So it's your birthday again, sweetheart. You've been gone for four years, and yet the loss is as fresh as yesterday.
You would be 84 here in this world. I suspect where you are now you are a gloriously handsome young thing -- as you always are in my heart. And I know somewhere you are having a party, you and Sam Hulsey and Richard Chowning and so many others we've lost. Heck, all heaven is there, because you would have invited everyone.
It's been a rough few months, my love. In addition to the always present sense of your absence, our diocese lost in the litigation about property (filed in 2009 after Bishop Jack Iker and other diocesan leaders left The Episcopal Church but claimed our property).
Well, the Texas Supreme Court gave it to them.
So now we have moved out and turned over to them the keys to St. Luke's in the Meadow, St. Christopher, All Saints, St. Elisabeth/Christ the King, and St. Stephen's, Wichita Falls.
It was terribly painful to leave St. Luke's for the last time, as so much of YOU is wrapped up in my love for that place. So I tried to wrap them up in my heart and walk out with them all, because that's one piece of personal property they can't grab -- although if they could think of a way, they would surely try.
Their obsessive hatred of The Episcopal Church and all we stand for is astonishing and terribly sad to see, and hard to experience. But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. You were the target of it for a long long time, so much so that I am convinced the stress caused your heart attacks.
But we will shake the dust of them off our feet and move on, creating new spaces in which to share the all-inclusive love of the God in whose arms you are surely held.
You would have been all OVER the hunt for new worship spaces, because you loved few things more than playing with space, creating rooms in which beauty and love and welcome can flourish. You did it at Christ the King, and at St. Luke's and in all your homes over the years, including ours.
I suspect that's one reason you so loved Karen Calafat, because she shares that gift, and creates much the same kind of holy spaces you did, whether in a church, in a home, or across a dinner table.
Tonight I will eat alone, celebrating you, missing you, loving you. And I know when tomorrow comes and the work of once again rebuilding resumes, you will be at my back, just as you always have been.
I miss you, my love.