Memorial Speech at Carleton College 10/25/01

Posted by Paul A. Murphy on December 24, 2001 at 08:57:59:

The Miracle of Friendship

There's a miracle called Friendship
That dwells within the heart
And you don't know how it happens
Or how it gets its start...
But the happiness it brings you
Always gives a special lift,
And you realize that friendship
Is God's most precious gift.

My friendship with Ann started out at first as a business relationship. With
Ann working in Minneapolis and me on Wall Street. If you have never seen Wall
Street, I'll describe it to you. At the head of the street is Trinity Church
than it runs straight down into the Hudson River. The irony of Wall Street is
that it's a one-way street. Many people have chosen that career path in the
business world, but with Ann, it was always a two-way street. A street of
reciprocal love.

In everything she shared with us, whether it be in business or in friendship,
the love for us was never an conditional love, it was an honest and true one.
Her love brought out the best in all of us. She'd like to tease me about how
I took things too seriously or how I'd worry about my job too much. But after
talking with Ann, or spending a night out on the town with her, my problems
always seemed to fade into the shade of her vibrant personality.

She was someone I was always proud to introduce to others as my friend. I could
go on telling you stories about our friendship in New York, introducing Ann to
places like Yankee Stadium or McSorley's or just about all the other wonderful
times we had together in Manhattan. But the most important thing that brings us
here today is our love for Ann. You see, by us being here, Ann will always be
near us. Because love is stronger than death. Love is eternal. She will live
in our hearts forever.

I remember one of the first nights when Ann was over our home. She was meeting
my children, Conor & Bridget. Well, Bridget was a little shy at first, but by
the end of the night, there she was sitting on Ann's lap. Both of them smiling
and giggling. Two little girls whom I love deeply.

So in keeping with my promise to Ann, and not to be so serious, I thought this
Irish Prayer for St. Brigid's would be truly fitting for our friend. Only the
Irish could write a prayer such as this one:


St. Brigid's Prayer

I'd like to give a lake to beer to God
I'd love the Heavenly
Host to be tippling there
For all eternity

I'd love the men of Heaven to live with me
To dance and sing

White cups of love I'd give them
With a heart and a half
Sweet pitchers of mercy I'd offer
To every man.

I'd make Heaven a chearful spot
Because the happy heart is true
I'd make the men contented for their own sake
I'd like Jesus to love me too

I'd like the people of Heaven to gather
From all the parishes around
I'd give a special welcome to the women
The three Marys of great renown

I'd sit with the men, the women and God
There by the lake of beer
We'd be drinking good health forver
And every drop would be a prayer.

Brian Kennelly

I love you Ann.