4.5.13 … space and death … “I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.”

Thomas Henry Marshburn, Davidson College, ISS, Expedition 34/35, The Nile and Cairo, Bahamas, It’s a Great Day to be a Wildcat: 

I was on the receiving end of two calls from space this weekend.

The first was on Saturday and appeared to me from TX USA. I almost didn’t to answer it, but am so glad I did. It was Davidson friend Thomas Henry Marshburn, an astronaut on the ISS. He was calling to say hello. 🙂 John, Tom and I discussed his photos which he posts on twitter and life on the ISS. We discussed his recent shot of the Nile and Cairo by moonlight and his favorite view, the Bahamas by day.


At the end of the call, Tom graciously agreed to call again the next evening at 6 pm EDT (10 pm GMT … Tom stays on GMT while on the ISS), so we could gather some students at the McCrorey YMCA in Charlotte. Forgetting that it was Easter, we only had three kids, but they had a life-changing 13 minute call where he answered questions. “Have you posted pics of Mt. Everest?” (Yes, he posts pics almost daily on twitter (@astromarshburn)) “Where is the bathroom?” (There are two, one in the Russian side of the ISS and one in the American/European/Canadian/Japanese side.) “How is the food?” (Actually, pretty good.) “What do you do to relax?” (He enjoys looking out the window!).

Tom made our weekend and that of three kids in North Charlotte. I bet they have fun telling people about their call from space.   I know I have. Thanks, Tom.

It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!

If you want  to follow Expedition 34/35, I have found this useful …

Back in November, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) began Expedition 34, and entered into the 13th year of its continuous human habitation. Some of the research goals for Expedition 34 included investigations into the human cardiovascular system in microgravity, the gravity-sensing systems of fish, and the impact of changes in the sun’s electromagnetic radiation on Earth’s climate. The crew of six astronauts from the United States, Russia, and Canada also took hundreds of photographs of life aboard the ISS and the spectacular views from orbit. Collected here are scenes from Expedition 34, and a few from the current mission, Expedition 35.

via The International Space Station: Expedition 34 – In Focus – The Atlantic.

obituaries, ashes to ashes:  In light of my high of being on the receiving end of such a wonderful call, I was also aware of the death of a very special mum, whose funeral I was able to attend.  Funerals, if done well, are  uplifting and give closure to all participants.  Marian Ward’s certainly did.  For the second time in a week I heard the words, ” earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  The first was Easter at the Avondale Sunrise Service.

FORASMUCH as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust ; in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change the body of our low estate that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

via 1928 Proposed Book of Common Prayer: Burial.

But I then found out about Tom’s mom’s passing last week while he is on the ISS.  I understand that Tom attended via  skype and his wife attended  escorted by a fellow astronaut.  If I had known, I think I might of gone.  Gladys Grier Marshburn must of been a great lady to have created such a great son.  (I hope that is not diminishing her own achievements as the NYT did by stating that a rocket scientist made a mean stroganoff).  RIP Mrs. Marshburn.

The mother of Statesville’s favorite son, astronaut Dr. Tom Marshburn, has died.

Marshburn was in space on the International Space Station when his mother and longtime Statesville resident Gladys Grier Marshburn died on Tuesday, four days after her 90th birthday.

via Astronaut Marshburn’s mother dies – Statesville Record & Landmark: News.

dark matter,  ISS, Scientific American: WOW  …  the long-sought dark matter, the hypothetical massive particles that constitute some 27 percent of the universe … massive dust/big ashes?

A $2-billion particle detector mounted on the International Space Station has registered an excess of antimatter particles in space, the experiment’s lead scientist announced April 3. That excess could come from fast-spinning stellar remnants known as pulsars and other exotic, but visible sources within the Milky Way galaxy. Or the antiparticles might have originated from the long-sought dark matter, the hypothetical massive particles that constitute some 27 percent of the universe.

via Dark Matter Signal Possibly Registered on International Space Station: Scientific American

obituaries, Rosamunde Pilcher, helpful quotes:  And Marian Ward’s daughter posted this … and I love the closing … “I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.”

“…Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was.  I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.”

via Goodreads | Quote by Rosamunde Pilcher: …Death is nothing at all. It does not count. ….

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