2009 is the anniversary of two life-changing events in my life and
2009 was also a year of some significant events in the Kennedy family
so I'll get right into it.
years ago this month I completed my formal conversion to Orthodoxy,
the church of the first generations of Christians and which has
remained substantially unchanged in doctrine and practice for the
past 1500 years, after living my first 52 years as a Protestant-evangelical.
(The real conversion, that of the heart, is unending as long as
life goes on, of course.)
ten years ago this month, while working on Y2K remediation for the
city of Los Angeles from an apartment in Marina Del Rey, I suffered
a small stroke (a "TIA" in medical parlance) and subsequently
was diagnosed as diabetic and with hypertension. The first event
changed my theology and spiritual practices; the second changed
my eating and drinking habits and everything connected to those,
and made my daily gym routine a prescribed part of my lifestyle,
not an option.
major family events occurred in 2009. First, my brother Bob lost
his wife Katie in July. She had been severely limited some years
earlier by a stroke, but had regained consciousness and was able
to share in daily life and conversation while wheelchair-bound.
I was able to be in Willows, California, their home town about three
hours away from mine in San Jose, for the funeral, which was one
of the most heart-warming celebrations of a life I ever witnessed.
She had lived her entire life (89 years) in that area and she and
Bob lived in the home she and her first husband (who had passed
away some years before she and Bob met) moved into after marrying
in 1941 or '42. Bob, who celebrated his 80th birthday in June, continues
living there and as he has no other family in this part of the country,
I am trying to visit him more frequently. He was able to continue
his practice of going "home" for the Vintondale Homecoming
at Labor Day weekend.
second event was the birth of a baby girl, Evelyn Rose, to my son
Michael and his wife Tracy, also at the end of July. Evelyn is my
third grandchild and the first by either of my sons.
grand-daughter Evelyn Rose Kennedy takes center stage in O'Pa Jon's
arms. Uncle Kevin is on the left and proud daddy Mike is on the
third event was that Chris, my daughter (who passed the milestone
of turning 40 this year), was approved for her long-awaited housing
grant and was able to move into a large three-bedroom apartment
for herself and her children, Brandi, 18, and Antony, 13. That leaves
me living alone again but I'm enjoying the relative quiet and independence.
They are living about ten miles away on the west side of San Jose.
in August son Kevin, who turns 34 next month, became engaged to
his girlfriend, Bernadette. They are hoping to tie the knot next
continue to enjoy my retirement and completed two book manuscripts
in 2009 and am in Chapter 6 of a third. None have been accepted
for publication; the industry is especially "tight" these
days and marketing my work has always been a weak link in my chain.
I am looking for an agent to take care of that for me but thus far
even that search has produced little fruit. Both of my "Everything
Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia,
have now been reviewed on Amazon and received high praise. Two of
these later books continue my first love in my writing, Christian
apologetics, and the third is a historical review.
the babe born in the manger be born in your heart this Christmas,
and best wishes for many good things in 2010.
you could have done it on your own,
what would have been the need for
the coming of the Lord? - St. Macarius
Lewis Rd. #342, San Jose, CA 95111 | 408-472-3082
Glo, Pa., pictures by Judy Rose; video animation by Jon Kennedy.
music from "Somewhere in My Memory" (Home Alone)
by John Williams