The Urgency of Love: A Birthday Remembrance


November 30, 1957.

Here’s my father, George J. Kimmerling, Jr,. dancing with his mother, Mary (nee McKenna), at the wedding reception which followed his marriage to my mother, Amelia (nee Fritz). Today, September 12, 2015, would have been his 95th birthday. He died in 2010, a day before their 53rd wedding anniversary.

This morning, I recalled a beautiful conversation I had with Dad, years ago, via phone, about the engagement and wedding plans. It may help to know that my mother and father married at ages 36 and 37, respectively. In 1957, they may have been considered a bit long in the tooth for such things.

Introductions had been made, years earlier, through siblings and cousins who attended school together. But, there was quite a span of time between meeting and marrying. An intervening bout of TB caused my mother’s parents to send her off to the Trudeau Institute, on Saranac Lake, to “take the cure”.

Upon her return, the story goes, she left a note on his windshield (though another version holds that she wrote on his windshield in lipstick; I like that version) proclaiming “I’m back”.

Dad told me that when they reunited, he suggested they make marriage plans post-haste. Mom was for a Spring wedding. Dad’s retort: “Why wait?” Dad’s persuasive nature (he was a successful salesman all his life, it seems) won the day.

As he and I continued our conversation, I remarked on the impact of his desire, and their decision, to marry without delay. We would have been a completely different family had they waited ’til spring of 1958 to marry. I, for one, would not have been born on December 1st of the following year. Somewhat like the “Butterfly Effect”, multiple subsequent configurations (marriages, grandchildren, etc) would have been vastly different in the years to come.

For me, this story is about the eagerness of love. How it propels us into action. How it changes our history, the history of those around us, and of those who follow us. Indeed, my parents’ love began my history.

I am not suggesting that pure love is our only motivation. We are human, after all. I have been propelled by far lesser and more damaging desires. The desire to accumulate. The desire to judge. The desire to be right; the sort of right that makes others wrong. The desire to hide from my truth. To wallow in solutions that harm instead of heal.

But, when love propels us, beautiful things ensue. I thank you, George J. Kimmerling Jr., for the power of your example.

With love,


About Soul Intention

"Spirituality is, ultimately, about what we do with...desire. What we do with our longings, both in terms of handling the pain and the hope they bring us, that is our spirituality." from The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser. Paraphrasing what Gerald May has said, in his book Will and Spirit, spirituality is our experience and interpretation of our relationship with the Sacred. The intent of this blog is to explore for myself, and to invite others to explore with me, just what is it we do with our desire? What is our spirituality? Mine has been shaped by many my formative years, by the Roman Catholic church. In the last decade, by the 12 steps. Most recently, by the Episcopal Church. And, always, always, by the sense that Nature helped to reveal the Great Mystery, of which we are all a part. So, my spirituality includes concrete practices, like the Steps, as well as probing more philosophical matters. I was certified, in January 2011, as a Spiritual Director by the Haden Institute. During those 21 months of study, which included a broad range of topics from Celtic Spirituality, to the Christian Mystics, to Jungian Depth psychology, I was given the space and time to ponder my own spiritual journey, hear about others' paths, and benefit from participation in an intentional community. My hope is that this blog can engender a similar conversation. Peace, Paul
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1 Response to The Urgency of Love: A Birthday Remembrance

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Lovely Post, and good to see your blog back up. I’ve missed it!

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