I have had a heavy heart this past week. I think a lot of the heaviness left me yesterday, via tears.
This is what happened....
Last Saturday, Ronnie came home for lunch, as usual. We ate, we visited and he went to sit on the sofa for a quick little snooze before going back to the job. He motioned for me to go sit with him. I joined him on the sofa. He held me. I could tell there was a serious thought he needed to express, but I thought it probably would be related to the sale of our house in Dickinson since we just put it on the market.
He started, "Pablo Hickey made a post on Facebook this morning. Father Morgan was in a car accident on his way back to San Antonio from Corpus yesterday."
My mind said, "Tears, stay where you are!!", but my heart sensed the weight to his tone. It knew the strength in his embrace.
He continued, "Father Morgan is no longer with us."
My heart broke and sadness seeped in through the cracks of the broken pieces.
Of course, I asked for more details but he had none. We sat in silence.
He went back to work and I spent the afternoon teary eyed, remembering our wonderful, joy-filled friend. At that point they did not know if he had fallen asleep at the wheel or if perhaps he had a heart attack. I prayed for him when I could, but I just couldn't stop thinking of him.
We later learned he had a heart attack as he was driving. We were told that a minister passing by stopped to check on him. She said they prayed the Lord's Pray and prayed some Psalms together. The Bishop that delivered the Homily at his Mass comforted us, reminding us that God did not leave him (and does not leave us) at those last moments.
I don't remember exactly how I found St. Peter, Prince of the Apostle Catholic church, but I do remember I fell in love with the parish the first time I went there. It felt right and the more we attended the more we felt a part of the family. I believe that not only was it Msgr. Morgan's love for God that made it feel that way, but also God's love that came through Msgr. Morgan. It was abundant.
Msgr. Morgan was the priest that helped us prepare for marriage. He kept a gentle hand on our paperwork as it went through the diocese in order for us to be married in the Catholic church. Ronnie received his first Sacraments from him after RCIA. He presided over our wedding. He was the thread that weaved the spiritual moments of that time in our lives together.
I have never known such joy in a persons eyes and smile. It definitely was the the joy of serving God.
He loved to tell jokes!
My favorite was of the two boys that were always getting into trouble. Finally, one day their mother took them to talk to the priest, hoping he could help. The priest called one brother into the office. He asked him,
"Where is Jesus?" The boy did not answer. The priest asked again.
"Where is Jesus?" Again, no answer.
Again, "Where is Jesus?"
The little boy ran out of the office, grabbed his little brother and said,
"Come on, Jesus is missing and they think we took him!!"
I would love to ask him if I got it right, but at least, thankfully, I can still hear his Irish voice in my head and that beautiful laugh and smile he had.
We went to his memorial in Corpus Christi, yesterday.
I was a wreck. I cried through the whole Mass. I already missed him so much and was so, so sad that I did not get to talk to him one last time. We both loved him so much. So many people loved him. I was not the only one with out a dry eye. He truly touched many.
I know he is with Jesus and I know he is watching over us. I feel quite sure we now have a VERY powerful intercessor before God. I wish he was in a hospital, recovering, but he isn't. We may not understand but if I recall correctly he used to say "Only God knows."
He also used to say, "Have I told you lately, that I love you?" Well, I know I had not told you lately, but I DO love you, Fr. Morgan. You will always be in our hearts. You will never be forgotten, of that you can be sure.
Rest in peace, sweet servant of God.