My dad passed away on May 30, 2019. Several years ago I made two hurried trips to Ohio with funeral clothes packed, thinking that the inevitable was imminent. But, in Dad fashion, he’d pull a trick from his sleeve and come through the near death event to tell another joke or play another song.
This time “the call” was different, and once again I packed funeral clothes and flew to see him that very night. His last two days were shared with many who loved him. I was so grateful that he hung with us so many years that I rejected the feeling of deep grief in the week after his passing.
Now that a few weeks have gone, I am thinking deeply about Dad. I’m sad to no longer hear him answer the phone with a happy, “Hey, Peggy, how ya doin?” Dad loved his family. We lit up his life and he lit up ours. I miss him.
Dad was an interesting guy. He loved music, played some instruments, spoke different languages, and had slight of hand “magic” tricks that left kids and grand-kids (and a few great-grands) baffled and amazed.
Dad had a deep faith. He loved our Lord and the Mass. He believed that Jesus was his savior, and savored each opportunity to attend Mass and receive our Lord’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist. When I was about twenty, Dad, Mom, and I were Eucharistic Ministers at our parish. Dad was in charge of the schedule for the ministers to cover all the Masses, and for a few years we served together on Holy Thursday…the night we celebrate Christ giving us His precious Body and Blood at the Last Supper and saying, “Do this, in remembrance of me.” One year we stood side by side and distributed communion to the congregation. I remember that every year on Holy Thursday.
His love for our Lord and for the Mass really showed itself in his last years, when mobility issues prohibited him from attending church. He was grateful for those who brought him the Eucharist at home.
When Dad was admitted to the hospital this last time, he received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. He had earlier expressed concern to me that he wanted an opportunity to go to confession. In receiving this sacrament he was anointed with holy oil, went to confession, and received Holy Communion. Mom was so happy for him. She sounded relieved. I was too, for that desire of his heart had been granted.
Thank you, Dad, for the laughter that was always part of our lives, for your creativity, and for the seed of faith which you strove to implant in us. You were faithful.
Read more about Holy Thursday and the Eucharist here:
Read more about the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick here: