Larry’s First Christmas in Heaven

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Larry McClarey

But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

I am choking back tears as I post this.  Some very kind anonymous person left a package on our porch that had a framed copy of a poem in it:

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below

With tiny lights like Heaven’s stars reflecting the snow.

The sight is so spectacular- please wipe away the tear

For I’m spending Christmas with Jesus this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear

But the sound of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here

I have no words to tell you the joys their voices bring

For it’s beyond description to hear the angels sing

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart

But I am not so far away, we really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me dear ones you know I hold you dear

And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift for my heavenly home above,

I sent you each a memory of my undying love.

After all love is a gift more precious than pure gold. I

t was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other as my Father said to do.

For I can’t count the blessing of love he has for each of you.

So have a merry Christmas and wipe away that tear.

Remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

 The poem was written by Wanda Bencke.  Her 13 year old  daughter Lysandra Kay Bencke had cerebral palsy.  She had a seizure and went into a coma on Christmas Day, 1997, and died five days later.  During those awful five days her mother wrote the poem.

I had observed yesterday to my bride that while we missed Larry so dearly this Christmas, we had to remember that he was also spending his first Christmas in Heaven with Christ.  On this day, above all days, it is good to remember what kind hearts there are out there.  God bless you, whoever put the package on our porch, and may God remember and reward you in your hour of need.

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  1. You are right.
    They are where we wish them to be.
    What a first Christmas for them.
    What Joy.
    Please know their Joy is what they want for you.
    Not sorrow Donald, but complete JOY.
    My Dad and your cherished son know more than we could ever know in 160 years of formal education and experience…they know the embrace…and they want us to know it too.
    Bless you dear soul.
    Peace and Merry Christmas.

  2. Thank you.
    The ability to glimpse into the most profound insights and commentary from an educated and illuminated source is a humbling and fascinating experience for me.
    I know I try the patience of your loyal contributors but it is not in contempt. The TAC is a chance for me to ponder the depth of experience and knowledge that I would otherwise never gain insight to.
    So pleasr accept my thanks and forgive me of my poor grammar.
    I do hope that my perspectives can add in some small way to the betterment of the whole. Hope, not assuming that it is.

  3. It is good to be reminded that the church, militant and triumphant, are one in Christ Jesus our Lord. We have before us a ‘great cloud of witnesses.’ Merry Christmas, Donald!

  4. Epistula ad Romanos 8:38-39

    Certus sum enim quia neque mors neque vita neque angeli neque principatus neque instantia neque futura neque virtutes neque altitudo neque profundum neque alia quaelibet creatura poterit nos separare a caritate Dei, quae est in Christo Iesu Domino nostro.

    For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


    It is the hope of salvation, Donald, that one day you will be enjoying that Beatific Vision with your son.

  5. Donald, in your love for your own beloved son, Larry, we now have a “hint” of the Father’s love for His only-begotten, Beloved Son, and through that love, His love for each of us.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

  6. “Don’t choke back the tears, they are the safety valve to the heart.
    You and those dear to you are remembered in prayer by many.”

    Sound advice Maureen. I thank you for that and for your prayers.

  7. Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not here; I did not die. (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932)

    My prayers have been offered for you and your family.

  8. Good Heavens, Donald. I have been absent from this blog for quite a while and did not know about Larry’s passing. My deepest condolences.

    I shall say a prayer for Larry and your family tonight.

  9. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem. Larry and your family remain in my prayers. A blessed Christmas to you all — because Christmas isn’t over yet.

  10. Thank you for posting the beautiful poem and the comments. Very uplifting and needed as we remember deceased loved ones also at this Season.
    At our Christmas Dinner table we had two guests who each had lost a child, one as a teen and the other as a young adult. The mother who lost her teenage daughter had earlier confided in me that her goal in life was to be reunited with her daughter in heaven. She was concerned because a priest’s description of heaven said that it would not be like that. As a lay person I had no answer for her: however, I will print out Wanda’s Bencke’s poem for my friends.
    “Don’t choke back the tears, they are the safety valve to the heart.” – I think many a cardiologist would agree.
    To the McClarey family and all the readers of this blog, my prayers for joy and peace for the Christmas Octave.

  11. “She was concerned because a priest’s description of heaven said that it would not be like that.”
    The priest is an idiot. The idea that we would not be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven strikes me as a very peculiar notion of Heaven indeed. Our God who became part of a human family would not create such a joyless Heaven.

    Thank you for your very kind prayers CAM. I pray that you and your family, and your guests who lost kids, may have a joyous year in 2014.

  12. CAM.
    #1821 in the C.C.C. ; We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.

    The Church Triumphant is made up of “family.”

    On this feast of the Holy Family…take heart brother Cam and proclaim with confidence…The banquet table will be surrounded with cherished holy souls that loved and served the Lord.

    Peace be to you and yours.

  13. “Not be like that”?????? Buy that priest a copy of the Catholic Encyclopedia. To wit:
    “The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices. The participants in that solidarity are called saints by reason of their destination and of their partaking of the fruits of the Redemption
    (1 Corinthians 1:2”
    For me, there is no question but that we shall share Heaven with our loved ones and all the saints. The only real question is whether there will be at least beer in Purgatory. 😉

  14. Many a holy monk was “inspired” to make a tasty concoction.
    Beer in purgatory???
    Great Wine in heaven…yes…that we can be sure of. Is.25 6-10 I believe. Choice wines on his Holy Mtn.

  15. “The only real question is whether there will be at least beer in Purgatory.”

    Will Walsh.
    I share your sentiment, being a beer conoisseur from way back. The problem is, that when it gets poured into the glass, the glass will have no bottom, so it will never fill – and even if it does, it will taste like horse urine.

    Sorry buddy, you’ll have to wait to get to heaven to enjoy the perfect nectar of the hop. 🙂

  16. “The banquet table will be surrounded with cherished holy souls who loved and served the Lord.” When Jesus becomes present on the altar during every Mass, there too, will be your son, Larry, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

  17. “I feel Larry’s presence occasionally at Mass. He would always sit, kneel and stand by me at Mass in life, and I suspect he is often still doing so in death.”
    Larry loves you.

  18. To Philip, William Walsh, Don and others: Thank you for the references and comments. Though my friend speaks fluent “American”, her first language is a European one. Seeing the words in print will giver her peace of mind.

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