View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dad's Rosary

A few years back, youngest daughter was trying to come up with a gift for her grandfather (my Dad). Somehow, the idea of a rosary came up, so she got him one.

He loved it. The rosary is one of the things that goes into his shirt pocket every day. He's at that stage where ALL his shirts have to have a pocket, into which always goes the rosary, his cell phone, a comb, and a small American flag that frequently threatens to poke him in the eye.

He used to say the rosary occasionally, though it was mostly just fingering it while someone else said the prayers. These days, he just takes it out every now and then to show to people and to say with a smile his granddaughter gave it to him.

One time when I arrived for my weekly visit he was agitated. He could not find the rosary. I had to search though every drawer until I found it. He was relieved, looked at it, then stuffed it into the bulging pocket.

Dad has a few other treasures in his room. The picture of my oldest daughter's wedding (he was unable to attend); the picture of the aircraft carrier he served on; the picture of me dressed as Santa's "helper" on my throne at the mall holding a small girl; a picture of my brother, dead now some 26 years; photos of a few other relatives; and multiple pictures of my mother. Sometimes I come into the room quietly and find him sitting in his wheelchair just staring in the direction of one of those pictures.

Each week we write out a few checks for bills, I show him his latest bank statement or give him his most recent Legion magazine, he tells me what he had for his for breakfast or lunch, or that they had a Mass or church services at the home in the last couple of days. I tell him news about the girls, my job, my wife. He often makes some passing comment about mom - "She was quite a lady." "Fifty good years." He mentions bingo or card games at the home, and sometimes he proudly presents me with some Christmas-related small statuette or stuffed animal he won that he's sure I would like.

Then we run out of things to say.

We have, however, fallen into the routine of playing cards again. Euchre. We used to play cards when I was young. He used to win most most of the time. These days, I win more often than he does. Sometimes he forgets what he made trump, or that it's his turn. But he still loves to play. So we play, the games providing topics for conversation. Your turn. Pick it up. Good hand. You got me.

And every now and then, sometimes totally out of the blue, he will mention the rosary, touch his pocket, and smile.



Blogger Lee Strong said...

A happy note - I was over at the home today, and they do have regular weekly rosaries. My dad goes when he is feeling well enough.

4:58 PM  

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