Archive for June, 2018

Jane Brockman Funeral

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Jane Brockman Funeral

Is 25:6a, 7-9; 2 Cor 5: 1, 6-10; Mt 25:1-13

Dc. Larry Brockman

Jane Brockman- Devout Christian, Devoted Spouse, Mother, Grandmother, Seamstress, Master Chef, Woodworker, Children’s Story Writer Artist, and so much more.   

Jane and I were married just shy of 48 years.  She was so many things to me- my soulmate, my joy, my lover, my partner, but also my conscience and my constant source of growth.  And sometimes she was even a drill sergeant!    We both shared the same politics and religion; and that was a true blessing, because in other areas, we were opposites.  I was attracted to her flightiness, her artistic flare, her carefree nature; she was fascinated with my logical and organized approach to everything and was amazed that I didn’t always have to have lots of people around!  Sometimes the opposites in us clashed, and we had words for each other, but through it all, we were always open and honest with each other, and maintained our love and respect for each other.   

We shared so many wonderful experiences with each other; 5 wonderful children; 13 grandchildren; trips to Italy and Ireland, a couple of cruises; and many, many family vacations across this country almost always with our children.   

And we supported each other in severe trials, like the loss of our third son; the challenges of an Alzheimer’s parent; job problems, and the deaths of our parents.  It seemed that whenever there was a challenge, that’s when we were there the most for each other.  But isn’t that what Christian marriage is all about?   

In fact, having a good marriage was something that we were both hungry for.  When we lived in California, we were always involved in a Christian married couples small discussion group.  These groups helped us to understand what it was like- the real world after the honeymoon.  We were just about to have our first child in 1971.  But we were listening to older couples talk about the challenges of teenagers, kids on drugs, finances, you name it.  We heard about vastly different disciplinary styles.  And it all helped us with what was happening in our own marriage. 

We learned, as Paul says in Corinthians, to walk by Faith.  God had chosen us for each other, and it was our challenge to live God’s plan together, no matter what time and circumstances threw our way.  

 So, after we moved to Orlando in 1984, we wanted to continue with such marriage enrichment groups.  We did Foccus for years, and then we homed in on Renew 2000 here at Holy Family.  With the help of now Bishop Parkes, when he was here as an Associate, we put a marriage preparation program together for the parish as part of Diaconate Formation.  Jane was integrally involved in my formation as a Deacon.  There were some 60 couples who experienced that marriage program, Building Households of Faith.  Jane worked besides me to put that program together, and to run the weekend over the four years we did it.   

Yes, Jane and I were a team.  Even after I was ordained, she played an integral role in the things I did.  For example, she critiqued all my homilies and she participated in the Bible Studies I facilitated.  I was privileged to have her as my partner; she was a great part of my inspiration.   

A big part of our relationship, especially during difficult times, was prayer, especially the Rosary.  Jane just always seemed to know how to bring prayer into our real-life dilemmas.  She was an incredible role model in deep faith in the Lord.  And when we prayed consistently, our prayers were always answered.  About 10 days ago, we started a rosary novena for a special intention.  Just minutes before Jane went to bed Saturday night, we finished the Rosary together.  It was the very last thing we ever did together as a couple.   

To understand just how deep Jane’s Faith was, I need to get to the roots of it.  And the roots have to do with the fact that Jane and I had different views on death.  In 2001, Jane had a near death experience that included a vision of things beyond this life.  She experienced Jesus and her parents and a new creation in that vision.  But she was told she had to come back!    So, from 2001 on, Jane had absolutely no fear of death, that’s how strong her Faith in everlasting life in heaven was.  She was ready to go on at any time.  And that both troubled her, and yet pleased her.  She told me she had seen what it was like in heaven and so, she really looked forward to it.  Like our first reading, Jane had seen the great feast prepared for us and so vividly described by Isaiah.  And like our second reading, Jane lived her life after 2001 desiring to live in that new creation but recognizing that there was still a lot to be done here.  And so, she accepted the fact that it was not yet her time.  And she relished becoming a Grandmother.   

I could not quite grasp her description of the beyond.  I think I’m like a lot of people in that regard.  I believe; but what comes after death is so unknown, so different,that I still hold on to an element of fear of death.  Like a lot of logical engineer types, I am uncomfortable with lack of knowing the details.  And so, I came to envy Jane’s peace with the idea of death.  Jane definitely believed; and Jane had cast out all fear.   

Jane believed in the Lord deeply and loved the Lord accordingly.  The Lord’s will was her priority for what she did.  That’s what makes the Gospel today so appropriate.  Jane was like one of the virgins who had plenty of oil for her lamp.  She was always ready.  Spontaneously ready to help; anxious to be of service; willing to listen; able to comfort those around her.   

We had just returned from a two week trip up to our Tennessee getaway with a side trip to North Carolina to celebrate our Granddaughter Maribelle’s graduation from pre-school.  We relaxed and worked together on everything those two weeks.    As I drove, we listened to soft piano jazz.  When she took over the driving, we listened to Classic Country Western.  I would kid her constantly about some of the words.  Particularly the song with the lyrics “Will you love me tonight if I come back today.”  

 I just wonder if Jane asked that question of the Lord often.  “Will you love me tonight if I come back today?”  And at 4 AM Sunday the 10th of June, Jesus said to her  “Yes”.