To my son Tommy,
I realize yesterday's letter was filled with a large amount of despair. In troubling times, we often find ourselves with these feelings. This letter today is inspired by today's Holy Mass and influenced by all the outpouring of loving gestures, big and small, near and far, that have come in, and encouraged by some responsive moments with your Grandpa Leo this very morning.
Many will look at your Grandfather Leo and say, "How sad. He is just a shell of what he used to be." They will compare their memories of then to what they see now. These people are looking with their eyes, yet they can't see.
"I once was blind, but now I see". Through God's mercy and grace, I have been taught to see with my heart and I see something very different. When I look at my father, I still see Christ's strength, a strength that your grandfather personified each and every day of his life. I now also see Christ's struggle. I see Christ's suffering. And most importantly, I see, or perhaps foresee, Christ's triumph over death and His promise for us to do the same.
As I look with my heart at those who share their love and prayers and care for your grandfather, I see them differently. I see them as caretakers, even if they aren't here changing his linens, or administering his medications. It could be a kind word. It could be a call or post. It could be a prayer or hug from afar. In all these actions, I see God's mercy. I see God's compassion. I see God's love. My father has become an instrument in which we can all receive God's saving grace and bear witness to such, as long as we look from our hearts.
I still don't understand death, and won't fully understand it until the day after I pass. This world will definitely be a little less when your Grandpa Leo finally passes. But this world is already immensely better off for him having lived. So when you look with your eyes, and fill with despair, and lose faith, stop and look with your heart and there you will find hope. There you will find Jesus. Perhaps there you will find the only true peace and comfort that can soothe you during times like this.
Sincerely with love from your dad,