Loss and Betrayal

May 31, 2022 by Rose O'Keefe

I wondered how someone would respond to that awful mess and agreed with him when he said, about the South Baptist Convention’s culture being broken. He said, “Well, all culture is broken.” How true that seems lately. His solution, to put the Gospel into action and fast, hits the spot. Thank you.

At an online meeting a week ago Saturday, I shared the obit of a marvelous woman, Gloria Langston, who died earlier in the month. Mrs. Langston was originally from Jamaica, and by persistent effort, became a co-founder of WDKX-FM, Rochester’s first Black radio station. She loved to share stories, and also her point of view, which she softened with the words, “In my opinion.” Sharing fond memories with people who knew her well, softened her passing at age 97.

I had glanced at a large obit in the Rochester D&C last week (May 27), but when my husband asked me if I’d read it, I answered, sort of. I did not know him, but as the husband of a well-known county legislator and community activist (I had missed that part), James William Johnson’s write up was worth re-reading. Johnson, age 95, traveled widely, had a varied career as a university professor and author. He had a phenomenal memories for songs and poetry and his many, many interests included at one point, rescuing Atlantic sea turtles. His goal in life had been to be “happy at home.” Made me smile.

Last week I had the pleasure of receiving a signed copy of retired Rochester schoolteacher Eldridge McClaney’s book, No Kin Folk No More: A Novel of Healing and Redemption. Even though I’d read through an earlier version, I got caught up just as much as the first time with the fascinating descriptions of rural life in Alabama. I’d forgotten much of the main character’s dilemma of facing life with Parkinson’s disease. Joshua gradually got help from a medical doctor and a minister. The relationship with the doctor might be very useful to someone confronting that diagnosis. The counselling sessions with the minister seemed long-winded at first, but then I realized that someone who had closed his heart for a long time wasn’t going to loosen up quickly. It took a long time for the minister to get through to Joshua and tell him that life begins from within and Joshua had to build up his sense of trust before reaching out to others. This story had a sweet ending.  


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