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~Saturday~  My mom was one of seven children. Her oldest sister (Rita), and her oldest brother (Raymond) died many years ago; however, she's lost three of her other four siblings in 2010:

  1. February 4, 2010, her baby sister.

    Annette L. Casmiro

    Annette, 72, was born on June 26, 1937 and passed away on Thursday, February 4, 2010. Annette was last known to be living in Coventry, Rhode Island.

  2. April 30, 2010, a younger brother, and whose obituary I just found on Google. They listed my mother as being from SC instead of NC.

    Normand W. Lachapelle

    Normand W. Lachapelle, 76, of Fall River, formerly of Westport, died Friday, April 30, 2010 at Charlton Memorial Hospital.

    Born in Fall River, son of the late Lucien and Blanche (Cyr) Lachapelle, he had lived in the Westport for over 40 years prior to moving to Fall River. He was a serviceman in the United States Army. Prior to retirement, he was a salesman for Ward Foods formerly in Providence and was also an operator for Melville Defense Fuel in Middletown, RI. Mr. Lachapelle was a Communicant of St. George Church, Westport. A sports enthusiast, he was an avid Red Sox fan, a Patriots fan and he enjoyed bowling.

    Survivors include a son: Michael Lachapelle of Westport; 2 brothers: Roland Lachapelle of Pawtucket, RI and Rene Lachapelle of Westport; a sister: Pauline Martin of SC; 3 grandchildren: Amanda Smith, Victoria Smith and Chase Lachapelle; his former wife: Isabel Ferry; and several nieces and nephews. He was father of the late Linda Smith and brother of the late Raymond Lachapelle, Rita Colyar and Annette Casmiro.

    Funeral to which relatives and friends are invited will be Monday, May 3, 2010 from the POTTER FUNERAL HOME, 81 Reed Rd., Westport at 8:30 A.M. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. George Church, Westport at 9:30 A.M. Calling hours Sunday 5 – 8 P.M. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family. For directions or to sign the on-line guest book, please visit www.potterfuneralservice.com.

  3. July 30, 2010, a younger brother.

    Rene A. Lachapelle

    LACHAPELLE, RENE A., 74, of Cape Coral, died July 30. Arrangements by National Cremation and Burial Society.

My mom's 78. She has just one brother left now, and he's not in the best of health. That's a lot of loss in six months.



I looked to literature and the wisdom of the ages today for some contemplation on death and dying. I liked these:

You can shed a tear that he is gone or you can smile because he lived.

One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.

On a large enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

When the game is over, the king and the pawn go in the same box.



I wanted some alone time today and as alluded to in my entry last night, I headed to the coast of North Carolina, and at about 45 minutes before the forecasted sunset, I parked at the beach and took to it. Some thoughts and observations as I held my flip-flops in my left hand, my iPod in my right hand listening to Vivaldi's La Stravaganza, and let the tide tease my toes as I walked along the shore into the night:

  • I entered the beach via a public access and emerging from its path through the dunes, I found the tide way out. I could hear the festive sounds of Latin music from a nearby pier off to the left. I headed away from it, putting in my earbuds to replace the contemporary with the classical, taking off my flip-flops to more easily negotiate the sand, and delighted in how warm the water was once it trickled between my toes.

  • After quite a ways, I came upon about 50 white folding chairs, perhaps five rows of ten chairs each, all facing the ocean. I wanted to walk up to them and take a seat in one, but there was a couple sitting on one—well, the guy was sitting on one and his girl was sitting on him. The scene felt just a little too intimate to intrude upon, and I was glad I didn't, because just as I turned away, a white pick-up truck drove up on the beach, backed up to the lot of them, and they started to load them onto the truck.

  • After about five more minutes of walking I came upon several people fishing. Some were casting lines, some were casting nets, and some watched the casting and some just watched the casters. I never saw any fish. Presumably it was all about the journey.

  • After yet another several minutes of walking, the shoreline took an almost 45° turn to the right, and in that area there was a large Hispanic family a little ways back from the shoreline. Right at the point, by the shore, an incredibly good-looking, military-type guy stood fishing. I took in his profile as I approached him, and then having to walk up behind him to continue my walk, I noticed a shallow ditch that contained at least a dozen empty, hand-crushed Miller Lite cans. And then I noticed that he had two beach chairs set up there, yet no other person was in sight.

  • Continuing on my way, I eventually came across three people, older people—and by that I mean probably my age—one man and two women, with perhaps the women being sisters. They stood side-by-side, all looking out into the ocean, nobody speaking, and the younger lady with her arms akimbo. My first thought was that they were all asking the same time immemorial question, to deities unknown: "Why?"

  • Passing them, I could see ahead that my walk was coming to an end, as a large wall of stone extended out to the waterline, and there was a pier on what looked like private property beyond it. I passed a young couple sitting cross-legged, closely facing each other, and the lady doodled in the sand with a stick while they talked. Young love, or young strife?

  • I took a seat on the rocky ridge for a few minutes and watched three guys fishing nearby. It appeared that one was by himself and the other two were together, although they were close enough in proximity to have all been together. The one who didn't interact with the other two had on canvas tennis shoes, and he fished with a pole. Of the other two guys, one fished with a pole and the other fished by casting a wide net in the water just in front of him. These two both had on calf-length shorts, of which the first four or five inches from the hem were wet. When I left, I walked by their cooler, which I anticipated containing beer or caught fish, but in reality held neither. More journeymen, evidently. Beside the cooler were two flashlights—a red one and a black one, both crooked 45° at the light end.

  • I came back upon the fishing Adonis, approaching him from his right and I got to look at him until I was almost upon him, as his head was turned to the left watching that big Hispanic family board a boat that had come to the shore for them. When he finally turned away from them, I saw how beautiful his face was up close, and I veered around that empty chair, around those empty cans, and proceeded on my own journey.

  • Although it was fairly deserted by this time, two people walked toward me holding hands, and with the light behind them and it being dark, I at first thought, "Is that two guys?" But as they got closer I saw that it was just a guy and a girl taking advantage of their straight privilege.

  • By this time, it was fairly dark, and it was quite beautiful how the little bit of light stringed along the pier—now visible in the distance—played off the water. My iPod made this interesting electronic noise, which I guess indicated what was equivalent to what used to be called "skipping" with records, and the first thought that came to my mind was Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Almost like I was getting an interrupt.

  • And shortly thereafter, to my left from the dunes, fireworks shot up into the air and for a brief moment lit the sky with brilliance until burning out in the night breeze. Much like life.
"I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean..." I do. #WalkOnBeach #Night #Solitude #Life #Memories #Smiles #Rene #Vince


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
John, So sorry to hear about your Uncle. You have definitely had your share of dealing with death of loved ones this year. I was wondering why we didn't see you around this weekend. We must have just missed you Friday night. Phil

My contribution to the "wisdom of the ages" quotes.
"Despite the high cost of living, it remains popular"
dailyafirmation
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)

Thank you for your kind words, Phil. Love that quote! And thanks for reading and commenting.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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