Thursday, April 4, 2019

A Family, Finally Together Again

There are many aspects to my father's passing away yesterday, many memories that are flooding me, many feelings, sorrows and hope, prayer.

THIS PICTURE is, for me, a particular sign of hope and an ardent object of my prayer. This is the Janaro Family, my father's family, around the year 1943.

It shows a beautiful, still young, happy family. Beginning at top left: Walter Janaro (the First), his wife Lucy, and their oldest son Arnold. Bottom left are daughter Rosemary and son Walter (Jr.), my Dad (at about 8 years old).

I think this is the last picture of all of them together. Tragedy was soon to strike, and it would bring great and enduring sorrow to my Dad and his siblings.

In 1944, their father (Walter Sr.) fell ill and died, as did their mother (Lucy) two years later. Thankfully, there were lots of extended family in their Italian immigrant neighborhood in the Bronx. The three orphans stayed together with a grandmother. "La famiglia" took good care of them, and they raised my Dad well. 

But, though he rarely showed it, I know that he missed his parents deeply for the rest of his life. 

His sister Rosemary and brother Arnold grew up, had families too, and grandchildren, and passed away more recently (my Uncle Arnold just last year). When he heard about his brother's death, my Dad (already debilitated and living at Greenfield) said in an unusual lucid moment, "I'm all alone now." He said this with his two sons right in front of him, but we understood what he meant. We knew of his long sorrow. 

Yesterday, everything changed.

The mysterious and all-encompassing joy of being with God - which is my prayer for everyone in this family and my hope in Jesus Christ - also includes the great healing of all wounds and separations. Praying for their eternal rest and trusting in God's love and mercy, I like to picture this family FINALLY TOGETHER AGAIN after 75 years, henceforth never be parted. 

"Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended" (Catholic Funeral Liturgy). God is good, all the time. And He loves us.❤➕