Today we went to the funeral of a much-loved member of our congregation. Turkey, in particular, was saddened by Joe’s passing. You see, while catechesis at our church is open to all members of the congregation, regardless of age, Joe was the only adult, other than parents, who faithfully attended every week. And, during his two years of catechesis, Turkey noted this. He told me on more than one occasion that he wanted to follow Joe’s example when he is an adult, and keep learning about the Bible with his own children someday.
On our way home from the service, we were talking about what a faithful example Joe was, and how, while we’re happy for him, we’re sad that we’ve lost him from our midst. It was at this point that Turkey told us that he was going to name his first son after Joe. I told him that I thought Joe was a fine name, and that would be a very nice tribute, but he didn’t stop there. He said that his first son would also have Joe’s last name as his middle name. It was quite possibly the sweetest thing he could have said.
I don’t know if Turkey will remember this conversation when he’s an adult, but I will. It proved what a huge impact an 85 year-old saint can have on a nine-year-old boy, and I am thankful for the years we knew Joe and had the chance to learn from his example!