St. Joe

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Today is the feast of St. Nicholas. In our family there is another feast we quietly celebrate and that is the feast of St. Joe, my grandpa. :) My grandpa died December 6, 1998. He lived life to the fullest and was a very holy man. He loved his wife, seven children, their spouses and grandchildren very much. He went to Mass every day and always preached the Gospel with his actions. He was a successful business man, but he worked very hard and never let the success get to him. He always gave back. I think it is so special that God decided to take him home on the feast of St. Nicholas. He was our living St. Nicholas. Grandpa especially loved Christmas. I have memories of him walking around in his santa hat and making us laugh. He kind of had that hohoho laugh as well. He loved having the family together and I know he loved bringing us to Christmas Eve Mass. After mass we would go back to their house with some of our cousins and the girls would sleep in the dining room under the table and the boys would sleep on the floor in my grandparents room. My brother would actually sleep in between my grandparents in their bed! :) We were only with them every other Christmas, but when it was their year we loved the time spent with Grandpa, Grandmommie, and all of our cousins.

When Grandpa was on his deathbed in the hospital, he had Grandmommie and all of his children around him. The grandkids were in the nearby waiting room because of lack of space. They were praying the rosary and as he was taking his last breaths he said, "the gates are open" and then he was gone. But he was not gone for good. His spirit, like St. Nicholas, lives on, especially this time of year. One of the things I have of his is actually his santa hat. Today Dan was promoting a Christmas event at school and he wore Grandpa's hat. His spirit even lives on through my husband and they never were able to meet in this life. God is good.

St Nicholas, pray for us!
St Joe, pray for us!

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