"What would a favorite deceased relative be doing or saying if he or she were with you right now? "
Every time I see a ‘piece of Dad’ within one of my children or my brother or a family member’s mannerisms or actions I smile quietly to myself and I think that Dad would be pleased.
I cannot quite imagine what Dad would be doing if he had lived to see retirement. I cannot imagine him being still. I can’t envision him incapacitated by his health or body and idly watching life go by. In my mind, if Dad couldn't have lived the life the way that he was accustomed to living it, I don’t think he would have been content...
Yet, when I heard of the times that his brothers got together and enjoyed some winter vacations down South, I can picture him in the midst of his family and fully relishing that time (though I do see arguments about who was paying for what, as that seemed to be the norm among Dad and his siblings - they are generous to a fault and never wanted to have someone pay their way).
As different as my grandpa and his mother-in-law (my great grandma) were, the common thread that I hear between the two of them is the importance of family. “Never lose touch” was the essence of the message that she told one of my uncles when he was a child. I have heard that it was very important to Grandpa that his sons forge partnerships among themselves and stay connected.
I think of the ways that Grandpa would be pleased to see the way his sons rallied around and supported Grandma after he died. I think of the closeness that has reached out far beyond his seven sons and touched the generations beyond them and I think that Grandpa would be so pleased to watch over his family and feel what we feel when (we manage to) get together.
I cannot help but think of the connections that my uncle has made in his life. Whenever I speak with him, he seems to mention in passing, a friendship that has weathered the test of time, distance and change. Not just one friendship. Many. Those who reach out and touch my uncle's life are given the gift of having him reciprocate that contact. He makes you feel unique and special no matter who you are. He listens to you when you speak. He senses what is important to you and he speaks back to you in a language that tells you that he ‘gets’ you. I cannot help but wonder of the impact of the time that he spent with his grandmother … and if she could be watching over him right now, that she would be pleased to see how he took her lessons and words to heart and lived them.
I think that every time we do something that we know in our heart is something that would please a parent or grandparent, we sense a little heavenly ‘wink’ from beyond. I often wonder what Dad would say if ‘he could see us now’ and I live a lot of my life accordingly.
I hope that we have done you proud...