Monthly Archives: May 2022

Funeral Preparations/Plans

I originally had these plans listed on a separate page at the top of my blog under “The Bucket List,” when my terminal illness loomed more menacingly and present before me. However, I’ve been feeling great for a while and things do not seem to be progressing, so I’d rather file these away under a standard post that people can look for if needed and repurpose my Bucket List into an actual list of things to do and see. 😊 Below is the un-updated funeral plans. Remind me at some point to update them.

Okay, so Fr. JJ thinks that I should have a “Bucket List,” a list of the things that I would like to do before I die.  Fr. John thinks that it is a good idea to plan for your funeral.

Here is as good a place as any to do that, I suppose, so that people can just look it up online, instead of trying to find that one scrap of paper where I would have scribbled this stuff down. 

Funeral Songs:
The Servant Song
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (or one of the other Ode to Joy variants)
Here I Am, Lord
Taste and See

Divine Mercy Chaplet: There’s not a place for this in the Funeral Mass, but as a rule, I prefer it sung. I don’t know the words otherwise. 😂

I.  Vigil for the Deceased

Opening Prayer A:

Lord our God,
the death of our sister, Jenn
recalls our human condition
and the brevity of our lives on earth.
But for those who believe in your love
death is not the end,
nor does it destroy the bonds
that you forge in our lives.
We share the faith of your Son’s disciples
and the hope of the children of God.
Bring the light of Christ’s resurrection
to this time of testing and pain
as we pray for Jenn and for those who love her,
through Christ our Lord.

Liturgy of the Word:

1st Reading:  ?  (Sir2:1-11, Jer 31:10-14)

Psalm:  ?

Gospel:  ?


Concluding Prayer A:

Lord Jesus, our Redeemer,
you willingly gave yourself up to death,
so that all might be saved and pass from death to life.
We humbly ask you to comfort your servants in their grief
and to receive Jenn into the arms of your mercy.
You alone are the Holy One,
you are mercy itself;
by dying you unlocked the gates of life for those who believe in you.
Forgive Jenn her sins,
and grant her a place of happiness, light, and peace
in the kingdom of your glory for ever and ever.

II.  Funeral Liturgy — MASS!!!

Processional Song:  Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

Opening Prayer B

O God,
to whom mercy and forgiveness belong,
hear our prayers on behalf of your servant Jenn,
whom you have called out of this world;
and because she put her hope and trust in you,
command that she be carried safely home to heaven
and come to enjoy your eternal reward.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Liturgy of the Word:

1st Reading:  Ezek 34:11-16 (or 11-31)

Psalm:  118 This is the Day

2nd Reading:  James 5:13-16

Gospel:  John 10:1-18, 25-30

Homily:  Fr. John

Intercessions:  ?

Liturgy of the Eucharist:

Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions:
III. Jesus, Way to the Father

It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Father of holiness, Lord of heaven and earth,
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through your eternal Word you created all things
and govern their course with infinite wisdom.
In the Word made flesh
you have given us a mediator
who has spoken your words to us
and called us to follow him.
He is the way that leads to you,
the truth that sets us free,
the life that makes our joy complete.
Through your Son
you gather into one family
men and women created for the glory of your name,
redeemed by the blood of the cross,
and sealed with the Holy Spirit.

And so we praise your mighty deeds
and join with the hosts of angels,
as they proclaim your glory without end:

You are truly blessed, O God of holiness:
you accompany us with love
as we journey through life.
Blessed too is your Son, Jesus Christ,
who is present among us
and whose love gathers us together.
As once he did for his disciples,
Christ now opens the scriptures for us
and breaks the bread.

Keep your Church alert in faith to the signs of the times
and eager to accept the challenge of the gospel.
Open our hearts to the needs of all humanity,
so that sharing their grief and anguish,
their joy and hope,
we may faithfully bring them the good news of salvation
and advance together on the way to your kingdom.

Be mindful of our brothers and sisters
who have fallen asleep in the peace of Christ,
and all the dead whose faith only you can know.
Lead them to the fullness of the resurrection
and gladden them with the light of your face.

When our pilgrimage on earth is complete,
welcome us into your heavenly home,
where we shall dwell with you for ever.
There, with Mary, the Virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles, the martyrs,
[St. N.,] and all the saints,
we shall praise you and give you glory.
through Jesus Christ, your Son.

III.  Rite of Committal

Scripture Verse:  John 6:39

Concluding Prayer A:

God of holiness and power,
accept our prayers on behalf of your servant Jenn;
do not count her deeds against her,
for in her heart she desired to do your will.
As her faith united her to your people on earth,
so may your mercy join her to the angels in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

And I would really, really like Fr. John to do the homily.  It would be nice if Fr. John, Fr. JJ and Fr. Stanley were there.  And any of my other priests.  And the Pope — I like him.  Someone make sure to invite the Pope.  Thanks!

Pieta Casket

What else do I need to plan out? Suggestions and comments welcome in the comment box!

Early Morning at Lake Ella

We had talked about making nutrition and exercise a priority, and thought that – on an ideal day – we could go for a walk in the morning, hike a bit at a local park during lunchtime, and then get some additional activity after work (maybe another walk, tennis, swimming, etc.).

We were both up early this morning and were still motivated for this, so Donald made us coffee and put it in travel mugs, and we drove over to Lake Ella. It is about 0.6 miles to walk around the lake, so that was our goal for the morning.

All of the Crêpe Myrtle trees were flowering and so pretty! We want to learn more about the flora and fauna we see around us, and become more familiar about what is indigenous and what is invasive to Tallahassee/Northern Florida. I did just a quick search, and it appears that the variety of Myrtle trees which have white flowers are known as Natchez Crêpe Myrtles (sometimes spelled Crape, but I prefer the French spelling 😉).

It was a beautiful sunrise, and many of the ducks and geese had little baby ducklings and goslings following them around. Lake Ella is known for its population of Muscovy ducks, but they also have common Mallards and Canadian geese. According to All About Birds, male Muscovy Ducks frequently mate with other species and often produce sterile hybrid offspring – we think that we have seen some of these hybrids around the lake!

We’ve been to and around Lake Ella dozens of times so far, but this is the first time I was paying attention enough to the signage to see that there was a map of the area! What we did take more notice of was the proliferation of Spin scooters in the area. There was a *lot* more scooters around the park now than before we left for Michigan. It’s as if they knew we are a little hesitant to ride them again (at least not before we get helmets!) after my tumble, and they are trying to entice us to ride them. 😊

This is probably one of my favorite views of Lake Ella. I love all of the Spanish moss in the trees!

After our leisurely stroll around the lake, sipping on our homemade coffees, we headed back home to start the work day. Mornings here tend to be a little cooler and less humid, so they are great for taking walks outside. We both really enjoyed our outing and hope to do it more frequently. Such a great start to the day: caffeine, exercise, fresh air, and beautiful views!

A New Chapter Begins at Elinor Park!

Today was our first full day back in Tallahassee after an extended stay in Michigan. Donald woke up happy and excited to get back to some of our routines.

Recently, we celebrated 6 months since I showed up on his doorstep unexpectedly. The next day, Donald took me to Elinor Knapp-Phipps park, which is nearby and one of his favorite parks to go hiking and enjoy nature.

So when lunchtime came and he asked me where I wanted to go, I picked Elinor. On the way, we talked about how this felt like a new chapter for us, and discussed some goals we had. We both want to use this feeling of a new chapter to motivate us to exercise more and establish more of a routine to our days. We want to track my diabetes more closely and spend more time reflecting on our days and recording the everyday adventures that we cherish so much.

Florida winters are far from barren, unlike Michigan, where most of the trees lose their leaves and the days are frequently overcast and cold. When we left, the Florida forests were beginning to brighten with the bright green of new growth and the azaleas and dogwood trees were blooming.

Being back, we noticed that the wooded areas have filled out to become even more lush with vegetation and there is so much more green to see wherever you look.

The weather was beautiful! It got up to 93 degrees today and was a little humid. We definitely worked up a sweat hiking around, but it was so worth it! The air was filled with the sound of cicadas and cardinals as we walked and bright green dragonflies flitted around.

I opened my Merlin app to identify some of the other bird calls we were hearing. We heard:

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • Carolina Wren
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Northern Cardinal
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Northern Parula

We saw a small black and white woodpecker and spent a bit of time trying to see the Northern Parula. The app showed it as being a bright colored bird with a yellow belly and teal body. We never saw it, but we knew the general area it was in: about mid-height on a tree about 20 feet into the tree line.

The magnolias were so pretty with their dark and light, glossy leaves. This orange flower was all alone on the side of the path.

We came upon this field just as we decided to turn around to head back. We would have loved to stay longer, but somehow the lunch hour had come to a close and it was time to get back to the work day.

We both really enjoy getting out into nature and hiking around whenever we can.

After I finished work, we were going to take a swim in the pool, but it was closed. We ended up switching gears and playing tennis. It was warm and sweaty, but it felt so good to play together again.

Overall, it has been a fantastic day! We are hoping to get some movement in 3 times tomorrow: before work, lunchtime, and after work.

I can’t imagine anyone else I’d rather adventure through life with. Donald, you are the best, and I love you! 😘❤️ I can’t wait to see what this new chapter holds for us!