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Letters to the Editor

Lessons in life

From Ron Dunphy


Ever do something without planning? My wife and I seem to more often these days.

Last Saturday we drove south into Missouri, the objective became locating an iris garden to inquire about purchasing the beautiful iris bulbs the person offered for sale as advertised online. The venue was not open.

The question became, “What do we do now, dear?” We were close to Weston. A friend from kindergarten and her husband live near Weston. Shall we call them? Asking them to go out for dinner tonight became the focal point of the rest of the afternoon. Rest assured, we connected with the Lampes. We consumed a great meal together as we discussed life as retirees for two hours. Children and grandchildren got much attention.

As darkness set in, we took comfort in an Atchison, Kansas, tent for rent. We lived in Atchison during our early marriage, and we opted to go to church Sunday morning at Benedictine Abbey on the Missouri Bluffs. I had not planned on hearing a homily given by an aging professor, Father Blaine. Blaine has taught music to thousands of Benedictine Ravens during his 50-year tenure. I was surprised by his thin appearance, aged continence and slight limp as he moved about the altar.

Beginning his homily he asked, “What is written on the Statue of Liberty?”

Poet Emma Lazarus supplied the words, “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What we all might learn from the statue’s offering? Is this not the same as what was taught to us as children and adults in hymns and scripture? “Come, and I will give you peace.”

Is this reflective of our values today? Is this how we are living?

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