It was an amazing occasion. Joyous and sad all at the same time. 13 children and their spouses, ALL 55 grandchildren (for some reason I thought there were more than that), most of the 35 great grandchildren and many more friends and family all gathered in remembrance of an amazing man, my grandfather. I talked about all of his accomplishments and impact in an earlier post, but there is something that is worth mentioning. My uncle, one of the many, got up in front of everyone at the wake and talked about how one of the most important things that my grandfather was concerned about was instilling his faith into his children. In turn, he prayed that his children would instill that same faith into their children, and so on. Looking around the room, while as a family we prayed one last rosary with grandpa, I realized that his mission had been accomplished. I then started to drift off into my own thoughts as the familiar words were flowing from my lips.
Not only had my grandfather influenced his children and grandchildren, but his example reached far beyond that. One of the main reasons Foster even decided to inquire about the Catholic faith is because of the example my family has set. My parents and my family in general are proud of their Christian/Catholic faith, and we practice it regularly. We try to live good lives and treat people properly. Foster noticed this early on in our relationship. He realized that regardless of what religion he was, I would remain faithful to mine. I would never judge him or tell him he was wrong, but he knew better than to ask me to change my faith. He realized that the traditions within my family were ones to be appreciated, and he looked up to the example we set. I have to give credit to my grandparents, on both sides. If they had not instilled these values into my parents, my sisters and I would not be continuing on the faith and traditions. Foster started to realize and appreciate his grandmother who was catholic, and started to look at her in a totally different light. He became Catholic last April, and has become a better parishioner than me! He is knowledgeable of the faith and insists on attending mass and special events, regardless of the excuses I give. He has dedicated himself to giving back to the community by participating in Meals on wheels, Joseph's Coat, and a local soup kitchen. He has truly embraced Christ and faith, and has made me proud every step of the way.
I so badly wanted to get up and tell the story of how Grandpa has reached beyond his children and grandchildren. It has reached FAR beyond that. However, for those of you who know me, something very rare happened yesterday. I lost my voice, and I am not talking figuratively. I literally lost my voice. I was supposed to lead my family in "Danny Boy", and in the last few days, I have been warming up my voice and practicing. I have also had a severe cold/flu. I must have practiced just a little too much, because after 5 hours of talking to family and socializing at the funeral home, I arrived at my hotel room with no voice! I know I talk a lot, but I have never had my voice give up on me. Luckily for you, it hasn't affected my fingers...hahaha. As expected, I was unable to lead my family in "Danny Boy", but was glad when I heard the bagpipes playing it, because I probably would have been off key and off rhythm.
Thank you all for all of your kind words and support over the past few days. I really REALLY appreciate it!
God Bless you all, and "May God hold you in the palm of his hands".
|Grandma and Grandpa|
|66 yrs of marriage, 13 children, 55 grandchildren, and 35 great-grandchildren, and still as in love as the day they got married....if not more!|