A Song From My Uncle

 

It was sung at his memorial service Saturday. My cousin, Mary, said he never wrote a note of music in his life. You’re just supposed to sort of give yourself to the music with an Irish enthusiasm. It works.

Take my heart, O Lord, take my hopes and dreams.
Take my mind with all its plans and schemes.
Give me nothing more but your love and grace.
These alone, O God, are enough for me.

Take my thoughts, O Lord, and my memory.
Take my tears, my joys and my liberty.
Give me nothing more but your love and grace.
These alone, O God, are enough for me.

I surrender, Lord, all I have and hold.
I return to you your gifts untold.
Give me nothing more but your love and grace.
These alone, O God, are enough for me.

When darkness falls on my final days,
take the very breath that sang your praise.
Give me nothing more but your love and grace.
These alone, O God, are enough for me.

— John Bossidy (04.18.1931 – 06.18.2019)

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There are 8 comments.

  1. spaceman_spiff Member
    spaceman_spiff Post author

    God really did take his hopes and dreams, his mind’s plans and schemes, his thoughts and his memory. The last time I saw him he didn’t know who I was.

    And still he died a truly blessed man.

    Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

    • #1
    • August 12, 2019, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. Aaron Miller Member

    spaceman_spiff: It was sung at his memorial service Saturday. My cousin, Mary, said he never wrote a note of music in his life. You’re just supposed to sort of give yourself to the music with an Irish enthusiasm. It works.

    Did someone know the melody? Or did you all just make it up as you went along? Great lyrics.

    • #2
    • August 12, 2019, at 7:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. spaceman_spiff Member
    spaceman_spiff Post author

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    spaceman_spiff: It was sung at his memorial service Saturday. My cousin, Mary, said he never wrote a note of music in his life. You’re just supposed to sort of give yourself to the music with an Irish enthusiasm. It works.

    Did someone know the melody? Or did you all just make it up as you went along? Great lyrics.

     

    My cousin knew it.

    • #3
    • August 12, 2019, at 11:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Juliana Member

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    • #4
    • August 13, 2019, at 1:15 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Lovely. And sorry for your loss.

    • #5
    • August 13, 2019, at 5:56 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    spaceman_spiff: Give me nothing more but your love and grace.
    These alone, O God, are enough for me.

    And really, that’s all we need. The rest is gravy . . .

    • #6
    • August 13, 2019, at 2:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. notmarx Member

    The hymn is new to me. I take it your uncle, s_s, wrote the lyrics? Perhaps you know this already–whoever wrote the lyrics knew Saint Ignatius Loyola’s Suscipe; here’s one translation from the Latin:

    Take Lord and receive 

    all my memory, my understanding, my entire will,

    all I have and call my own.

    Whatever I have or hold you have given me;

    I restore it all to you and surrender it wholly

    to be governed by your will;

    give me only your love and your grace,

    and I am rich enough 

    and ask for nothing more.

    ***

    The hymn is a sweet versifying of a severely beautiful prayer. That prayer’s my morning offering; my uncle was a Jesuit priest, and so good a man that he could say it and mean it; for me it remains aspirational.

    For visiting your uncle when he no longer knew you, you surely are blessed, a sign of that in the gift of a song at his farewell.

    • #7
    • August 14, 2019, at 8:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. spaceman_spiff Member
    spaceman_spiff Post author

    notmarx (View Comment):

    The hymn is new to me. I take it your uncle, s_s, wrote the lyrics? Perhaps you know this already–whoever wrote the lyrics knew Saint Ignatius Loyola’s Suscipe; here’s one translation from the Latin:

    Take Lord and receive

    all my memory, my understanding, my entire will,

    all I have and call my own.

    Whatever I have or hold you have given me;

    I restore it all to you and surrender it wholly

    to be governed by your will;

    give me only your love and your grace,

    and I am rich enough

    and ask for nothing more.

    ***

    The hymn is a sweet versifying of a severely beautiful prayer. That prayer’s my morning offering; my uncle was a Jesuit priest, and so good a man that he could say it and mean it; for me it remains aspirational.

    For visiting your uncle when he no longer knew you, you surely are blessed, a sign of that in the gift of a song at his farewell.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he knew Saint Loyola’s poem.

    I did not visit him. He was at a family gathering. I did not see much of him recent years. I am blessed but this is not why. Thank you.

    • #8
    • August 18, 2019, at 7:02 PM PDT
    • Like