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Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Moment in Time

One of my shared items over there on the left is my sister's thoughts on the passing of my grandfather this past weekend.

I have been slow to write about it, trying to collect my thoughts and share with you what matters to me most as my family goes through this moment.

And then my brother called on Tuesday night. Thanks be to god, not being one of his pregnant sisters (heh) with little children, he was able to fly down to Peru and attend my grandfather's funeral. He called to share with me everything he saw and felt that day. As I listened to him, explaining with beautiful detail, clarity and emotion I knew in an instant that I had indeed been there in spirit. I knew how close my parents and my brother held all the family in their hearts as they experienced the solemn and honorable military funeral that seemed to fit everything that was good and admirable about my grandfather. He loved his country and was always so very proud of the service he gave to it as a general in the army. He taught his grandchildren to love Peru. As much as I am proud and pleased to be an American, I will always carry the same pride in being Peruvian. He loved his family, and for 22 years since her death, he continued carrying the love of his life, my grandmother Teresa, in his heart. He loved his Church and every year processed in one the biggest processions in South American in honor of Our Lord of the Miracles. It was touching to hear that the fellow members of the society that honors Our Lord of the Miracles paid their respects to him this weekend.

Of course I have my own memories. I can still hear him, how he sounded when he would say my name. I remember the sound of his laugh. I remember vaguely how I needed to go to the bathroom when we went to a circus in the middle of Lima. It was just the two of us and let's just say that a good clean bathroom in the middle of Lima is somewhat impossible. I remember how happy he was when Claudia and I were learning to ride horses. His father had been in the cavalry and my grandfather himself was a an excellent rider.

The variety of lives he touched was amazing, from his siblings, his driver (a soldier himself who had been assigned to my grandfather for over15 years, calling him a good man would be a gross understatement, he loved my grandfather), nieces and nephews, to his classmates at the military academy so many years ago. And my father. One day I will ask him what he said. Like my sister, I couldn't bring myself to ask just yet.

But in the end, what has struck me most was that call from my brother. I don't know that I can even tell you adequately what an exquisite moment in time it was for me, or even if I want to. It was something so blessed and special, I am relishing pondering it over and over in my heart. It captured everything that I know is good and loving about my family, everything that I loved about my grandfather.

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