by: Frances Maloney
It is written of Mary of Magdala, that, after the disciples had returned to their homes, Mary lingered like a humming bird before the silent face of the tomb, weeping. “And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.”
I am that woman. And so, I am deeply grateful to Mary Flynn, Katherine, and Suzanne, and to all of you who grieve Frank’s passing, for allowing me to join you in this company of mourners. Frank and I did not attend Frank’s parents’ funerals, because Frank chose not to go without me, and I wasn’t sober.
Frank was merciful and kind, honest and true, first with himself and with God, then with all of us, indeed with all creatures, great and small.
Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro has provided this prayer for bride and groom that I think was fulfilled in our marriage:
You have brought this couple together
that they might risk the joys and sorrows of love.
They have said “yes” to You and to each other.
We now ask that you bless them
with love and compassion
righteousness and truth.
Guide them in ways of deep and loving
friendship that they may forever
cherish, honor, uphold and sustain
each other and the divine image
that is our deepest self.”
Ma, that is, Frank’s mother (of blessed memory), taught me to pray, “Thank you, God, for all you have given me, for all you have taken away, and, for all you have left me.
Left me, are vital memories, full of Frank’s spirit and likeness. For example, one day, when we lived in Ann Arbor, a bee appeared in our apartment. I was terrorized and called on Frank to save us. Well, Frank took what seemed like an hour to tackle that bee, amused at my distress. Anxiety turned to wonder as I watched him carefully collect the bee into the palm of his hand and lovingly escort the bee outside, a sweet man doing a sweet thing.
Like Frank himself, the honey bee
The humble, the lowly honey bee
Needed to feed the earth
Needed to feed the earth.
By his spirit and example, his farmer’s faith and heart of a fisherman, Frank drew me to something better than I had ever known, becoming my personal rock, my personal redeemer.
Remembering the concluding line of a poem by Langston Hughes, as reads, “Yet you never know, when a woman like me is free.” I testify that I never want to be free from the Love of God, as expressed by my only husband to his only wife.
Frank was patient, Frank was kind
Frank was glad for the well-being
and success of others, such as
his brother Joe, who was a
blessed father and grandfather
Frank envied no one
Frank was generous, unassuming,
Not egotistical, not ‘in your face’
Not rude, never selfish
Frank’s heart was a vessel of gratitude
Frank was slow to take offense,
harbored no resentments
Frank was merciful and forgave in truth
Frank was moral
Frank was ethical
Frank did Matthew 25:34-36
Frank was courageous and brave
Frank bore all things, believed all things,
Hoped all things
Endured all things.
Francis Albert Dynan nearly died in infancy. In Vietnam, he was flown around in helicopters packed with explosives. Surviving these, Frank never missed, for an instant, his work as an instrument of peace, in thought and deed.
Frank and I never parted without desire and hope to behold each other again.
Francis Albert Dynan, how do I love thee? I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of Being and ideal Grace -, and, if God choose, precious, gracious, loving, compassionate man, my Rabbouni – I shall love thee better after death.
Ed.Note: Francis Jean Maloney served in the United States Army as did Frances Albert Dynan. They met while serving together in Germany and married. After several years, they divorced, but in spite of their legal status they remained friends and remained married and true to one another for the rest of their lives.
Francis Maloney came from an amazing family. Her mother was the first African American to perform with a major symphony orchestra in the United States and her father was Surgeon General of Liberia. Frances was homeless for a time. What she experienced and suffered should make all of us think about how we treat those who served these United States. She is currently on the board of Bettina Network Foundation, inc. and is a tremendous asset to the Foundation and everything it does.
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