Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thankful...part four

Every night Pat and the kids (and me when I'm not off doing something else to give them Dad/kids time) pray a sweet bedtime prayer thanking God for His gifts today then asking forgiveness for the times we weren't behaving as we should. Following the prayer, they each take a turn naming what they are thankful for that particular day. I think it's such a wonderful thing...not just for November.

This weekend was a roller coaster of past and present and future, all wrapped up in two days. We headed out to Philadelphia on Saturday night, rested up, then headed to the funeral home Sunday morning. It was in an area with which I'm not terribly familiar but DH worked there for a few years before heading to Pittsburgh so for him, it was all very much past meets present. (It's a weird thing to revisit a place where you lived your life as a single with your family of seven).

For me, it went even farther back. Back to high school, when I had this lovely man and his wife for Sophomore and Junior English.

Circa 1989 with their sweet little girl

Isn't it funny when you lose someone for a few decades then find them again? When I heard of his passing (he was only 65 and lost his battle with cancer) in my mind came almost immediately...

Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud

By John Donne
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

The mind is an amazing place. I also remembered how they moved to Philadelphia in our Junior year and I followed after graduation to attend Villanova University. That decision, like many in my life, was made with all the wrong reasons as a foundation and quickly crumbled in reality. These two beautiful people helped me through that terrible year. So, when they looked at me with shock because we drove 5 hours to visit 10 minutes and extend our sympathy, what could I say? Certain people in your life play roles that sustain you in the turbulence until you find your footing. How can there be enough thanks for them?

Being on the Eastern half of the state and 4 days away from his birthday, we decided to make a somewhat-surprise visit to DH's uncle. We left the funeral home and first attended Mass at St. Rose of Lima.

I have to say, while it was the most energetic Mass I've attended in a while...the pastor and nun shook hands up and down the aisle (with everyone!) before starting the service, it was a bit odd in presentation. I counted 20 pews and there were two flat-screen monitors on each side. Granted, they televise the service and there are also columns (fairly small actually) that block the view but it was kind of strange to watch television of Mass while attending Mass. As DH pointed out, the church was packed full of participating parishioners (nice alliteration, huh, Mr. Fulv?) The Catholic church...universal with little tweaks along the way ;0)

After Mass we hit Party City. Here's what I will tell you. If you plan to have a "decade" party for someone turning a big number, get it done by 60. This place was FILLED with balloons and not one said anything after "60". That's 70 or 80 and certainly not beyond. So, for Uncle Frank, I had to cut and paste as it were. You see, tomorrow he will turn ninety years old! Wow. What an amazing blessing for the kids to see!

Opening his cards

Happy 90th Uncle Frank!

Luckily they had a "9" and a "0"!
It was touching for me to see my husband spending time with his uncle, whom he was with almost daily growing up. I know it is difficult for them to reunite because time has flown so quickly but it is also joyful. He spent a lot of time talking to the kids about his life and fighting in WWII. We were all in tears when it was finally time to leave. It's always hard to think you may not again see someone this side of heaven. I am so thankful that we made the trip and saw a group of people who have been so formative and supportive in our lives.

So, we are back home and back to work. Since we're gearing up for Advent in just over a week, it's good to have had the exercises in patience and gratitude during our trip. It has put us in a better frame of mind to settle down and await the Glorious Birth. 

We are blessed.

No comments:

Post a Comment