Saturday, June 30, 2018

Please continue to pray for Phil Blahut.  I haven’t heard how things have gone for him since being admitted to the hospital; I’m hoping to catch up with either his wife or another close friend of his this weekend at Mass.

As you know there was no post yesterday.  My life has been very busy lately and I would not change anything that has gone on in the past few days.  I may have been too tired to blog yesterday morning but for good reason.

My youngest brother Jay is in town with his beautiful family and on Thursday night we were going to get together to play a round of golf, then grab our kids and hit the driving range for a longest drive contest.  Mother Nature kind of put the kibosh to that with some rather nasty weather on Thursday in St. Louis, so we headed to the bowling alley instead.  We had a great time bowling and in the final frame of the final game, my brother Jay and my son Richard were tied at 114.  Richard was first up and threw a strike, ensuring him at least two more roles.  He barely missed a second strike but picked up the spare and a final score of 134.  Jay stepped up knowing what needed to be done, threw his ball down the lane and turned to face everyone – EVERYONE – in the bowling alley and made a little (little – BIG) dance gesture just as his ball hit the pins – problem was he left the 10 pin standing.  He picked up the spare and knew he had to throw a strike to tie Richard, anything less would have lost the game.  He was a little more humble on this roll down the lane but picked up the strike to finish with a score of 134.  Everyone in the place went nuts.  When I say everyone – it was the 9 of us and the lady behind the counter who had to keep the place open – unknowingly, I think we got there about 30 seconds before she was going to lock up and go home.  Nevertheless, it was an epic finish and we had a great time.  Headed to BDUBS to celebrate the night – long story short, it was 12:30AM before I got to bed that night.  I had to be up for 5AM in order to hit the road for Brentwood, TN for the funeral Mass of Jim Schmidt.

Wow, what a beautiful day yesterday.  Please don’t think I’m strange, but I love attending a funeral Mass, especially for someone as special as Jim was.  The Mass for the Catholic faith is the source and summit of all we do, so there is really nothing more beautiful than to thank our Lord for the time Jim was here with us and blessed our lives and at the same time, commend his soul back to our Loving Father in heaven.

Our family was very close to Jim, Kari, Lauren, Mike(y) and Taylor when we were all together at Gateway Academy.  Jim was the athletic director at Gateway and was a very key player in two of my children getting the college athletic scholarships they received.  That wasn’t the only reason we were close.  Jim was a great man who always thought of others before himself and his beautiful wife and children were the same way – he, they, were a family that you just wanted to be around because you always felt at home with them.  (I will tell that the Mike(y) I knew from a few years ago was a much wilder version than the one I reunited with yesterday.  Preceding every response to my questions was “Yes, sir” or “No, sir” and just a calm, cool and collected young man.)  As much as I thought I knew who Jim was, when his siblings offered their eulogies at the Mass, I learned so much more about the man and how important family was to him.  I also need to mention how impressed I was with Kari and the children and the strength they had yesterday in welcoming us all, spending time with everyone who came to offer their sympathy and respect.  I can’t imagine (nor do I want to) the grief and sorrow they now face with their loss.  It was evident yesterday but it wasn’t what they were focused on.  They wanted everyone to know how great a man/husband/father/friend that Jim was and they did a beautiful job doing this.  Kari – you, your children & Jim will always be in my prayers.

The funeral Mass was beautiful but that wasn’t the only beautiful experience I had yesterday.  What a great day for driving – the weather was great, the roads weren’t too crowded (except in trying to get out of Nashville – took 2 hours to go 20 miles!!!).  I got to spend time with another close friend – Larry – another beautiful man we met at Gateway.  I spent the entire day with my oldest daughter Grace, talking, laughing, shedding a few tears (come on, its a funeral) and listening to music together in the car.  Its hard to get that one on one time with your kids (especially when they are married with their own children) so when that chance does come along – what a blessing.  We were able to time the drive coming back from Nashville and get to the Airport just as my daughter landed from her day long journey from LA to Minnesota (?) to St. Louis and picked her up at the Airport at 10:30PM.  By the time we got back to the house and I got back up to my room, it was pushing 11:30PM and I went to bed.  Tired yes, but grateful for all that I experienced yesterday.  God’s blessings come to us in many different ways and yesterday was a day full of God’s blessings.

Do something great for our Lord today – thank him for all of the blessings He has given to you.  Do you remember last Saturday’s post and the lyrics to one of the songs…Look for God in small things, a drop of rain or a grain of sand.  Praise Him whenever you find Him in anything small…

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid.

Jesus, I trust in You.

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