by Pa Rock
All of Gail's kids and mine are in Noel tonight, and this evening I met Judah, my newest grandson! He is such a sweet baby! And Sebastian is so friendly. He asks me to pick him up and take him outside - so he can play in the snow - or upstairs so he can jump on the bed! We also tossed a big blue ball back and forth! Boone is here, and he been very helpful in walking around with Sebastian and telling him about things.
Here are a couple of stories about Dad's good Hispanic friends:
Manuel is from Mexico. Ten years ago he bought Dad's big commercial building and opened a Mexican market that has become very successful. He and Dad have been good friends over the years, and he has been a regular visitor in Dad's home. He also taught him to appreciate certain Mexican foods. Manuel had been in Mexico and had not heard that Dad passed away. Today he came to the house for a visit, and was met at the door by my niece Heidi who was here alone. She told him that her Granddad had died, and he began crying. She finally invited him into the house in order to calm him. Tonight Manuel, his father, and two of the workers at their store came to visitation, and Manuel and his dad were two of the very last to leave.
Juan and Alma Garza and their children came to visitation tonight. After they had been there awhile Juan came up and asked if they could place a rosary in Dad's hands. I told them they could. Later a friend came up to Gail and said, "I didn't know your father was Catholic." Gail replied that he wasn't, and then she was shown the rosary. When she asked me I told her about my conversation with Juan. We decided that since they were good friends, we would honor that friendship by letting him be buried holding the rosary.
Juan asked me if he could be allowed to give Dad's yard it's first mow this spring out of respect. He had often helped Dad with the mowing in the past.
Two years ago Noel had a terrible ice storm, and half of the town was without electricity for nearly a week. Dad's house is immense - easily the largest in town. His electricity did not go out, and he invited a large Hispanic family in to stay with him during the outage. They cooked and helped out, and he enjoyed the active company.
I am proud of the way that our dad opened his house and his heart to our new Hispanic neighbors. Not everyone in this community has been that welcoming - and that is their loss.