Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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Dearest Angel
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I am not quite sure how to tell the story of David Singer. That I remember his name is some indication that I must have made special note of it. He was a friend of Mother. First let me say a word about Mother.

As a girl, Mother was petite, weighing only 98 pounds at the time of her marriage in 1915. She was very active, vivacious, and outgoing. She loved to dance.

David came into her life while she was still in high school. They did not date but they were in the same group that did a lot of recreating and partying together. David was smitten. The relationship was doomed from the start though because he was not a Catholic. As much as it may have hurt her, for her, there were not options. He faded from her life.

However on any number of occasions Mother would speak of him. We children always wonder what this mysterious fellow must have been like. We were a little taken aback one evening when a car pulled out front, and a short, rolly-polly, bald man came up the steps. He knew the house from his youth and wondered if Marguerite might possibly live here. I am sure I was a teenager at the time and was quite excited when he said that he was David Singer. I doubt if my Father had ever met him. I presume David was gone from the scene before Dad showed up. Dad knew the name though, and I was quite chagrined that he did not receive him more warmly. It so happened that Mother was quite ill at the time and was up in bed. I was ready to take him upstairs, but my Father never gave the invitation. We stood around on the porch for a while. He left without seeing Mother. At that time it had probably been thirty years since they had seen each other.

After Dad had died, David must have heard that Mother was in a nursing home, by then she was around 75 years old. Wouldn’t you know, he came out to visit her on several occasions, and he wrote her sweet notes, addressing her as Dearest Angel. Well at the time Mother had all her faculties but she was anything but a romantic figure, probably tipping the scales over 200 pounds. When I would have an opportunity to visit she would show me his notes and spoke glowingly of his sweetness. He was close to 80 years old. I learned more about him. He lived in Lexington, Kentucky. He had been on the Faculty of the University of Kentucky for most of his career, teaching automotive engineering.

It so happened that I had business in Lexington and I made it a point to visit him. It was absolute delightful. He had been involved in cars all his life and had a classic vintage auto, which he drove to exhibitions as opportunity provided. His trips to Detroit were in his big car and it was in that behemoth that he drove out to Pontiac to visit Mother.

We had a most pleasant visit. His wife of all these years was pleasant but a bit reserved around the roman collar and did not sit in on our conversation while he describe his young affection for Mother. He told me he was working in Detroit for some auto company at the time, c. 1912, and he borrowed a car and drove from Detroit to Monroe just to ride around the campus where Mother was in school in hopes of seeing her. He didn’t. While now the trip is an easy 30 minute drive, when he drove it he sometimes drove through fields and marshes. There were no roads for cars at the time. Anyway we had a delightful conversation and I left aglow at the vivacity of the old man who still remembered with affection his dearest angel. I never saw him again.





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