Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Starting Point

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Starting Point

Article excerpt

I have a photograph of my brother Peter taken many years ago on the front lawn of our house in New Jersey. Our dad took us to the circus and it was near Easter, for I remember that it was early spring.

When we got home, he lined us up for pictures. In the picture, Peter is 5 years old. He is wearing a smart-looking hat with a feather. He has on a new coat and is holding a pennant that dad must have bought for him at the circus. He is smiling and happy.

There is a gospel song, a spiritual, Called "People Get Ready." The first line goes "People get ready, a train is coming." The tram is, of course, how we are to get home, to heaven, to God.

I remember the anguish of my sister clothing her son for burial and of my father picking out my brother's best clothing for his burial. I remember the pain. I remember a mother and a father crying because a train had come too soon. But there was no second thought about readying what had to be readied. …

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