I had no trouble getting up the morning of May 29, having briefly risen at 3 AM, said a prayer in honour of Baha’ullah’s passing, 122 years ago today. I thought later that morning of my youngest brother, Brian, who would have turned 50 today, had he not suffered for 22 years and died after 29 of them.
Today on the ground, however, was about the family Norm Fellman left behind, especially his wife, my mother-in-law. The family is at their south Jersey home, in a place called Vineland. I had a heart-wrenching visit with my MIL, and will not go into detail as to all she, or her daughter, shared. .
What were nice were two things: A walk around their immediate neighbourhood, and the London Broil dinner we had, fresh off the grill. Wynne and David have worked hard at making the home nice for her devoted mother. Here are some scenes of home and neighbourhood. The sum total of this whole trip is the devotion of family. I have my part to share in this. It is to visit those sites which Norm and his comrades-in-arms sanctified with their sacrifices, whether by dying or by suffering both internal and external wounds.
For most of us, wounds are hard to conceal. The pain of loss is felt by all, including the family’s last surviving dog. The window box, though, is a spirit lifter, which Wynne has prepared in her father’s memory.
We did get a change of scene, by walking about the immediate neighbourhood, which is filled with both architectural and botanical gems. The first we saw was a red maple, spread fully with stunning foliage, long before Fall.
Here’s a little rabbit, just before Willow charged at it.
The great forests have nothing on Vineland.
One of Vineland’s most stately Georgian era homes is now an attorney’s office. Note the special feature in the chimney.
Back at the house, it struck me how it is similar, in some respects, to the old house at Longmeadow Farm. Mom remembers the farm as their strongest dream, and greatest success, as a couple. Joseph Campbell advises us to “Follow your bliss.” This, the Fellmans did, and in spades. Now, all of us are protected by a cadre of angels.