With two critically ill brothers in mind tonight, and another recently passed, it's a confusing time for me to focus on other issues. Growing up in a family of 7 siblings (6 boys and a girl), and now treading time in my eighties, I'm left with a cumbrous array of memories to examine. It's like looking through an old kaleidoscope's geometrical shapes of bright colored crystal. The view changes with the slightest turn in time.

These views show many very good, and some very dark pictures, no different from human faults from time immemorial. Though I think trust is a fickle virtue, when my time arrives, I hope to leave this earth in an abiding trust in Divine Mercy and His close friends. For me that is life's shining reality.

I've wanted to write a memoir of my family's life for quite a while. It would recall life on the ranch from 1939 to about 1960, just a snapshot of some 20-years in Oxnard and Camarillo, of my brothers and I building tree forts, slingshots, day-long "hunts" with our .22s, and numerous clod fights; a time of great freedom, adventure, and more than a few bruises.

How drastically things have changed in such a short time, how truly beautiful things were. Also, how the character of our society has been cheapened is woeful.

I hope to begin before the memory of those 7 siblings is reduced, and life in the best of times is forgotten.

So, my recollections are a little agitated tonight, distracting me from the job of writing something.

I take hope in the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila:

"Let nothing disturb you,
Nothing frighten you,
All things are passing,
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
Nothing is lacking
To those who have God:
God alone is sufficient"
St. Teresa of Avila