Sometimes the words just get stuck somewhere between my head and the keyboard. It’s not that I don’t know what to say; it’s just that it doesn’t ever seem like enough. Yesterday, MoC lost her dad. Although she didn’t get his blue eyes, she has his smile and his sense of humor. Much of what I love and admire about my mother are gifts from her father. People never really leave us, I think. They’re around us all the time, in ways we sometimes don’t notice.
I decided to repost something I wrote four years ago … it seems fitting. It seems like enough.
Tomorrow I’m having lunch with some family to celebrate my grandfather’s 91st birthday. It’s hard to believe he’s 91. He’s pretty spry still and still sharp. His eyes still have that same twinkle I remember from when I was a little kid (ten years ago – really). The color is a little faded, but the twinkle is still there. He has a wonderful sense of humor, perhaps a little more subdued than mine, but he laughs at himself and still enjoys his life.
Today I saw a preview for the movie The Davinci Code – and it made me start thinking about faith and how it can breathe and grow with new ideas. My grandfather is a devout Catholic. He goes to church every Sunday and as far as I can see, he has lived his life by a certain code – a code of faith. He won’t see the movie, but not because he thinks it’s sacrilegious. He won’t see it because he doesn’t go to the movies at all anymore. He saw The Last Temptation of Christ when it came out – and he had to travel to St. Louis to see it because it wasn’t playing here. I never asked him what he thought of that movie – perhaps I should do that. His answer would be interesting. Although he was a blue collar worker, he is still a man open to ideas. He isn’t one to pound you with his opinions; those, he keeps close to his heart. If you ask for them, he’ll give them to you – quietly and perhaps a bit diffidently. He’s a modest man – he sees no need to stake out his intellectual territory. He doesn’t bother to stake out spiritual territory either. It is what it is and he knows what he believes. Because he’s getting older, he does look back occasionally, but his spirit is always moving forward. He won’t brandish his faith like a sword; rather, he wears it like a cloak, surrounding himself with it and sheltering his loved ones with it. For even if you don’t agree with him, his faith is strong enough to withstand that and much more. That quiet, humble faith commands respect, although he never demands it. He is among the last of a dying breed: a true gentleman.