I don't even know what to say. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for all your love, prayers, support, and hugs! I have been counting you all among my abundance of blessings the past few days. I cannot even tell you in words just how much it meant to me. I tried to respond to each and every one of your comments to extend my thanks. I could not reply to all as some do not accept replies. So to those of you I could not respond to directly, thank you thank you thank you. I am overwhelmed with all your support!
Grandpa passed Friday evening. I could not be there as I had to be home with the kids. The hospital was asking healthy kids to stay away due to the H1N1. I don't think CuddleBug would have handled it well anyway. But I was home with them so that DH could be at the hospital with his grandfather and his family.
I can say that the time I did get to spend in the hospital with Grandpa was incredible! It really makes you think about your life and your priorities and what you want for yourself when you are living out your last moments. Grandpa's very best friend, Sister Suzanne (a wonderful nun and family friend), has been helping the dying through their last hours for 40+ years. She said very sincerely last night as everyone gathered to pray the Rosary that she had never seen so many people, so much love, and so much faith in one room in all those 40 years. This family is amazing, and everyone's love for one another and their love for Grandpa is an inspiration! He didn't live his life for wealth or material goods. He lived his life for Jesus Christ and for family. Nothing made him more joyful than to celebrate the mass daily, to welcome a new baby into the family, or to have any excuse to get as many family members together as possible! I hope I will have that much love around me when I'm dying. But you don't get that by living for stuff. Stuff doesn't hold vigil by your hospital bed for 48 hours. It doesn't weep when you are lifted up to God. Stuff doesn't care. And Grandpa didn't care about stuff. Though Grandpa was blessed with financial freedom, he gave as much away as he could to charity and to family. There is currently a senior housing project under construction in Dardenne Prairie, MO that is being build on land Grandpa donated to the archdiocese. That complex will be named St. William Apartments (St. William being Grandpa's namesake). Every Christmas Eve Grandpa had a wrapped gift for every single one of his children, their spouses, his grandchildren and their spouses, and his great-grandchild in addition to a cash gifts for all as well. Grandpa sent grandkids to college when their parents couldn't afford it, and he donated as much as he could every year to charity - sometimes exceeding one million dollars (though he never talked about it, he was unbelievably humble). When John and I were in a bind after we moved to St Louis and we had trouble with housing arrangements, Grandpa let us stay rent free in a house he usually rented out. Grandpa lived his life in service to God and in service to everyone around him. And that is why the people in his hospital room poured out into the hallway, and his grandchildren all over the world caught the first flights home as soon as word got out that he was going to Jesus.
The world is not going to be the same without him and his incredible generosity. But there are now well over 40 grandchildren that will carry on his spirit of laughter, life, love, faith, and generosity. That's a pretty big impact for one person to have. I hope I will have half that impact on the world.
I apologize if my entry is heavy. My heart is heavy. And these are the things that are on my mind.
I am going to leave you with info for a giveaway. Because I hate to think I'm leaving anyone else with a heavy heart. So...
There is a fun giveaway here for some lovely quilting goodies. I am getting into quilting (because I really have so much time for another craft *sarcasm*) and I am hoping to get my hands on one of these goodies!! Maybe you will too!
Huge hugs to everyone! I promise my next entries won't be so somber. Stay tuned, because I have a giveaway of my very own coming up!
Thank you for your prayers!!!!!!!
All the Projects Update
6 hours ago