Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Embrace of The Catholic Faith (Part Three)

Part One
Part Two

As I drew closer to embracing my faith, I felt as if I had hit a spiritual rock bottom. Big D and I were having troubles in our marriage. We were still in love, we argued a lot about money, we were extremely lacking in the communication department, and we seemed to be living as roommates rather than husband and wife.

At the same time my Grandfather was dying of Cancer. He was like a father to me. I spent most of my childhood with him because my parents both worked. He was strong, loving, and very smart. Now I was watching this disease rob him from his freedom, it was making the man who I thought could do anything turn into a feeble, weak old man. At times it was unbearable to go and visit him. In the past I would walk into his house and he would be making something for us to eat, we would sit at the kitchen table and shoot the breeze so to speak. Now when I went to visit, I would find a pale old man lying in the back bedroom going in and out of sleep. Every move would bring on the pain, it was heart wrenching.

The day came when my Grandpa fell into a coma. The whole family was at his house. Hospice came and very lightly gave us the hint that we did not have much time. The Hospice worker told us he could hear and that if there was anything we had to say we should go say it. I went into the room, as my Grandpa lay motionless on the bed. I remember he told me before the coma that he could feel someone grabbing his hands, we did notice when he was asleep he would hold both of his arms straight out like he was trying to grasp something. I told him it was his guardian angel. I don’t know if that eased his mind, but I hope it did.

I walked up to my Grandpa and whispered a few things to him. I said I love you, thank you, and it is ok to let go, we will all be ok. About a half an hour latter he passed away. I had the honor to be in the room with him. I say I had the honor because the feeling I had at that moment was extreme loss, but also I had the feeling you would get being present at a birth of a new baby. The honor of it, the miracle you have witnessed. It is hard for me to explain, but I was extremely honored to be present as my Grandfather’s soul began its journey home.

It was time to deal with the funeral. I was in a bit of denial over the whole death. There were brief times were I did not believe he actually died. I even thought I saw him driving down my street. That was a weird experience. The funeral was held at our Catholic Church. We had the full mass. Although it was sad, I had an overwhelming feeling of being home. When I discussed this with Big D, to my surprise he was feeling that same way.

After the funeral, I thought about the meaning of my Grandfathers life and soul. He did not go to church, or talk about God much. I knew he believed in God, he was never open about it. A Priest came to visit before my Grandpa went into a coma. I don’t know what went on, I could only hope this Priest guided my Grandpa in the right direction.

I was pondering all the things my Grandpa did for me in this life. Now that he has gone does that mean it is over? Someone I loved so much could just “poof” be gone and there is nothing more? I could not accept this. I believed my Grandpa should be at peace with God and if that meant I had to go to Church every Sunday and pray everyday for his soul that is what I was going to do. I was not going to do it for me, or because it is the truth, and I surely did not expect it to help my life in anyway. It would all be for him, to get his stubborn butt into Heaven. Thank you Grandpa

Big D and I made the decision soon after the funeral that we would commit to going to Mass every Sunday. It was mostly for Miss and Lil D. Big D was not aware that I had a mission to get my Grandpa into Heaven. (If he was not there already) We were ready to take the responsibility of having children a step further. Not only seeing that their worldly needs were met, but also their spiritual needs. I had always known my children were gifts from God; I did not realize the magnitude of these gifts. How through these helpless little beings you can most definitely see Gods light shining through. I knew I had to get them on a path to God, I did not know they would play such a pivotal role in helping me along mine. My heart pours out much thanks to my sweet babies.

To be continued…

1 comment:

Ginny said...

I was very close to my grandmother and grandfather as well and still miss them so much even though they died more than a decade ago. My journey into the church was also a slow one with lots of little baby steps. I think the responsibility for my children's spiritual needs really motivated me as well.

p.s. I have worked my way up with the snakes. The small worm snakes aren't much more than worms so they are good for getting used to. From there it is easy to move on to getting used to garter snakes, green snakes, baby rat snakes etc. Having little boys has really changed me. I wasn't always this laid back!