We're nearing the end of November. Advent is approaching which means that Christmas is near. I love our Catholic tradition of honouring our beloved dead for the whole month of November. I love the providential overlap of Remembrance Day falling in this month. I love that the weather is so often suitably gloomy to help us feel reflective. I love the feeling of hibernation setting in, the sense of needing to prepare for dark days ahead.
I've been thinking about my dad a lot lately - natural considering what I wrote above. Also, there is an older gentleman who comes to the library who wears a hat much like Pop did, and sounds quite a lot like him, too. He also has the same impatience my dad had when it comes to things being more complicated then he thinks they ought to be. I had to hide behind the stacks yesterday after he left because his crotchitiness made me weepy. I wanted to hug his cranky self as if he were standing in proxy to my dad.
A year ago my mom's mother passed away. As testament of God's grace, Oma was baptised shortly before her death and received full Catholic rites. This week Opa died. He had a complicated relationship with faith and the Church, but once again God's merciful love is providing us great comfort in knowing Opa, too, will receive a proper Catholic burial.
There is comfort, too, in knowing that my dear family members are the recipents of the prayers of many many people - even from people they never knew. Their names are written into the book of life, which makes me realize that they belong to a family greater than our own - our beautiful rituals remind me of that. For example, at every Mass when we pray for the faithful departed, my dad, my oma and opa are included. When you pray for the poor souls in purgatory, my loved ones may very well be among them. I am ever so grateful for that; thank you, and God bless you.