My Hero

If I could sit down and have dinner with anyone person that is on this planet… Or has ever been on this planet I wouldn’t even take a millisecond to think about it. Johnny Depp! Actually scratch that. I wouldn’t want to eat in front of some one I idolize. Can you imagine pesto stuck in between my teeth in front of The Johnny Depp? Yikes. Okay, so in all seriousness, I’d choose my grandpa J. 

He was an orphan. He had a brother and a sister. They weren’t born in America, but I think they immigrated here when they were young. I really wish I could remember his siblings names, but for the life of me I can’t. 

He met my grandma at some point. I was never told the story. What I can tell you is that my grandpa LOVED my grandma. His love for my grandma puts Romeo to shame. His name was Joesph, but my grandma’s pet name for him was “Jay”. I think this made a real impression on my mom because that’s what she named her only son.

I think… when my mom was a kid, my grandpa was a teacher, maybe even a professor. I know his favorite subject was math. Can’t tell you how many math teasers he gave me to do. I was always impressed. My grandpa was very intelligent. I know he was also in the Navy. My mom told me that he was even a boxer. I didn’t know that part of his life until I saw the flag draped over his casket.

After my grandpa retired, he worked in a toll booth. He liked keeping busy, keeping his mind sharp, and he LOVED seeing people. He learned the word “Hello” in about 20 or so different languages just so he greet them on their level.

He was a very faithful and devote Catholic. Not only did he go to church on Sunday, but he went every day of the week that he was available. He lived, loved, and preached his love of God and Jesus. I may not feel the way he does, but his message of love lives on.

He knew hundreds of different prayers and novenas. I should explain that in the Roman Catholic Church you can pray to Saints annnnd… pray for all sorts of things. Lost your car keys? Say a prayer to Saint Anthony. One of these prayers my grandfather said involved a reward of a rose. You were suppose to say it 24 times and some how through the mysterious universe, you’d get a rose. Well, my grandpa said this prayer 24 times and no rose. He didn’t stop though. Every day for ages he said the prayer. One day when the prayer was no more than beloved poetry to him, a person stopping through the toll booth my grandpa worked at gave him a dozen red roses. How happy did that make him!!!

My grandpa lived far away, but he was there for me. When I was small he was Santa. When I was a teenager I got to fly on an airplane and stay with him. He always made me smile. 

He loved my grandma so much. He died almost exactly a year after she had passed away. He was 101. He had been away from her long enough.

At the funeral, it was the first time my kids got to see him (we lived so far away). His body was shipped up north so he could be buried in the family plot (my grandma was waiting). As my tiny toddler daughter said goodbye to a wonderful man she never got the chance to know, she saw something clutched in his hand. A beautiful beaded necklace, my grandpa’s rosary was a curious object that my daughter and another tiny second cousin wanted to hold. We had to tell the girls “No… And you must not touch” because my grandpa needed to be buried with those. The irony is, if he had been alive in that moment, he’d probably had given his rosary to them. That’s just the kind of person he was.

In honor of my amazing grandfather… here’s the prayer he loved so much 

The Twenty-four “Glory be to the Father’s” novena can be said at any time. However, the ninth to the seventeenth of the month is particularly recommended, for on those days the petitioner joins in prayer with all those making the novena.

The “Glory be to the Father” praising the Holy Trinity is said twenty-four times each of the nine days, in thanksgiving for all the blessings and favors given to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus during the twenty-four years of her life. In addition, this, or a similar prayer may be used:

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, I thank Thee for all the blessings and favors Thou hast showered upon the soul of Thy servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the twenty-four years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this Thy most beloved Saint, I beseech Thee to grant me this favor, if it is in accordance with Thy most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this Prayer, follow the twenty-four “Glory be to the Father’s,” between each of which may be included this short prayer:

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”


The Glory Be Prayer

Glory be to the Father,

and to the Son,

and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning,

is now, and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen.

3 thoughts on “My Hero”

  1. What a lovely tribute to your grandfather! His love lives on in you. And see his rose prayer worked, he got all the roses at one time!
    My goodness I pray to St. Anthony frequently…I’m always losing things!
    I did not know the Glory Be Novena…I will be sure and prayer it for you my friend.
    Our Mother of Perpetual Help is special to me. Hugs and prayers.

  2. Goddess, I can’t believe we have the same heart-throb! Johnny Depp especially in Pirates of the Carribean! I love him!
    On a more serious note, thank you for spelling out the novena for people who don’t know it. I was raised Presbyterian, and now am Charismatic, but I LOVE the Catholic church. The book I wrote was based on a Catholic novena. (The Beautiful Truth). I’ll tell you more when I have more time. Dental appointment this afternoon. Love you.

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