… for the parishioners of my small parish who sacrifice so much in order for us to be in existence, for their time, for their enthusiasm, and for their support of me personally!
… for the Brotherhood of my parish which recently not only privately raised $9200 for the construction of a new 24’x24’ storage building, and who built it themselves, suffering through Savannah’s terrible heat and humidity in order to bring this building into being!
… for Dorothy Kocher who brings me tomatoes and other veggies from her garden, who brings me blueberries that she picks for me, and who brings me her various jars of pickled items (I have a fond weakness for pickled items).
…for Lydia Gulitzia who called at 9pm the other night when we were having a terrible storm, and who worried about my safety, offering me their home in case the doublewide Residence proved inadequate!
… for my brother Danny’s boxes of Hawaii that he sends my way, strengthening my Hawaiian ties, for the Merrie Monarch hula tapes, for the Floating Lantern tapes, for the dried mango (another weakness of mine), for the boxes of Caramacs (and yet another weakness!), for the yearly calendars, for the Maui cookbook, for the coconut shell, for the double tuberose lei he occasionally sends at great expense to himself!
… for Gerry Straub’s dedication to me of his new book, for his 25 years of friendship, for the many books and 16 films on poverty that he has produced… but mostly for his friendship.
… for Mom and Dad, for their sacrifices for all of us and their example of what the faithfulness of love really looks like: It looks like no winter overcoat so we could have food, it looks like inconvenient trips to various places in order that we might have whatever help we needed, it looks like their insistence that everyone attend the evening meal together, no excuses!
… for my siblings, whose appearance upon the scene ended my lonely 8 years of being an only child. For my nieces and nephews who carry our family forward into the future, for their talents, kindness, and just because they are “us”!
… for my slight talent in art, cooking and singing, each of which make heaven present for me in the here and now.
… for the unlooked for, undeserved discovery of Hawaii, which discovery has opened a whole new upcoming life for me at 70, a time when so many other lives are focused on coming to a close!