Lubna, Cab, Eileen; SLU

Alive beyond Alive

My friend Loyola worked at Mount Saint Joseph and knew Pete Mosher. She and I reminisced before Pete’s funeral. Cab Yau picked me up at Loyola’s that morning and we went to Saint Clare’s Church on Cedar Avenue. Lo sent the following to me as we were headed back to St. Louis.

I meet Cab
(when she comes to get Markie for the funeral)
and suddenly I become aware
of all the forms that Pete is taking.
There she is, a new person to me, in her dark blue dress coat and shoes,
Michelle Disbennette brown hair,
thin delicate face with large eyes and a small serious smile “glad to meet you”
and in the muddy cold street, air silver with rain and the melting of snow
I see him, smiling,
All the forms he is now taking
All the beautiful, one-of-a-kind forms.
Alive beyond alive.

Grace Abounds (December 14, 2013)

The realization that Pete Mosher is made up of non-Pete Mosher elements
Jeremy’s stellar slideshow of the all-American family

John Kavanaugh & John Foley’s calming recording of “How Can I Can from Singing?”
Don Lassus playing the violin when the Mass is over

Katie and Jeremy’s precious recollections of their brother
Sitting, praying, aching beside Louise

Alliebaby answering my Twenty Questions
Subway sustenance

Lo’s poem
Jane screaming the way we wish we could (and maybe still will)

Eileen crying
Michael’s strength

Cab’s constancy
Words whispered to me by Janet McGrath

Eileen laughing

Texting through the Tears

When there’s midnight silence
She can hear his voice

When she closes her eyes
She can see him coming up the stairs

I ask her to tell me
Some of the nicknames he had for her

(She knows the nicknames I once received
The nicknames I once gave)

She lists three then thanks me
For helping her to remember

I thank her and then remind her
She contains 10,000 memories

She leans on me
I lean on Eileen

“This Is It”
by Eileen McGrath Mosher

Shim-dawg (lovingly named),

My mantra this past week, “This is it,” without knowing it, consciously, it has been on your FB wall. I wondered but without a lot of curiosity what that meant to you. Here is why it has been so important to me.

I have to tell myself every minute that this is my new reality… my brain can only seem to recall it for a mere moment that this is it: This is life, this is my home, my job, my kids, my family but not as it has ever been before. It is not my dreams, my forecast, my hope, my desire.

But it is full of love, children laughing, neighbors calling, family supporting, community praying. Moments of pain so deep and literally body numbing and moments of laughter so full that my muscles ache, moments I feel the air leave my body requiring a painful deep breath as if I just broke the surface of the after after nearly drowning. This is it.

Right here, right now, it is all we have. So despite all of it, be kind, live consciously, aware of your breath, the trees CO2 exchange and your neighbors’ inhale. All of us sharing intimately this shared NOW.

This is it.

Eileen (I-dawg)

Sometimes and Other Times

You have the lucidity that disarms people into disbelief

Other times
Even with 20/20 you can’t see what’s in front of you

You’re the strongest person, everybody’s go-to no matter what

Other times
Fear has its way with you and you can’t shake off the shakes

Your memory kaleidoscope is your delight

Other times
Your memory kaleidoscope is your undoing

You breathe in and out mindfully and smile

Other times
You gasp in and scream out long and loud

“Please, don’t say anything”

Other times
“Call me, and talk to me for an hour”

You realize you’re not in agony and how odd that is

Other times
Desperation is as routine and on time as three meals a day

On a long run you feel like you’re 21 again

Other times
Your heart’s not into it and you hobble home

You appreciate every kind note that comes your way

Other times
You plan a massive bonfire of all those sympathy cards


From Markel to Zinovy
From Zinovy to Alyosha
From Alyosha to Kolya
From Kolya to Cab
From Cab to me
From me to Eileen
From Eileen to Adah
From Adah to a world filled with mysterious visitors

The Bell Is for All of You

“Anything you are attached to, let it go.”
–Buddhist teaching

I gave that meditation bell to Mev
25 years ago
It must have been sounded
Thousands of times

Pete heard it
In fall of 2001
You heard it
In fall of 2002

Breathing in
Breathing out
Present moment
Only moment

The bell is for you all
To come back to here
You sound it for each other
To come back to now

The bell is beautiful
And so is Adah
And so is Eamon
And so are you Eileen

This page is part of my book, Dear Love of Comrades, which you can read here.

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