"Eddie" is my beloved grandma, who died last yeat just after her 90th birthday. I was too pregnant to travel to her funeral, which crushed me. She taught me how to play cards when I was very young, and she patiently allowed me to beat the snot out of her every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and summer vacation for about 20 years. (We never got to get serious about bridge, though, because we didn't have sufficient numbers of partners). I was a social butterfly and party animal in high school and college, but all invites were turned down if Grandma was in town. When we interred her ashes last summer, my b-i-l, a marble and stone guy, made her a little casket just so we could place a mini bottle of Jim Beam, a crossword puzzle, and a deck of well worn cards in with her. I was the only one in the family who knew of those last wishes - and I made damn sure I honored those promises I made to her as a teenager.
What saddens me most about her death was that she fell away from the Faith during WWII and was too angry to come back, even as the end approached. My biological grandfather left her, my mom, and uncle for a French field nurse he met while overseas during the war. Instead of reuniting with her husband at the end of the war, she received divorce papers instead. She remarried in the early 1950's and had two more sons with Bob, my late grandpa. Her parish priest "excommunicated" her (I know, I know...) and would not allow her to set foot in the church. Annulments were expensive and near-impossible to obtain back then. She spent the rest of her life angry and feeling not good enough/unwanted by the Church, which was a terrible blow to the family. My great-grandmother's family was an extremely devout French-Canadian family (parishioners of Ste Anne de Beaupre for over 100 years until she married and emigrated to the USA), and my great-grandmother was devastated by what transpired, both the divorce and the subsequent, less-than charitable treatment of my grandmother. She ensured that my mom and her brothers attended Catholic school and brought them to Mass each week so she could pray for my grandma while simultaneously glaring daggers at that parish priest in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.
So please offer a prayer for Eddie and the peaceful repose of her soul at Mass on Sunday, and for her mother, my great-grandma Anna Trudeau Linton, who kept the Faith alive in the family.
And again, Stephanie...THANK YOU!!!