MY FAREWELL TO MY LATE NEPHEW MICHAEL SCHRAMM
After a fine breakfast on the patio of the palazzo, I decide to abandon lunch plans for the other side of the lake at Tremezzo for a walk around the lakeside near where I have been for a week.
A grey day has its compensations. Walking, I hear the birds for the first time since my arrival. They obviously prefer the grey too! Out on the lake, ducks, a complete cacophony, but other birds with sweeter song call from the treetops.
Kids play on swings with usual gleeful chatter; and my stick (for balance on the uneven stony pathways), clicks loudly, rhythmically in time with my softer footsteps.
I am in a pensive mood as I remember my nephew and godson Michael, who died back in Australia last weekend at a young age. I regret not being at home with my immediate family for the farewell with a Requiem Mass at the home of Anne and Trevor.
Geese float serenely past, seemingly quite incapable of such loud honking; while at the same time others appear overhead in formation with a passing swoosh of flapping wings.
Out on the lake, one of those wonderful ‘Venice-style’ speedboats zooms past carrying lucky people to a luncheon rendezvous in a restaurant across the other side. The wake makes for little waves to lap and splash on the rocky shoreline.
Loud male voices emanate from the ‘Canottieri La Sportiva’ boat shed as they share the painting and polishing of their skiffs. Cleats from covered sailing boats moored at the little marina clang as the waves rock the boats.
What remains of the fragrance of ‘high-summer’ lavender adds to the generally pleasing scent of damp grass and earth that permeates the atmosphere. Fruit has long fallen from trees in little orchards, except for some decaying old figs amongst those wonderful big leaves that Adam used to protect his manhood after being cast out to fend in the world like the rest of us humans.
Not everything is picture postcard beautiful, but nor is everything in life. It’s worthy of reflection.
“Michael row the boat ashore.”
God-son Michael, our roles are now reversed. I borrow from the touching sentiment in an earlier Fr Steve Facebook comment, “your dreams live on with me, Michael, and I pray that you walk beside me and guide me. Peace now my brother.” . . . nephew.
Michael, row the boat a-shore
Then you’ll hear the trumpet blow
Then you’ll hear the trumpet sound,
Trumpet sound the world around
Trumpet sound the jubilee
Trumpet sound for you and me
Jordan’s river is deep and wide, hallelujah.
Meet my brother David on the other side, hallelujah.
Jordan’s river is chilly and cold, hallelujah.
Chills the body, but not the soul, hallelujah.
A ‘buongiono’ from a smiling couple I meet along the way brightens my morning, as well as a bright patch miniature Antirrhinums growing out of the rocks (‘snapdragons’ from my childhood days).
I return home less smiling though with itches from insects on the backs of my liver-spotted hands.
Thank you Uncle Michael for your beautiful Michael Chronicles and reflection on his life. From myself, my parents,and from talking to some siblings, we deeply feel for all the Schramm family for the sudden and unexpected loss of their beautiful son, brother, brother-in-law,and Uncle to cousin Mark’s and his lovely wife’s two daughters.
I have great memories of Michael when when our families would visit. He was jovial, warm, caring, and very intelligent. Along with everybody, I feel sad that he is no longer with us, taken so young. But he will always be kept in our thoughts and hearts,despite myself having not seen him for quite some time. I remember him though to have been a beautiful person.
Much condolences and sympathy and best wishes to the whole Schramm family.
Cousin Vicki xo
Dear Vicki, What a touching tribute. I’m sure Anne and Trev, and the others will be most appreciative. Thank you, Uncle Michael
Thank you Vicki for such kind words. Memories are all we have and we are glad you can remember Michael so fondly from the days when you were all children growing up together. Much love to you from Anne and Trev.
Dear Auntie Anne, Uncle Trev, cousin Mark and wife Christine, Zoe and Lucy,
Having spoken to my mum and dad just recently, the mass at your home for Michael was very beautiful, and peaceful. I can imagine that you were being surrounded by the loving energy of Michael and David, as you said your last good byes and prayers.
Satya and I feel even more glad for having had the chance to see you all at your home back in Christmas 2012 with Ethan just a 2 mth old, and that little E got to meet Michael too. Like Vicky, I have a lot of fun memories running a muck with Michael and the cousins at celebratory times, and am glad I can count on these memories always being there to remind me how funny and charming Michael was.
With just days now till our second son enters the world, I will be opening my heart to speak in prayer with Michael, asking him to shine his light on the little one when that day comes.
We love you all, and may peace continue to be your comfort.
Love Jac, Satya, Ethan and little unborn.
Would you like us to post you a copy of our mass booklet from Michael’s mass? It can be in the book form or A4 in an email.
We are looking forward to hearing that your new little son has arrived. Thinking of you,
Love Anne and Trev.
Thank you so much for sharing memories of Michael from your childhood, Jacqui.
Michael, mom sends this message in deep sympathy over the loss of your nephew. “i know you loved him, but God loved him more”. Your expression in your poetry was heart warming and beautiful. Take care of yourself, love Clara