To hear my dad tell it, my grandfather was German. Despite never having set foot in Germany, Grandpa was German through and through. German, despite his mother being a strange blend of Scottish and Irish. His father was from Germany and German was spoke in the home. I guess that's what matters, at least if my father was telling the story.
As my father would wax sentimental about his German heritage, my mother would quietly remind me that there was a lot of Irish in the mix. Dad always pretended not to hear her.
I never met my Grandpa. He died before my parents married. I have heard stories about him, about his great sense of humor, his imposing physical presence, his incredible dignity, his love of my grandmother and his love of Our Lady and football. He was a fine Aryan example: tall, trim and blond. A simple, yet refined, man with a simple faith.
The story I love about him is when my much older cousin was visiting my grandparents. Grandpa was sitting and saying the rosary. He also had on a football game. According to my cousin, the scene went something like this. Grandpa was saying the Hail Mary when his team got the ball. "Hail Mary...RUN, D*#$%, RUN!!!...full of grace, the Lord is with Thee."
That's my grandpa, the multi-tasker.
Grandpa would be tickled to know that Monsignor Ganswein is now a close personal friend of mine. Yes, that Monsignor, the Pope's secretary. Pride of Catholic Germany. Canon lawyer. Airplane flyer. What a trifecta. I sent him a friend request on Facebook and he accepted. Now, I, along with several hundred others, are among his inner-sanctum. And, here I was critical of Facebook.
I'm still waiting to hear back from the Pope. I didn't send a nice note with my request to the Pope (what was I thinking!??). That must be some sort of Facebook faux pas. Maybe I can get the Monsignor to put in a good word for me, my being German and all.
*Update: Spoke too soon. A few hours after posting, I was accepted as a friend of the Pope :)
I need some serious mid-week input from you...
4 hours ago