2016 Summer Reflection: Conclusion – Looking back

My vacation time in New York has come to an end.  As the Big Apple disappeared through the rain and mist in the rearview mirror, I looked back on those I have met for the first time or for the nth time.  One of the goals was to reconnect with friends from last year.

Unfortunately, Patrick, a longtime friend, headed to Florida in late May after many attempts at a job transfer.  The yearly jaunt through the city with him was a bust.  But we ended up chatting a bit after Mass on July 24 because he was in town for a baseball game.

But I pressed on, attending the same Catholic socials as last year.  Familiar faces greeted me.  Unfortunately, I lacked pictures of my acquaintances and the socials because I’m leery of selfies.  Besides, I enjoyed people’s company so much that a picture became secondary.

One photo I did take was of Philippe Ortiz and me after we helped distribute bags of food and water to the homeless at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Thursday, July 21.  That distribution was similar to the Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen, which distributed food and toiletries to the homeless in the Back Bay.

Philippe and me
Philippe and I have a glass of water at the Bryant Park Cafe after a night of helping the homeless on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Unfortunately, my hat looked worn out after walking around.

Philippe and I knew each other from last year at similar socials.  Growing up in the Boston area, he was very familiar with St. Clement’s and the Oblates of the Virgin Mary.  His sister attended the church, but I haven’t had a chance to meet her.  Unfortunately, our schedules didn’t sync up for us to hang out more often.

This time, I strived to say goodbye instead of the disaster in the mid-May.  Sometimes, I was on point.  Other times, I was off.

Before walking out the door, I bid farewell to Chip.

The ever-resilient Chip sits outside our house in New York on Thursday, May 20, 2016.

I had written in late May about how the veterinarian refused to put Chip down.  (You can read it here.)

Since then, Chip has been living comfortably.  I admired how my sister Liza took care of Chip.  She managed to coax him take his medicine twice daily and wash him if needed.

I became attuned to listening to his barks and whines because they might mean that he needed to go outside.  I figured out his schedule to go outside in the afternoon.  I quickly learned one lesson though: Don’t hold Chip too close to the body.

We would then slowly walk back to the side door.  Sometimes, he would make it all the way.  Most of the time, he would stop and bark at me to carry him the rest of the way.  (“Stupid,” he must be saying. “I’m old and aching.  Carry me back.”)

Who’s training whom?  It seemed like Chip was training me.

Still, messes happened.  Concerned that Chip would mess up the floor, my mother put a diaper on him.  Doubt me?  Check out this photo.

chip diaper
Yes, Chip wore a diaper at my family’s house in New York on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Chip tolerated the brief stint with the diaper.

But Chip’s tummy issues cleared up and we dispensed with the diaper.

My father had asked me how long Chip would last.  I replied that he would still be here when I come back from the seminary in August 2017.  He has plenty of fight left in that tiny body.

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