me: far left; Luis: far right
Persons come into the fiber of our lives,
and then their shadow fades and disappears.
We received word that one of our peace vigil community died in a drowning accident last week. This is a photo from the penultimate I saw him--two years ago. Last year I saw him once, only briefly. Nevertheless, I'm very sad that the world has lost this light. His memorial service is here Wednesday.
There is something that makes all of us who participate in the peace movement related to one another. We are family.
"Peace and justice people are the best people in the world!" declared Sister Dorothy Marie Hennessey OSF. She was arrested at the SOA and shamed the federal government by accepting a six months imprisonment even though she was an octogenarian. I knew her pretty well; now, she's deceased too. She was right: the best people in the world work for a better world.
I've noticed that, when Catholic Workers die, the community broadcasts the notice far and wide. Perhaps those who try to be on the margin are the ones who understand and accept one another maybe when others don't. They mourn the loss of one of their own. In some cases, even more than family can or does.
The best relatives, however, recognize the importance of that connection.
Luis' daughter came to the peace vigil corner Friday to meet with us personally. We cried together as she shared a dream she had--after her father had died, but before she had learned of the accidental death. The two of them were sitting together in a boat, and he told her not to worry, that he was all right. That would be Luis--a gentle, caring soul. He would want the family to be reassurred.
Luis was one of the very first members of the U.S. Peace Corps. An artist, his work typically reflected peace themes and he relentlessly kept peace in the public eye as a performance artist. He long since gave up worrying about other people's regard of him. But, when his employer heard of Luis' death, he responded: "I revered him."
As I will miss Brother Tim, I will miss Luis. This song fell into my life this week via Quaker Dave. It is useful for mourning: