Friday, May 4, 2012

The Life of a Gardener

My grandfather, Jerome DeBellis. (1923-2012) I was really waiting for a good time to sit down and blog about him. Well now that the semester is over with and I am up waiting to put some clothes into the dryer, I have the time to sit here and blog.
I was with my family in the final moments of my grandfather's life this past weekend in Austin, TX. It wasn't exactly pleasant (I mean the circumstances anyway), but it's the way I have always known my family to be. My grandfather sat at the head of the table with his hands crossed over his chest (muttering under his breath in Italian) for people to come over to the table to eat. My family (my mom's side) revolves around food. I can remember being with my family that entire weekend doing nothing but eating. To give you an idea of how serious of a matter food is to an Italian family, I will tell you this story. We had ordered pizza on Sunday afternoon (the day my grandfather died), and I later learned from my mom that the pizzeria owner had become friends with my Nonno (that's Italian for Grandpa), so my mom went inside the pizza place the following day to tell the man that he had died. How incredible is that.
I talk about food in this post because I received something special. I had told my family I would try to grow vegetables. My grandfather was a PASSIONATE gardener, and had a love for vegetables, especially tomatoes. So I took a tomato plant from the garden. It's actually 2 different ones. One is yellow cherry and the other is Roma. I am so overwhelmed by this joy of honoring him, I find myself choking up every time I see the plant sitting on my back porch as I leave and come into my house each day. I plan to grow those tomatoes and eventually give the seeds to anyone who wants to grow them. It is a legacy I hope to honor my grandfather with. I would love to be able to do that. Remember the ones that love you...looking back on his life, I wish there could have been more time, to try to get to know my grandfather better. He wasn't always the kindest of people, but he is still my grandfather and still loved me. That's what matters the most. He lived 88 years...he fathered 4 children, those children produced 7 grandchildren, 4 of those grandchildren (including myself) are married, and of those 4 married grandchildren, 2 of them had children, and he had 5 great-grandchildren as a result. Death is a part of who we are, it is inevitable, and we will face the judgment seat of God one of these days. Christ is our Savior, but he is also the great judge. I remember reading for the final I just had over the theology of John, and in this final, we talked about "The Lamb", well the Lamb has been slain and we can rejoice in him. Think on that in the days ahead. I promise more "positive" and "happy" things are coming soon. GRACE AND PEACE! -Joel Psalm 37:4

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