Sunday, November 25, 2018

In Memory of Joanne Connelly

Joanne Connelly, long-time leader of the worship dance ministry at Beth Israel Messianic Center, Wayne, NJ, went to be with the Lord this week. Joanne was diagnosed with leukemia more than 20 years ago. The Lord granted her a long remission from the disease and Joanne spent those years worshipping Him with astonishing grace through dancing and leading the ministry of dance at our congregation.

I searched and searched, but was unable to find a video or photograph of Joanne, but hope you will "see" her in the words of my poem. It is my loving tribute to her memory.

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Holy Unto The Lord

In Memory of Joanne Connelly

      dance    dance   

Joanne's snowy garlanded hair
and white gown
with music
movement and grace

Her gestures      Holy
The Spirit

Arms raised high in praise
her tambourine
its streaming
silvery ribbon strands
          in the Sanctuary

She leaps     she bows
visage, enraptured

her eyes seem to see
what her heart
sees            Wondrous

her Bridegroom


"Once I danced
for The Lord," she says

"I could no longer dance

in a secular manner"

so we watch, prayerful

She whirls
     she worships
        in the     Dance Sacred

the dance         dance

Maude Carolan

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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She smiled as she dusted
the framed family photographs
on the old oak credenza
sang as she swept the kitchen floor
even Lysoled the bathroom bowl
with effervescence

Humming a favorite hymn, the woman
skillfully rolled pastry into a twelve-inch circle
adjacent to a bowl of peeled apple wedges
tossed with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves

Spontaneous praise to Jesus
proceeded from her lips
as she stuffed the twenty-pound turkey
trussed it tidily
rubbed it with butter and sage
and lifted it into the moderate oven

On the antique table linen
that had been stored away
in her mother’s cedar chest
she placed her best china, crystal, and silver
then set a wicker cornucopia
abounding with miniature pumpkins
and assorted nubby gourds, right in the center

Her feet ached, but her eyes sparkled—
This was among life’s highest joys
Her children and grandchildren
would soon be at the door
carrying homemade casseroles
and bringing lots of hugs and tales and laughter
and she would get to serve
Thanksgiving dinner

Maude Carolan Pych

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

In Memory of Dr. McCabe

In memory of Dr. Henry J. McCabe Jr.
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In Memory of Dr. Henry J. McCabe

My doctor retired in June—

but when I entered his office
just a few days ago
there was a framed photograph
of him, relaxed and smiling
beneath the words:

In Memory of
Dr. Henry J. McCabe

He died two weeks ago
on October 16, 2018, at the age of 69

Those words and that photograph
immediately caused me to tear-up and gasp
He’d been my doctor for 27 years—
a kind man, bordering on holy
with a calm manner and gentle spirit
He was refreshingly unhurried
never kept his hand on the doorknob
always would ask at the end of each visit
if my entire list of questions were answered

Actually, he was like Mister Rodgers
with a stethoscope
with a cardigan sweater
and easy manner of speech

He’d inquire about my poetry
and appreciated when I’d bring him new poems
When my husband, Leo, was dying
from the ravages of lung cancer
Dr. McCabe helped us make decisions
just as if he were treating
his own father
I’ll never forget that

I Googled his obituary
and read a stream of remembrances
similar to my own, and thought
how beautiful it is
to leave behind such a fragrance
how in a world like ours has become
full of so much hate, terror and violence
there are human beings like Dr. McCabe
who leave only goodness behind
peace and gentleness

I will miss you, good doctor
and the sweet aroma
of your presence here will linger
for a long, long time

and when it is my turn
to depart this earthly life
I hope, like you

to leave something beautiful behind

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Happy Birthday, Bob

Robert F. Pych
For Robert Pych

You’ll be 89 tomorrow, my darling—
a true milestone

There’s so much to celebrate—
reasonably good health, great family
a few wonderful friends
a comfortable life
but most of all
truly, truly, most of all
this is the perfect time to celebrate
enduring love, in these, our golden years

for we live a gentle life
with lots of I love yous
and spontaneous embraces
that generate smiles throughout the day

We take care of one another
and worry about each other
each, in our own unique ways—
You’ve endured plenty of poetry readings
I’ve been known to flip
through magazines at the racetrack
We often gather at the Scrabble board
and squabble about those two-letter words
or by the TV, where we really try
to find something mutually agreeable to watch

Every evening we join hands in prayer
for all the people we love
and some we don’t even know
whose names are given to us by others
to add to our always lengthy list

Who would ever have thought
love would keep right on growing
and be so wonderfully alive
as hair gets greyer
wrinkles get deeper
memories get muddier
and backs get achier
but the truth is
at least in our case, my darling
it does

Happy birthday, Bob!

Maude Carolan Pych