Friday, March 19, 2010

St. Joseph's Day 2010

"St. Joseph" by Reni

St. Joseph is the patron saint of many things, but this year, I particularly reflect on his patronage of fathers and of a holy and happy death.

For breakfast, I joined one of my best friends for doughnuts (traditional St. Joseph's Day fare) at Donuts Delite. This little, retro donut shop was the hilight of our visits to our grandparents' houses, three doors down from each other, both of which were within walking distance of the donut shop. Our fathers went there as children. Then, they took us. We went there for holidays and birthdays. Through the window next to our booth, we could see the church where our fathers worshipped as children with their families, the same church where my parents were married over thirty years ago.

Five years back, the little donut shop shut its doors, we thought, forever. I was there on the last day and bought a dozen glazed donuts for my coworkers at the theater where I was interning. So much has changed. Now, I write instead of act. Now, I am married and I have two beautiful children. Now, my father is dead.

While Caiti and I were choosing donuts, a familiar song came over the speaker system. "Blowing in the Wind," sung by Peter, Paul & Mary. They were my father's favorite musical group. I grew up singing that song over and over. On lazy Saturdays, my dad and I would lay down on t he couch and play the CD--well, I suppose back then, it was a tape--straight through. Dad was always napping by the end. When I was nine years old, he took my mother and me to a concert of theirs; it was my first concert. I thought of all this as I ordered my Flying Saucer (it's a donut), but I did not cry.

I ate my donut.

I remembered good times.

I thought of St. Joseph. I prayed for my father, whose death was so very unhappy. I think St. Joseph understands it all: the donuts, the prayers, even the Peter, Paul & Mary song.

"The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind."

I'm not sure I will ever know the answer. But, I'm grateful that there is one, all the same.


  1. Many prayers to you, as you grieve, and many prayers for a peaceful rest for your father. I pray that someday, in Heaven, you are able to see him again.

  2. Prayers for peace--for your father, you, and your family. Sending hugs...

  3. I am praying for you. God is with you. This is a beautiful post.

  4. I took the kids to a mom and pop donut store last Friday and prayed for your family. I lost my mother in November 2008 when her heart valve suddenly collapsed without any indication her heart was in trouble. I pray God's continuous comfort for you.

  5. I should add that I know my mother's death was different from your father's, but it's so difficult losing a parent, especially when it's so sudden. Like you, I appreciated God's grace to love unconditionally and was so relieved that I didn't cut off my relationship with her though the last few years were difficult. She was depressed, and when I first heard the news, I knew she had died of a broken heart. The autopsy didn't surprise me. Again, she didn't take her own life, but there are elements of your grief that I easily sympathize with. May the Lord continue to keep you in the hollow of His hand.


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