Yesterday I was over at my parents’ house for Rosie’s birthday dinner. While I was there I went up to Boy-O, my tall, blond, broad-shouldered, football-playing baby brother, and told him, “Just so you know, when you’re 26, do not dare ride a motorcycle in Florida and get in an accident.” He looked at me a moment and said, “Ah, this is about Isaac, isn’t it.” I said yes, and he said ok, that he wouldn’t do that, and gave me a big hug. And I have to say that I love my baby brother, not only because of his easy acceptance of me being weird, but because he’s good at saying and doing exactly the right thing when it really counts.
Isaac’s funeral Mass is Saturday. Holy Angels, 10am. I’m planning to be there. These days I’m thinking a lot about his family, what they must be going through. His sister called his death a “tragic blessing,” because, since they were able to donate his organs, so many people have a chance to live. His heart is already beating inside the chest of another young man who desperately needed it. She was calculating up the number of people he helped, and there are a lot of them. More, she said, than all the children of both my mother and her mother combined. Her courage in the face of this floors me, and makes me pray for all the more grace to sustain her and her family.