nephew and his son yesterday. Seems even when I’m a bit low, I can still make others smile, then I smile, too. God bless you!

  3. Christine copeland said

    I hope you just have a case of the Winter blues, as you East Coasters have been walloped this year. Hugs and kisses from me, and I am hoping you have good news soon on the eye issue.

    • Dear Sweet Christine: I’m feeling better today, though it’s still frigid and icy here. Slipped on ice the other day walking Angel, but landed on my padded bottom. I’ll enjoy seeing my friend and the play, then meeting another L.I. friend for lunch after I see doctor Monday. So that cheers me up. Haven’t seen the darling little boys for two weeks, partly weather, and think I’ve got withdrawal symptoms. Hugs and kisses back to you. Aunt Eileen xoxoxoxoxoxox

  4. Ken Collins said

    Thanks for the update, Aunt Eileen! Spring is almost here, and with it, more sunshine and warmth. I hope you shake the blues soon, and that everything works out with your vision. Have a safe trip and we’ll see you soon. We love you and are praying for you!

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