O, Frank!

I so loved my great-aunt Peg. She was that perfect mix of elegance and earthiness that made one both comfortable and inspired.

Peg Tierney wed
Aunt Peg on Her Wedding Day to Uncle Frank – 1929

Her husband, Uncle Frank, loved her totally. And to boot, he was a romantic which led him to proclaim that love often. One summer, in the 1950s, he surprised her with a second honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls.

Upon return, they visited us and Uncle Frank brought a movie of their trip.

camera

Now, taking a movie and eventually showing it was quite an accomplishment in the ‘50s. Not only were the camera and lights cumbersome, so was the screening equipment.

But that effort on my Uncle Frank’s part yielded a long-lasting blessing for me. It came in a brief scene still indelibly etched on my mind.

 

Aunt Peg, dressed in her Sunday best, stood looking over the rail at the majestic falls, her back to the camera. There was no sound on the film, but you could tell Uncle Frank had called to her to turn around. Knowing him, my guess was that he said something like, “Peg, you are as beautiful as the falls!”.

falls

Aunt Peg turns and clearly, despite the silent film, mouths a bashful response,

“O, Frank!”.

Those two words, given with a slight blush and demure smile, carried the whole story of their very special love. And they left me, even at a young age, with such a profound message.

Every time I have thought of that short phrase over these sixty years, this is what I hear:

O, Frank!

  • how blessed am I to be so loved
  • how good you are to show that love so clearly
  • how grateful I am that you share your life with me
  • please know how much I love you in return

Tomorrow, we will enter one of the loveliest times of the Liturgical Year – the proclamation of the O Antiphons.

The great O Antiphons are Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers on the last seven days of Advent. They are also used as the Alleluia verse on same days. The importance of the O Antiphons is twofold. First, each one is a title for the Messiah. Second, each one refers to Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming of the Messiah.


As we prepare for this beautiful and sacred time, I am reminded of my dear Aunt Peg standing before both the magnificent Niagara Falls and my Uncle Frank’s tremendous love.

We, dear friends, are standing in awe at the passage of time into eternity. Our God calls to us to turn around and look into God’s loving face. As we pause in silent, grateful adoration, the great thunder of life silenced behind us, we respond with awe:

  • 17 December: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
  • 18 December: O Adonai (O Lord)
  • 19 December: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
  • 20 December: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
  • 21 December: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
  • 22 December: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)
  • 23 December: O Emmanuel (O God With Us)

As we stand in the shadowed eve of these profound prayers, let’s prepare our hearts to gratefully experience God’s tremendous love.

O Beloved God

  • how blessed am I to be so loved
  • how good you are to show that love so clearly
  • how grateful I am that you share your life with me
  • please know how much I love you in return

Music: Peg of My Heart – sung in full here by Charles Harrison

I hope you might enjoy this tribute to Uncle Frank. This is a very early version of the song he always sang to Aunt Peg. We did a lot a singing when the family gathered back then  – an activity sadly lost today. There are more mellow, later versions, but this is the way Uncle Frank sang it, straight from the Ziegfeld Follies Of 1913.

Oh, my heart’s in a whirl over one little girl
I love her, I love her, yes, I do
Although her heart is far away
I hope to make her mine some day

Ev’ry beautiful rose, ev’ry violet knows
I love her, I love her fond and true
And her heart fondly sighs, as I sing to her eyes
Her eyes of blue, sweet eyes of blue, my darling

Peg o’ my Heart, I love you
We’ll never part, I love you
Dear little girl, sweet little girl
Sweeter than the Rose of Erin
Are your winning smiles endearin’

Peg o’ my Heart, your glances
With Irish art entrance us
Come, be my own, come, make your home in my heart

When your heart’s full of fears
And your eyes full of tears
I’ll kiss them, I’ll kiss them all away
For, like the gold that’s in your hair
Is all the love for you I bear
Oh, believe in me, do

I’m as lonesome as you
I miss you, I miss you all the day
Let the light of live shine from your eyes into mine
And shine for aye, sweetheart for aye, my darling

Peg o’ my Heart, I love you
We’ll never part, I love you
Dear little girl, sweet little girl
Sweeter than the Rose of Erin
Are your winning smiles endearin’
Peg o’ my Heart, your glances
With Irish art entrance us
Come, be my own, come, make your home in my heart

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