Uncomfortable tale

(Trigger warning – sexual abuse)

After his 34-year-old wife Laura Levis suffered a devastating asthma attack and later died, the Boston writer Peter DeMarco wrote the following letter to the ICU staff of CHA Cambridge Hospital who cared for her and helped him cope.

His letter, published online in the New York Times on October 6th, went viral.  It goes on for quite a long time in detail about the incredibly kind and compassionate care that the nurses gave him and his wife.

Here is the part that I have a huge problem with. This occurred in the hour just before she was to go into organ donor surgery – where her organs were to be what is euphemistically termed as “harvested”.

These are his words.

“I nestled my body against hers. She looked so beautiful, and I told her so, stroking her hair and face. Pulling her gown down slightly, I kissed her breasts, and laid my head on her chest, feeling it rise and fall with each breath, her heartbeat in my ear. It was our last tender moment as a husband and a wife, and it was more natural and pure and comforting than anything I’ve ever felt. And then I fell asleep.”

This is from the same person who observed earlier in his letter, in talking about the nurses –  “When you listened to her heart and lungs through your stethoscopes, and her gown began to slip, you pulled it up to respectfully cover her.”

His wife was comatose and dying.  Yet he found it acceptable to engage in a sexual act on her  – obviously without her consent.  It wasn’t “with” her – she was present in body only.  She did not participate.

He thought it was respectful for the staff to cover her up – yet he felt it was OK for him to uncover her.

And then he felt it was OK to write about it in a public way.

I am sickened by this man.

I’m sorry that his wife died, but I’m more sorry for her spirit that he felt it was OK to violate her dignity by his action – and then again by publicizing it.

Let’s make this clear –

Just because he is married doesn’t mean he has full access to her body, at all times.  It is still her body, and her decision as to what happens to her.  It is never OK to perform a sexual act on anyone if they are unconscious – even if they are married to you.

 

 

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD

Psalm 91:1-6
1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High
dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 He Himself will deliver you from the hunter’s net,
from the destructive plague.
4 He will cover you with His feathers;
you will take refuge under His wings.
His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
the arrow that flies by day,
6 the plague that stalks in darkness,
or the pestilence that ravages at noon.

Luke 13:34-35
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! She who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 See, your house is abandoned to you. And I tell you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One’!”

Psalm 118:8-27
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in nobles.
10 All the nations surrounded me;
in the name of Yahweh I destroyed them.
11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me;
in the name of Yahweh I destroyed them.
12 They surrounded me like bees;
they were extinguished like a fire among thorns;
in the name of Yahweh I destroyed them.
13 You pushed me hard to make me fall,
but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.
15 There are shouts of joy and victory
in the tents of the righteous:
“The LORD’s right hand performs valiantly!
16 The LORD’s right hand is raised.
The LORD’s right hand performs valiantly!”
17 I will not die, but I will live
and proclaim what the LORD has done.
18 The LORD disciplined me severely
but did not give me over to death.
19 Open the gates of righteousness for me;
I will enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous will enter through it.
21 I will give thanks to You
because You have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
23 This came from the LORD;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
24 This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 LORD, save us!
LORD, please grant us success!
26 He who comes in the name
of the LORD is blessed.
From the house of the LORD we bless you.
27 The LORD is God and has given us light.

Isaiah 62:10-12
10 Go out, go out through the gates;
prepare a way for the people!
Build it up, build up the highway;
clear away the stones!
Raise a banner for the peoples.
11 Look, the LORD has proclaimed
to the ends of the earth,
“Say to Daughter Zion:
Look, your salvation is coming,
His reward is with Him,
and His gifts accompany Him.”
12 And they will be called the Holy People,
the LORD’s Redeemed;
and you will be called Cared For,
A City Not Deserted.

Matthew 21:1-10
When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, 2 telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me.3 If anyone says anything to you, you should say that the Lord needs them, and immediately he will send them.”
4 This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:
5 Tell Daughter Zion,
“Look, your King is coming to you,
gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
even on a colt,
the foal of a beast of burden.”
6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt; then they laid their robes on them, and He sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their robes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. 9 Then the crowds who went ahead of Him and those who followed kept shouting:
Hosanna to the Son of David!
He who comes in the name
of the Lord is the blessed One!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!
10 When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds kept saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee!”

Luke 20:9-18
9 Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a slave to the farmers so that they might give him some fruit from the vineyard. But the farmers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent yet another slave, but they beat that one too, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third, but they wounded this one too and threw him out.
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him.’
14 “But when the tenant farmers saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, so the inheritance will be ours!’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“Therefore, what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those farmers and give the vineyard to others.”
But when they heard this they said, “No—never!”
17 But He looked at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of this Scripture:
The stone that the builders rejected—
this has become the cornerstone?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and if it falls on anyone, it will grind him to powder!”

(All verses are HCSB)

On marriage for priests.

There is heated debate these days on whether Catholic priests should be allowed to marry. Some priests have felt so strongly that they should be able to marry that they have left the Catholic church and become Episcopal or Lutheran. All Protestant denominations allow their ministers to marry, but these are the closest in ritual to Catholicism.

So, let us look at examples from the Bible, so that we don’t rely upon our own understanding (see Proverbs 3:5) Christians learned about God from the Jews, so it is fitting to look at the Hebrew Testament to see what Jews understood was God’s plan for their priests. Their traditions became the blueprint that the early Christian church started with.

The rules for what renders a person fit to be a priest are in Leviticus.  Among rules such as not touching a dead body except that of a close family member and not shaving the edge of his beard, we find these specific rules about who they aren’t allowed to marry –

They are not to marry a woman defiled by prostitution. They are not to marry one divorced by her husband, for the priest is holy to his God.” (Leviticus 21:7)

By spelling this out, we know that there are allowed to marry other people.

Then there are instructions about their daughters in 21:9.   We can logically infer from this that the daughter was legitimately conceived – hence the priest was married.

Verses 13-15 give more information as to who a priest is allowed to marry.   13 “He is to marry a woman who is a virgin. 14 He is not to marry a widow, a divorced woman, or one defiled by prostitution. He is to marry a virgin from his own people, 15 so that he does not corrupt his bloodline among his people, for I am Yahweh who sets him apart.”

This further proves that priests are allowed to marry.  Why say who they can and can’t marry if they aren’t allowed to?  Thus, marriage is appropriate and allowed for priests in Judaism.

These instructions are repeated and added to later in Ezekial 44:22.    “He is not to marry a widow or a divorced woman, but must marry a virgin from the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest.”

God does not want us to be alone.  It isn’t part of God’s plan for us. In Genesis 2:18 we read 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.”

One of Jesus’s early miracles was healing the mother-in-law of Simon Peter.  From this we must conclude that he was married – he wouldn’t have a mother-in-law otherwise.  Remember this is the person that Jesus built his entire Church upon (See Matthew 16:18).  He wouldn’t have chosen someone for so important a role that was doing something he thought was wrong.

“As soon as they left the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus and the disciples went into Simon Peter’s house. His mother-in-law was in bed with a high fever. They asked Jesus to help her. He went to her, and taking her by the hand, he rebuked the fever. Immediately she was healed and she began to wait on them. Later that evening, people began bringing those who were sick and possessed to him. He healed them by laying his hands on them and he drove out demons with a word. Those who were possessed had demons who were shouting “You are the Son of God!” But he told them not to speak because it wasn’t time yet for this to be known. What was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah was fulfilled with his actions. “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Isaiah 53:4)”  (MT 8:14-17, MK 1:29-34, LK 4:38-41   Condensed Gospel)

Paul, in giving instructions to Titus, says in Titus 1:5-9
“5 This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you, 6 if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate. 7 For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; 9 he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.”

These elders become bishops – leaders over others. They are allowed to marry – but only once. But they are allowed to marry.

But – all of this is irrelevant.  Jesus didn’t want priests to be different from the congregation.  He wanted us to all be equal, like brothers.  To have any group of people separate from the rest of the Body of Christ is to go against Christ’s teaching.

Luke 22:24-27   24 Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest. 25 But He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles dominate them, and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’26 But it must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and whoever leads, like the one serving. 27 For who is greater, the one at the table or the one serving? Isn’t it the one at the table? But I am among you as the One who serves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(All Bible translations are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible unless otherwise noted)

A revised Motorist’s Prayer

I came across the Motorist’s Prayer while searching for the prayers to use with a Saint Christopher chaplet. A chaplet is small devotional set of beads for a specific intention, like a rosary, but often smaller. The prayers are unique for each chaplet.
————-

The Motorist’s Prayer (original)

Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye
that no one shall be hurt as I pass by.
You gave life, I pray no act of mine
may take away or mar that gift of Thine.
Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company
from the evils of fire and all calamity.
Teach me to use my car for others need;
Nor miss through love of undue speed
the beauty of the world; that thus I may,
with joy and courtesy, go on my way.
Saint Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.

——————-

But I don’t like it because it is in sing-song rhyme. The rhyme gets in the way of being able to really understand the words. Perhaps it makes it easier for some people to memorize when it is in rhyme, but for me then that means there is a chance that the words become vain repetitions – something Jesus warns us against.

I’ve rewritten it without the rhyme, keeping as many of the original words as possible.
—————–
The Motorist’s Prayer (revised)
Heavenly Father, grant that my hand is steady and my eye watchful so that I bring no harm to those I pass by today.
Help me to remember that that You are the giver of life, so that I do not take away or harm Your gift.
Take care of my passengers so that no harm comes to them.
Teach me to use my car to help others and to not miss the glory of Your creation because I am speeding.
Help me to travel through Your creation with joy and courtesy.
Lord, with Saint Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.

———-

Please note that I also changed the ending. It is important to know Who is the one you are praying to. Saint Christopher cannot do anything – only God can. God can work through people, but we must always remember that they are not the Source of healing – only God is.

Unexpected time

Lillie had all the time she wanted to read now, but it wasn’t how she wanted it. There is nothing but time to be had in the ICU waiting room. It was a good thing she’d brought her library book with her, but it wasn’t an accident. She always had a book with her. She’d even figured out how to read on her daily walks to visit James, just over 2 miles away. They lived off the main roads, so there wasn’t much traffic. It was easy to hold a book up in front of her and read while on the way. Of course, it slowed her down a little, so it took close to an hour to get there, but she didn’t mind. It was that much more time to read.

Her parents frowned on all her reading these days. They’d encouraged it when she was a child, even made a big to-do about her getting a library card of her own as soon as she could write her name. But now she was reading darker things, things they didn’t approve of. Long gone with the days of Junie B. Jones and Winnie the Pooh. Edward and Bella were more like it, or at least they were a few years ago. Aliens, zombies, conspiracy theories filled the bill these days. There was wasn’t much else for a young person to read anyway. It was either supernatural thrillers or ooey-gooey romance novels, and Lillie wouldn’t be caught dead reading one of those.

Of course, now wasn’t the best time to be reading an unusual book. Strangers shared the room with her, this strange room filled with dull grey lumpy armchairs and hard plastic tables covered with last year’s magazines. The only new magazines were medical ones, designed to make you worry about that slow healing spider bite or sell you some prescription drug you didn’t need. It didn’t take the other visitors long to run out of things to read, so they decided to make conversation. Anything was better than sitting still in silence, waiting and worrying until they were allowed back into visit their loved one, who was often too sick or too drugged up to noticed they were there.

“What you readin’?” The gruff boy asked Lillie, just loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to have to pay attention to, she decided. Perhaps she could pretend she was deaf? Just because she was sitting in the same room as someone else didn’t mean she was obliged to chat. They may think it is rude of her to be silent, but she thought it was rude of them to not be. Surely he understood? Surely he could see she was reading – he’d asked about her book. So why would she want to talk? She was already in the middle of a good conversation with the characters in her book. She wasn’t interested in starting a new one with this person – this untried, untested character. He was probably dull. That was an easy guess based on the fact he didn’t think to have a book with him. Well, that and he was wearing denim pants and a flannel shirt. How boring! Plus she didn’t want to explain her book. Too many people judge you based on the books you read. She’d taken to bringing safe books with her when she had to go to her own doctor’s appointments.

But this was different. She was here for James, not herself. He called her late at night, saying his stomach hurt. It had to be bad if he was telling anybody about it. He said his parents were on their way to pick her up so she could stay with him in the hospital if needs be. They both were too busy to take time off from work for something as inconsequential as sickness. They didn’t even take off when they were sick, so they certainly wouldn’t for their son. Lillie was ready before she’d even gotten off the phone. She always was ready. It was part practicality and part preparedness.
Sure, everybody should have a go-bag in the event of a natural (or man-made) disaster. But Lillie’s life was a disaster. She never knew where she was going to have to go from day to day. Mom sometimes picked her up from school and took her home. Dad sometimes told her to walk to his girlfriend’s house. Sometimes she took the bus. Sometime she stayed after school to work on her homework rather than risk her books getting damaged at home. Sometime she slept at school, around the back, under the pine tree. Nobody seemed to notice her or keep track of where she was. It was better to have whatever she might need in her backpack at all times, just in case.

She always wore the same kind of clothes so nobody ever noticed that she didn’t go home every day. She’d been irritated when the school shifted over to a school uniform, but soon saw the advantage of it – nobody would notice her. Her parents were pleased because black wasn’t on the list of approved colors. She soon learned that she didn’t have to wear black to express how she felt. Angry and lost and frustrated could be expressed even in a khaki skirt and light-blue collared shirt. Seething wasn’t limited to black.

James was sick and the doctors didn’t know how or why or what. Not like they cared about the why, not really. All they were interested in was naming the symptoms and treating them, not the reasons for them. But his symptoms were troubling. High fever. Pain on his left side. Sensitive to light. His blood was full of antibodies, so there was some infection somewhere. The doctors told Lillie everything they learned. James’s parents had said it was okay. Sure, there probably should’ve been forms to sign for it, but this wasn’t the first time the doctors had treated him. They knew how hands-off his parents were, and how devoted Lillie was.

But since they didn’t know anything, it was time for Lillie to consult her sources. Others in her group would use runes or crystal balls, but Lillie had long ago learned something better. Those were the kinds of tools that people noticed in the wrong kind of way, or they got lost, or taken. Lillie was all about simple and easy, so she used a book. No, nothing as complicated or obvious as a book of shadows. Her book was whatever she had in her hands at the moment. The dictionary would do in a pinch. Words were good, but sentences were better.

You just held the book in front of you, one hand on top and one on the bottom, draw in your energy, focus on your question, and open the book to a random page. Whatever was there was what you needed. Then you read whatever your eyes fell upon. If you needed more insight, then repeat until clarity comes. Sure, she had to read between the lines a little sometimes. But meanwhile it just looked like you were reading a book.

The only problem right now was this book wasn’t exactly safe to have out in public. Sure it came from the library, but it still was going to raise some eyebrows here in the Bible Belt. The title was “Blood Infernal”. If the title didn’t draw attention, but the cover certainly would. Bright red, like fresh spilled blood, with a profile of a crow. Perhaps it was perching on a gravestone? Or maybe a skull? It looked like a satanic book for sure, but that was all most were likely to see. They wouldn’t take the time to learn it was about the Holy Grail, and banishing the forces of darkness back from whence they came.

Most folks who would judge a book by its cover would do the same to a person. Decide she is damned, and turn away. Little did they realize that those such people with the very ones who needed their friendship the most. Perhaps they didn’t read the part that said a doctor heals the sick, not the well. Jesus had sharp words for anyone who thought they had it all figured out. Lillie knew this, but most folks wouldn’t think she would. They’d judged her just like they were told they shouldn’t. Maybe if they spent more time reading the Good Book instead of thumping it, they’d know better.

It was time for Lillie to consult her book. First flip. Her eyes lit upon a passage about blood. Another flip, also about blood. Well that was to be expected, being the subject and all. But maybe it wasn’t a mistake. Maybe he had an infection in his blood, maybe the blood itself was damaged somehow. But how? He’d not done anything unusual recently, hadn’t needed a transfusion. But wait! He donated blood, specifically plasma. It was a simple way to earn money when times were tight. Go to the clinic in the strip mall in Madison, fill out some forms, hang out for an hour and a half and get paid about $30 twice a week. It wasn’t enough to pay bills like a car payment or rent, but it was something, and after all, he was saving lives doing it. At least that was what all the brochures said.

Maybe something bad happened. Maybe his red blood cells got mixed up with someone else’s. Lillie dipped further and the next sentence talked about jealousy and unrequited love. Maybe the tech had a crush on him and was mad that he did not return the interest. Some people heard “I have a girlfriend” (or wife) to mean “try harder”. To them, having a partner meant you were good enough for somebody. It meant you’d passed some sort of test. Those kinds of people weren’t interested in people who were single. They figured there had to be something wrong with them. Of course, they didn’t figure on the raw truth that if you could be enticed away from who you were dating to date them, the same could happen again. Cheating was contagious.

Maybe the tech had put a hex on him? She’d have to go to the clinic to find out. She gathered up her things – water bottle, energy bar, book and journal with various pens – the standard hospital kit, checked with the nurses in the unit and hailed a cab. James wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the doctors weren’t likely to discover how to cure him where they were looking. This kind of sickness doesn’t show up on a lab test, but it affects you just the same.

Lillie knew that all too often doctors look for symptoms and not causes. They treat the infection with antibiotics but not look for the source. This was like the insanity of rebuilding your house every five years when you live in a hurricane zone. Best to avoid the problem and live somewhere else. Or perhaps it was like putting a Band-Aid on an amputated arm – it just wasn’t enough. The people live like this, unwilling or unable to notice cause-and-effect. Perhaps they thought they were being polite. Like how it is considered rude to point out the obvious. Lillie’s Dad had died that way. 20 years of smoking and he had a bad cough. The doctor gave him cough medicine, meanwhile not even discussing the need to quit smoking. It was palliative care trying to soothe, to silence. It wasn’t helpful, or healing. It wasn’t directly harmful, sure, but it was certainly neglect of due diligence.

Lillie knew that now was the best time to go to the clinic because she was going. It had taken years of prayer practice to align her actions with God’s, but once she found the spot, she knew it. No more acting too soon or too late. Now she waited patiently upon the Lord and acted in the right time and in the right way. She no longer worried about having the right supply with her or having the right training. When she was walking in Christ’s footprints, she always had and knew what she needed.

James didn’t understand this way of being, no, not at all. He trusted only what he had control over, what he could do to affect the situation. Once left in other’s hands, who knew what would happen? He was used to being lied to, either intentionally or not. People made promises and broke them all the time. In fact, this was the one thing he could count on – that he couldn’t trust others. They’d proven it to him over and over. He wondered whether they knew they were lying to him, or was it simply the case that they were lying to themselves? Self-delusion was a horrible trap. It was better to have someone intentionally be deceitful. At least that way they knew what they were doing. It was bad, sure, but it wasn’t mindless. The mindlessness of self-delusion, of not being aware of your own actions and impulses, would lead to a wasted life. Socrates was right when he said “The unexamined life is not worth living”.

Lillie loved him anyway, and prayed for him that he might awaken. This constant reacting instead of acting was going to get him stuck in a corner he couldn’t get out of within a few years. Failing to plan ahead and having to be rescued with standard operating procedure for a teenager, and somewhat acceptable for someone in their early 20s, but certainly not OK for someone who was 45, for instance. He wasn’t there yet, but if he didn’t take care he’d be there soon enough. Meanwhile, she tried to help when she could but otherwise stayed out of the way. Picking up his messes would only cause harm to both of them. If she kept rescuing him, he would never learn to plan better because he would never had to fully experience the chaos that he created for himself. Pain is an excellent teacher, after all. To clean up after people all the time cheats them of the valuable lesson of learning how to avoid making that mess in the first place.

It is all good.

Our separation from God was simultaneous with our eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  At that moment, we divided our world into pieces, instead of being whole.  We no longer saw as God does, in entirety, in completion.  We began at that moment to judge – to raise things up, and to put things down.  We chose to forget that God made all things and said that they were good.

As stated by Placido, an Andean shaman in the film “Humano” (currently free on Amazon Prime) – “The only thing you need to understand is that everything is there to be understood, and not to be rejected or judged. As soon as you start judging, you enter into dualism.”

The Hebrew word “Shalom” means peace.  It is related to the word “shelemut”, which means “wholeness”.  Meanwhile, the Hebrew word for sickness (choleah) is related to the word for emptiness or hollowness.  It is also the word for secular or profane.  Thus, sickness is a body without a soul – devoid of spirit.  To be whole, we must have body and soul together, complete.

Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

Wisdom 11:24-25 is talking about how God created everything, so it has to be good.  The “you” in these verses refer to God.

24 For you love all things that exist,
and detest none of the things that you have made,
for you would not have made anything if you had hated it.
25 How would anything have endured if you had not willed it?
Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved?

Firefly

I’m always surprised by fireflies. Every year, they appear slowly, quietly. I think there is a glint of light on my windscreen, or I see a flash of light out of the corner of my eye when I get out of my car in the evening. It takes me about a week to realize that it is time, that the fireflies are here.
A month, and then another go by. They keep appearing. They keep lighting up the dusk sky with their lazy mating dance.
And then they aren’t there. One day finally comes when I realize that I’ve not seen a firefly in weeks. I’d not noticed them leave. Just as quietly as they came, they are gone.
Sometimes people are like fireflies. They are there, and then suddenly they aren’t. Their light illuminates my life for a brief time. I think they’ll always be around. And then they aren’t.

Steve Heydel, who I knew as Edmund Cavendish, is one such person.


This isn’t a close friend, one I’ve known well. I didn’t even know he was sick. He was in my medieval reenactment household. We camped together. We spent weekends in the woods, wearing medieval clothing. His always looked better than mine because he bought it.
He was a realtor, and sold me my house. More than most realtors, he helped me move by lending the use of his trailer that he used for events.  He was also an actor.  Later in life he started working for Rodale, a skin cream company.
He died October 18th, at 67, and it is hard to believe.

From IMDB – Steve Heydel is an actor, known for Ashes 2 Ashes (2014), Left Behind or Led Astray?: Examining the Origins of the Secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture (2015) and Held Up at Work(2011). He has been married to Vikki King since April 28, 1995. Height, 5’11”.

The funeral was at 10 a.m. on Thurs Oct 20,2016  at the First United Methodist, Lebanon TN, at at 415 W. Main St. in Lebanon.

From his obituary  –

Mr. Heydel passed away peacefully Oct. 18, 2016 at the age of 67, surrounded by loved ones in Nashville. Steve is survived by his loving wife of 21 years, Vikki King-Heydel, of Lebanon.

He is preceded in death by his mother, June Love Heydel, of Lebanon.

Steve is also lovingly remembered by his father, William David Heydel; brother, Richard David (Sally) Heydel; daughters, Wendy Heydel (Shane) Lynn, Chrissa Heydel (Jim) Gatton; stepson, Aaron Hester; grandsons, Mason Lynn, Connor Lynn, Ethan Lynn, Jacob Gatton, Caleb Gatton; and granddaughters, Bailey Hester, Shyann Hester; and numerous loved ones and dear friends.

Steve was born Nov. 26, 1948 in Rockwood. He graduated from Lebanon High School in 1966 and went on to earn a bachelor of arts in economics from Cumberland University and the University of Tennessee in 1970. He also attended the University of Tennessee Law School in 1971.

Steve’s passion was acting in local Lebanon community theaters and did several commercial and short film acting roles in the Middle Tennessee area. He also had an avid interest in British and European history, and was a member of the Society of Creative Anacronisms, affectionately known amongst his SCA friends as Edmund Cavendish.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First United Methodist Church or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


Here are other pictures of him.

…and more recent ones, showing his illness.  He’d had a bone marrow transplant in May, and it had started to fail in October.

 

According to his Facebook page, he liked to read John Sanford and listen to Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, the Kingston Trio, Connie Laine, Tick Bryan.  For films, Hav Faith, Star Wars, Anne of the Thousand Days, Arn, Wyatt Earp, Ashes to Ashes, the Terminator, Indiana Jones.

I didn’t know know all this about him.   I suspect there is a lot that I’ll never know. I know that he loved to watch local football, and had a room in his house that was perfect for it.  His home was unique – there was a great hall that looked like a hall in a medieval castle.  He had a booth in his kitchen so he and his wife could sit as if they were eating out.