Sharing Our Stories: Thursday Edition
This was an email originally sent out to the parish on Thursday, May 28, 2020.
On this lovely Spring day, I hope you are able to get outside and appreciate the beauty we are surrounded by here in the northwest. And here's a wonderful reflection from Colin and Manio.
Bless each one of you!
We would love to have YOUR story. Check out the broad guidelines HERE. And if you have already submitted a story, please let us have another one!
Reflection by Colin & Manio
What is this thing called self-isolation?
Manio and I cherish you, even though from our self-isolation. You populate our minds and conversations and prayers.
Your generous and brave spirits warm our hearts. In ways inexplicable, this pandemic is both curse and blessing. The constant drum beat of the Bible is, Be not afraid. So we focus on our confidence that God is good; and that even in death, there is rebirth. No one wants to drown from Covid 19; but worse things have happened to believers from the beginning of our history. Be safe. Be strong examples to our many communities. Let’s pray for one another.
Some blessings that we and you might share:
Our mom & pop retail and service tenants are our business and our great examples of human resiliency. Most of them learned English as a second language. To shut down their businesses is to shut off all their income. To solve it with bureaucracy is a major challenge because of language and culture. We enjoy working with them to build and advertise take-out and delivery trade, to hire for them legal guides to work with state programs and SBA. Local community banks have been most helpful. We defer rents as needed, and buy from them often.
The small family investment boards we ZOOM, SKYPE and conference call with share in similar problem solving and have committed to keeping properties full and well kept, and charitable giving responsive to known needs. We are pleased that St Thomas emphasizes local outreach.
This pandemic time has allowed us to chat with lifelong friends on 6 continents and uncounted islands, from school we attended, adventures shared in travel and sailing, and from Rotary and business. It is wonderful to catch up with old friends in unhurried times like these.
The garden is the place I feel closest to God and my mother and grandparents. Gardening this spring has been a growth experience, with fierce conversations with God and family (above?). And how do soul mates know to call when I am huffing and puffing upside down in the garden?
Family members visited Lake View Cemetery Memorial Sunday, masked and spaced. I took a genealogy 3-ring binder, and we read to each other snippets about those interred who served in the armed services. Four of my grandfather Colin Orme Radford’s siblings were on the front in Europe in World War I. The oldest was Anne Edith. She headed Base Hospital Unit 114 there (and later her own small hospital in Boston near present B U Med School, and then a farm she bought on Orcas Island where she cared for friends and family, including her brother Wally, who was gassed in trenches and my dad, who contracted rheumatic fever with his mother Zilpha and sister Margaret. Anne and her brothers Jack, Walter, and Bill got a leave from the front lines and visited Paris together. They promised never to tell their family back home what they did in Paris. When I was in high school 35 years later they would still get tight grins and twinkle in their eyes when asked about that. An occasional secret can be a happiness shared. Only one ancestor we know about fought in the Civil War (the impetus for Memorial Day), 4 in WW II in the navy. I served in US Army Europe in Germany during Viet Nam and our son Colin served 3 US Navy cruises between San Diego, SE Asia and the Middle East. We give thanks for so many peaceful years during our lifetimes. When we look back to past wars and pandemics, we realize that despite the terrors of the past, Earth’s population during our lifetime continues to double about every 40 years, and that we are more likely to suffer from our successes than from evil.
‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’
We believe our God is with us everywhere we go, before us and forever; on all the continents from the beauty below the water to tallest Himalayas; from the nesting flocks along rivers in Botswana and Brazil to deserts of the Negev and Arizona
Thank you Lord for time to consider what you have made available. Your love is the esteem and mutual respect of the spirit of aloha. We will lean into each day to discover more deeply what you provide for us. We choose not to be afraid. We choose not to be isolated even when alone.