Sainthood For Ian

Ray Ray Mitrano portrait of Ian Schaefer
Ray Ray Mitrano portrait of Ian Schaefer

The Bagel shop at 12 Corners was closed today for a funeral. Jack and Robyn’s son, Ian, died due to complications from a rare form of cancer at 27. He was near death years ago and then recovered but that doesn’t make it any easier for his loved ones. His illness strengthened his faith and his faith sustained him. The service was beautiful, just as Ian and his parents had planned it. 

The priest who said the mass told the standing room only crowd that he visited Ian in the hospital just a few weeks ago. Ian told him he had come to the realization that his suffering was bringing his friends and loved ones closer to god. He told the priest “If I die it will have all been worth it.”

The funeral was held in Saint John’s the Evangelist church on Humboldt Street, my family’s parish when I was growing up. It all felt so familiar. I took note of saints in the stained glass windows. Joan of Arc was directly across from us. Mary Magdalene, Martin de Porres, Agnes, Charles Borromeo, Francis of Assisi, Elizabeth of Hungary, Michael the Archangel, Martha and Thomas Aquinas. Maybe they can find a spot for Saint Ian. The four evangelists were above the choir along with these Old Testament dudes, Gideon, King Solomon, King David, Moses, Isaiah and Ezekiel. The priest was cool up until the point where he explained that Communion was for Catholics only.

Ian played guitar as well as his dad and even sat in with Margaret Explosion. Here’s Ian’s father, Jack, playing bass clarinet on “Disappear.”

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