This morning I had the sad duty of attending my fathers' sister funeral.What makes this truly sad is she is the last sibling of a family of 10 children.
My aunt Deloris,who had just turned 80, was mentally retarded and for most of her life lived as a 7 year old,but with less language skills.
Today while sitting in my pew at St Mary,looking at her small black box,she had been cremated, I noticed that her family picture was sitting behind her.
All the children as one no one married yet but several in nun uniforms,it reminded me of how truly sad it was that each of those young people were now gone to the ages.We few cousins who made it now represented what was left of my fathers side of the family and how sad it was that we were all the next generation,alone as orphans.
My grandparents were poor French Canadian people.They owned nothing not even their home.They raised 10 children with what they grew on the farm,they rented and the money my grandfather earned working nights in a factory.
My grandfather was a very stern strick person and demanded his family be respectful and hard working.
My Grandmother was a very religious person who helped raise her children with religious values which they in turn passed on to us.
After the service we went to the cemetery,my aunt in her little black box waiting to be in turned,we gazed upon the grave site of my grandparents and now two of their daughters,their names etched in grey marble.
One of my cousins remarked, as we looked down on the head stone, that my grandfather gave up smoking his pipe and saved his weekly allotment he would have spent on tobacco to buy this lovely headstone for his wife and daughters.That's the kind of man he was he cared very much for his family.
Its funny when I think of my grandfather the thing I remember most about him is his smoking a pipe and the smell of his cherry tobacco.
To this day when every I smell pipe tobacco it always gives me that warm feeling that he is around me.I always wished I could have had one of his pipes for a keep sake.
As we stood by awaiting prayer for my aunt I mentioned how much my Grandfather loved modern technology,he was born in 1890 and just marvelled at all the new gagets he could find.No sooner did I say those words and my cousin cell phone rang.
If I do say so my self this next generation has turned out pretty well.We own homes,cars,have families and are still pretty close to each other.Each of us ready to assist the others in times of need.So I guess my grandparents did a pretty good job with their children and we in turn are spreading what we were taught from our parents and grandparents on to our children and that is our legacy to them.