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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My middle name is, "By the grace of God"

My late friend and mentor, Fr. Jim Dunning, used to call himself and others by that name: Jim "by the grace of God" Dunning. Rory "by the grace of God" Cooney. How right he was. Is.

Today's my dang birthday, there's no escaping it. But I will not be writing much today. Tonight we will be celebrating my son Desi's baccalaureate for his graduation from Carmel Catholic High School, with actual graduation to follow tomorrow night. Terry and I, along with Lara Lynch, Gary Daigle, Steve Michels, Nick Bisesi, and lots of students from Carmel will help provide the music for the liturgy at St. Paul the Apostle in Gurnee. Desi's sister Claire arrived earlier today from Rhode Island. What he doesn't know yet is that two of his beloved brothers from Phoenix, Jeremy and Declan, are arriving late tonight to be a part of the festivities, God bless them. Desi will be blown away when he arrives back here from working out later this (Tuesday, as I write this) evening and finds them hanging out in his basement lair. It will be an excellent moment. (Crap, as I wrote this, their flight is delayed due to weather here...I hope that is the only delay.)

Anyway, I'm so grateful for my life so far, mom, Terry, brothers, sisters, children, friends, colleagues,
and everyone who has supported and affirmed me in life. You know who you are. I don't mean to leave  anyone from my past, present or future out. That pretty much includes the whole universe. I will leave today with words I've quoted before, the lyric of John Bucchino's beautiful song "Grateful," recorded both by the artist and Art Garfunkel. It says what's in my heart. Thank you, too, for checking in with my blog. We're going over 22,000 page views today, which is just staggering to me! Below the lyric there are iTunes links to both Artie's and Michael Feinstein's versions.

I've got a roof over my head,
I've got a warm place to sleep.
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep. 
I've got a heart that can hold love,
I've got a mind that can think.
There may be times when I lose the light
And let my spirits sink,
But I can't stay depressed
When I remember how I'm blessed

Grateful, grateful,
Truly grateful I am.
Grateful, grateful,
Truly blessed
And duly grateful. 

In a city of strangers,
I've got a family of friends.
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way,
I know that they will stay until the end. 

I feel a hand holding my hand --
It's not a hand you can see
But, on the road to the promised land,
This hand will shepherd me
Through delight and despair,
Holding tight and always there. 

Grateful, grateful,
Truly grateful I am.
Grateful, grateful,
Truly blessed
And duly grateful. 

It's not that I don't want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more,
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me so much happier than keeping score. 

In a world that can bring pain,
I will still take each chance --
For I believe that, whatever the terrain,
Our feet can learn to dance.
Whatever stone life may sling,
We can moan or we can sing. 

Grateful, grateful,
Truly grateful I am.
Grateful, grateful.
Truly blessed
And duly grateful.

Grateful - Grateful - The Songs of John Bucchino
Grateful - Playlist: The Very Best of Art Garfunkel


  1. Happy birthday to you, and graduation best wishes to Desi. I hope that you all have a most blessed and beautiful time together!