UP Catholic 05 26 2017 E Edition Page 16

16 May 26, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC TWILIGHT www.upcatholic.org W hen my great-grand- mother was 86 and I was 10, I was blessed to live near her and hear her stories of life in the past. It was just four years prior that Neil Armstrong irst set foot on the moon, and she would tell of her fami- ly moving from the St. Louis area to Northeast Arkansas in a wagon pulled by an ox. At that time kids were able to roam freely, and quite often I would ride my bike the mile from our house to hers during the next few summers while she was alive. Sister Angeline, my fourth grade teacher, gave our class some good advice. She said we should explore and have fun as wed never again have as much freedom and as few responsi- bilities as we did then. I took that advice to heart and with the grace of God and youth made it through childhood without any broken bones. As the teenage years brought more responsibility I cut quite a few lawns to make a few dol- lars and did errands for people. One of those was Aunt Katie, my grandfathers aunt. Im not sure how old Aunt Katie was, but she lived alone in her little four-room house with a prized hy- drangea outside her bedroom window. I was to carefully mow around the shrub and occasionally do some supervised pruning. Aunt Katie was one of those little old ladies shaped like a top, yet she could bob over and pick up a pin offthe floor. I learned to help her when she needed help and to let her do for herself when she could. A decade later a co-worker was telling me that his grandmother was battling dementia, bedridden and un- able to do anything for herself. He was pained because, in his words, she had lost her dignity. Work interrupt- ed the conversation and to this day I regret never picking it up again. I wish that I had shared with him a different perspective on the situation, and perhaps helped him see things differ- ently. From our first moment in our mothers womb we are cre- ated in the image and likeness of God. It doesnt matter what weve done, are doing or will do, we are created in the image and likeness of God. Hows that for dignity? From before time began, for all eternity, God has known each of us and wants us to have eternal life with him. Thats dignity. Knowing for all eternity the failings we would each have, he gave us our free will, became one of us in the person of Jesus Christ, has borne the weight of our sins and offers us forgive- ness. We just have to accept it using our free will. Thats dignity. My mother had suffered through cancer, on and off, for many years. She united her suf- ferings with those of Jesus for her family and others. I have no doubt that her offering brought many graces to me and others. The last time around we thought she might have a fight- ing chance. Then she fell. And just like that we learned the cancer had taken an aggressive turn. In a short time, I (along with other relatives) became a caregiver to the woman who had changed my diapers. She was unable to do anything for herself, and entered eternal life just a couple weeks later. And she died with dignity. Our 124th Year Canale Tonella Funeral Home, Inc 906-226-2711 526 N. Third Street Marquette, MI Canale Gwinn Funeral Home 906-346-4000 96 E. Stephenson, Avenue Gwinn, MI Mark Canale, Jerry Pennock & Charli Lynn Peters - Directors canalefuneral.com Canale & Pennock Funeral Service (906) 485-1500 123 W Barnum Street Ishpeming, MI Serving both sides of the river! Funeral Home "Serving the Area Since 1927" 549 Tenth Avenue Menominee, MI 49858 906-863-3227 cadieufh@att.net Jim Dellisse - Manager Gary Cadieu Dignity isn't achieved, it's God-given HERE AM I John Fee

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