My Grandfather died sometime around the last New Moon.
He was my surrogate father, and provider of much Sun in my life.
Big Frank carried a strong presence, albeit with a penchant for being stoic,
and was a bit of the strong silent type.
Then again, the brother was a gifted storyteller.
As a first generation Italian-American,
I think about how these qualities helped him successfully assimilate
into mainstream American culture
But he was proud of his roots, and never forgot them.
Later in life, he became more pursuant of exploring their historical depth.
A dear friend expressed to me recently that
he was there when I needed him, and he had me too.
Authentic relationships are based on reciprocity.
Before he left this Earth, he talked about looking forward to
whatever his “new program” would look like.
He wondered what it would be like, in the spirit realm –
what loved ones he might see to greet him there,
and other related inquisitive sentiments about making this transition.
His attitude about viewing every day as a gift was inspirational.
I remember when I was a kid, and I learned that he was
orphaned before he became an adult.
That parallel connection has helped me get through my own troubled times.
As such, he shared with me that he never thought he’d make it past 40 –
on account of the plight of his parents dying young.
I believe that trauma motivated him to play every down like it was his last.
But not without investing in a sound long-term game plan.
My Grandpa was 47 when I was born,
and was given a second chance at fatherhood.
He taught me some of the positive aspects of the old school.
I liked hearing his mantras about not believing that
anybody else is better or worse than you.
He was a good role model about sucking it up, and to keep on trucking,
in spite of whatever obstacles you have to overcome.
I do feel sad about the loss that the void of
a loved one who passes on leaves behind.
But I also look forward to having a deeper and higher spiritual relationship
with him as we make forward progress on the playing field together.
And I wish that way of looking at it for others who survive their
friends and relations who have left them behind.
Yeah, abandonment is traumatic. It is painful to digest,
and often not without suffering.
Yet there is great joy in focusing on the good memories, and
celebrating a soul’s release from its entanglement with form.
Seems pragmatic to relax our entanglements while
we are still breathing, and living in this realm.
When they made this guy, they really broke the mold.
He wasn’t without his faults because he was a human being.
But he was a good role model, especially with his humility, and wisdom.
The dying process, like moving from one residence to another location –
seems like everyone has their own unique way of going about it.
Although we called him Chronos, Grandfather took his time with this change.
But during most of his years, he was the epitome of running the
hurry up offense, to use an American football metaphor.
If you weren’t five minutes early, then you were five minutes late.
He was notorious for pacing, and jingling his keys when waiting impatiently
I’ve often joked with folks about how he would’ve really struggled with
that reality in the business of Public Education.
His progressive embodiment about how the competitive business world should
embody fairness, honesty and integrity still makes too much sense to me.
In any organization, everybody in it, should be valued and appreciated.
I know that has informed my work as a social worker in Public Schools.
A child might be identified as Special Education, Gifted and Talented,
Vocational, College Bound, privileged, homeless or living in poverty . . .
Their parents could be pillars of the community, mentally ill, incarcerated,
lost a job, divorced, or dealing with addiction . . .
The point is that if we are family, or strangers out in the street,
we all need to look out for each other.
We are the General Welfare that the Preamble to our Constitution speaks of.
Good workers, make a boss look good – Grandpa was outspoken about that.
When questioned about his politics about life,
he emphasized that he felt thankful for having an attitude of feeling satisfied –
regardless of what setbacks or good fortune were in the cards dealt to you.
Ciao Old Buddy – looking forward to hearing stories
about your new program development!