Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ripped (off) From The News...

First, from the L.A. Times, a glimmer of hope:


BAGHDAD -- Outside Mar Eliya church, not much had changed since last Christmas: Concrete blocks still surround the building and guards check the IDs of those entering.

But inside, hundreds of Iraqi worshipers -- Christians and Muslims -- were crammed into the overflowing Chaldean Catholic church Tuesday, celebrating the holiday and the fact that they felt safe enough to venture out of their homes to attend Christmas Mass.

"Last year was the year of misery, desperation and sadness," said Samar Jorge Gorges, 33. "But this year is better. So many people attend the Mass and you can see that their praying was joyful."

Read entire story here.

Second, how's this for a chuckle? It seems Chet Fitch (who died last October) was a man with a sense of humor. At Christmas this year, his many friends received greeting cards "from beyond" (in fact, the return address read "Heaven").

Inside, he wrote:

"I asked Big Guy if I could sneak back and send some cards. At first he said no; but at my insistence he finally said, 'Oh well, what the heaven, go ahead but don't [tarry] there.' Wish I could tell you about things here but words cannot explain.

"Better get back as Big Guy said he stretched a point to let me in the first time, so I had better not press my luck. I'll probably be seeing you (some sooner than you think). Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Chet Fitch."

Yes, he'd conspired for years with his barber, keeping her supplied with an updated mailing list and extra money when postal rates went up. This Fall he told her: "You must be getting tired of waiting to mail those cards. I think you'll probably be able to mail them this year."

Sadly, Chet was right; he died a week later.

I'm sure his friends were cheered by hearing from him one last time.

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