Sorry guys, this is another post about my grandpa. I write about him an inordinate amount I think. This blog is basically eyeliner, breakdowns, Grandpa, and some homeschooling. That’s it. Sorry.
Someday maybe I’ll get my stuff together and stop compulsively taking pregnancy tests and figure out a good curriculum and master tightlining, but I’ll probably never stop writing about Grandpa.
(Ha. That other stuff isn’t going to happen either. I’m a freaking mess.)
But it’s just that he’s so important to us. And we miss him so much. And he’s still such a big part of our lives. And literally everything I do I try to run through two filters a.) would I be okay confessing this to someone I know? and b.) would Grandpa be okay with it?
(As often as not, I fail at both of these. Because I am nowhere near as perfect as my Grandpa.)
(Which is why I priest hop for confession because I despise being like, “Okay, still blah blah and yep did blah twice and yeah I know I’m working on it okay????”)
(ANYWAY. This is not about my confessional habits.)
On Sunday he would have been one hundred years old. This is amazing to me, as I am still seventeen, correct?
(To be fair, our family does basically lose a generation because everyone except me and my sister took their sweet time having babies. Irish Catholic FAIL.)
We celebrated in a way he would have liked I think- we were together. We went to Mass at his parish together. We took pictures of the kids in “his” pew. We got to go on a pilgrimage and see a dear old friend who remembered him- that’s rare now, eight years after his death. Everyone moves on and our social circles are totally different than when we had him. But this man knew him and knew how special he was and that was amazing to hear on his birthday. Finally we gathered at his house, our house, for dinner, and just spent time together.
That’s how we would have celebrated if he were alive I think. Because faith and family and togetherness were the most important things for him. (And Pabst. He was a company man.)
We talked a lot about him. I talked to my kids a lot about him. We told stories, and it made me think about how my children are going to remember this and him and what they’re going to take away from it all.
My sister, who actually makes her living writing gorgeously about things other than what kind of primer she uses and which one of her kids is misbehaving now, wrote a novena for him.
(Yeah, I know. I’m shamed too.)
It was gorgeous. She based it on all of his traits- duty and sacrifice; love and faith; other virtues which he has left us. It was absolutely beautiful and made me realize once again what a good man he was.
That is what I want my kids to know about him- that he was a good man. We’ve been hearing a lot about really really evil and disgusting men and women lately. I’m sick of it. I am sick of being disgusted and feeling like LITERALLY NO ONE is willing to stand up for anything that is right anymore. I’m disgusted that in a few weeks my children are going to have a horrifying person as their President (just a toss-up of which kind of horrifying person it will be.) I’m sick that the defense for all this is “everyone does it.”
No. They don’t. My grandpa didn’t. He did not lie or cheat or steal. He felt strongly that every single soul should be taken care of- whether it was housed in a two-celled zygote, an elderly woman with dementia, or a criminal on death row. He showed people respect because they were human beings made in the image and likeness of God. He saw Christ in everyone and was capable of acting like it. He loved and supported his wife and daughters and granddaughters and grandsons as human beings worthy of love and respect.
He did not act like we are so accustomed to people acting now.
That’s what I want my kids to know. The stories are great. They’re wonderful and they make him real and will continue to carry on down through the generations. But I want them to know the meaning behind the stories- that they come from a family where our strength comes from our faith, respect is given to everyone, and life is honored above all else.