After twenty years of replacing an assortment of parts under warranty, Sears finally gave in and replaced our old dishwasher. When the good folks at Sears sold us that warranty, I’m sure they didn’t realize they would be rebuilding the unit about ten times over. The best Christine can figure it, they could have put in three dishwashers for what they’ve spent on this one over the past two decades.
True to their word, they arrived at the appointed hour, which is a complete surprise nowadays. After installing the new unit, they hauled away the old one, now destined to the Sears Antique Museum of Dishwashers.
Our installation guy offered to haul off the huge box the new unit came in but my grandbabies Ashley and Ava would have none of that. These girls may only be four and six but they have the imaginations and ingenuity of adults.
We never throw out boxes at our house. If they’re small enough to reuse, the little woman stores them in the garage. If they’re too big, they are squirreled away to the grandbabies room, where they are transformed into caves, houses, stoves, automobiles and the occasional space shuttle.
Ava and Ashley decided to make this box their new house. They recruited grandma to help with the renovations. Since I married my carpenter, she is well equipped to make all the necessary renovations. Besides being a talented and gifted nurse by education, she’s wise enough not to let me near sharp instruments.
She proceeded to cut out the windows and install the doors of the new house. The girls crawled in, giggling and laughing at their new found gift. When I arrived home, they were both inside the box. I decided to sneak up on them and shake the box, creating an earthquake affect.
After five minutes of giggling and laughter, I grew tired of shaking the box. Ashley poked her head out and wanted to know where Mr. Earthquake Man went. And such was the way things went in the new earthquake box.
I never cease to be amazed at the imaginations of these precious children and how profoundly sad I would be if anything ever happened to them.
I was delivering a eulogy for a fellow member of the Knights of Columbus recently. It was the week of the murder of some 20 tiny children at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT. This brother Knight lived nine decades and was married to the same woman for 63 years, but they never had children.
I thought to myself how sad it was that he had never experienced the pure joy that I get from being around Ava and Ashley. As I spoke words of solace to his bride and the scores of people who came to say goodbye, I was reminded again of the horrible deaths of the 20 precious children.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a child or a grandchild. My mother-in-law, Rita Thiel, buried two children and a grandchild.
The courage and fortitude that one must possess to get through that is beyond me. I felt the same helplessness in eulogizing her children that I felt in saying goodbye to my friend.
While he had enjoyed almost a century of life on earth, he never experienced the love of a grandchild. Conversely, he never suffered through the loss of one either.
To ignore the deaths of the 20 children while eulogizing a life of a man who had lived a long and fruitful life was almost like ignoring the elephant in the room, as the old saying goes.
As I paid the necessary respect to the fallen brother Knight, it occurred to me that he would be arriving at heaven’s pearly gates at the same time as those 20 precious souls.
I told the assembled members of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, “Fear not you cherished children for there is a kind and gentle man who awaits you at heaven’s gates. He will hold your hand and guide you along God’s path.”
They will forever be in our hearts and in our prayers.