All Saints Day

For the first time, my family is celebrating All Saints Day at home.  In the past, we’ve had a small taste of this oft forgotten holiday when the choir sang a special hymn during the church service and names of departed loved ones were printed in the bulletin.  But this year, we are remembering the saints who have gone before us in our own little way.  My five-year-old loves to ask questions about our family and flip through our albums of photographs, so today we will be looking at the images that I treasure most.

These are my Dad’s parents at our wedding in 2001.  Grandma is still doing well.  In fact, we celebrated her 80th birthday this weekend.  We lost Papa a few years ago.  He was a faithful Christian.  He was a soft spoken barber who believed strongly in integrity and hard work.  He was a World War II navy veteran.

This is my Grandma Sunny, my Mom’s Mom.  Grandma Sunny…I don’t even know what to say.  So much of my memory of everything is wrapped up in her.  She went to Heaven just short of three months after this photograph was taken in August 2001.  She was an amazing cook, a fabulous knitter, a kind, feisty soul.  I miss her every single day. 

Here is Grandma Sunny and my Mom’s Dad, Papa.  They are the couple on the left.  They met in Belgium at the end of World War II.  Papa was an American soldier stationed there.  They are in their early twenties in this picture.

This is Papa again in an undated photo at the bowling alley, but I’m guessing that it’s from the early 1980s.  Papa passed away unexpectedly when I was a junior in college.  It was a terrible shock.  Papa was a very, very quiet man, and he was intelligent and gentle.  A sweet man.  He seemed to know something about everything.  He loved my Gram.  He loved her food!

I am in love with this picture.  My Mom found it not long ago, and we were both absolutely charmed by it.  Grandma Sunny is to the right, and my Great Aunt Phyllis is to the left.  We have no idea where the puppies came from, but aren’t they cute?

I do not have photographs of my husband’s loved ones who are gone.  Maybe I’ll ask his Mom for some pictures to have in our home as we teach our boys about the family who raised Mommy and Daddy.  I do, however, have this little yarn corsage that my hubby’s maternal grandmother made.  I never met her, but I know that she was a very special person in Cory’s life.  She always bought him the purple Swedish fish because they were his favorite.  She worked in the school cafeteria, and she made him a special pb & j on spaghetti days because she knew he didn’t like spaghetti.

Who will you remember today?

9 thoughts on “All Saints Day

  1. Shelley

    Oh Erica! I’m sitting here in tears! Good ones and sad ones. Thank you for sharing those pics! The pic with Gram and Papa with that other couple…I have the pic that goes with that one. That’s where I got the pic I had gave all of you.

    I am remembering the same saints you are. 🙂 Like I do all the time, but this time…I will commit myself to only thinking good not what I lost…but the memories, love, and lessons learned from those whom I loved most.

    Love you sweets!

  2. Hi, Shelley. This post was hard to write. I felt proud and happy to share the photos, but at the same time, I just want Gram and both Papas back. Love certainly doesn’t fade, does it?

    1. Shelley

      I know it was hard. It was kinda hard to read and look. I so yearn for them at times. Especially lately. And I know you feel the same…so much we would be sharing with them. You said the right things, Erica. Even if I didn’t know your family…by reading this…I feel the warmth of their unconditional love. You captured their very character. It’s easy..isn’t it…to share about those you love with all your heart. But hard to contain our emotions at the same time. Our grandparents were and are a part of who we are today…a big part! I thank God for them numerous times a day. Love does not fade away, that is for sure. And neither does theirs. They are loving us from above and most likely waiting for us with open arms. I look forward to that day. 🙂

      Okay, enough said…I’m about to lose it. LOL

      Love ya,

  3. Catriona

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us Erica – I have never observed All Saints Day and really only had a hazy idea of what it was all about. What a lovely tradition – and such a nice way to tell your boys about those that you have loved and lost.

  4. This is a great idea for all saints day. I hope we can do something this evening with the boys. Oh, and I love the fabric (is it fabric?) behind the photos!

  5. Mary Ann G

    Erica….we were away last week so I am catching up with your writings from last week. I absoultely loved this one….being Catholic, we always celebrated All Saints Day in church, however, teaching your boys about all their family “saints” that have passed is priceless. You are a very special “mother”.

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