Friday, November 25, 2011

From Poetry and Thanksgiving at Where Poetry Intersects

Today I am grateful for the life of a man I barely knew.

Fausto, a member of my parish, passed away this week at the age of 82. I knew him a little, which is to say I knew him at 9:00 mass, where he was an usher, and I am a lector. When my family first began attending this mass, I formed an instant opinion of him as a gentle but disagreeable sort - a curmudgeon in the most commonly-held sense of the word. He moved slowly, rarely smiled, and gave the smallest nods in response to greetings.

As most people do, we always sit in or near the same place at our regular mass, and as I got to know the people around us - long-time parishioners all, many older than us - in the same demographic as Fausto - I began to notice the greetings, silent and subtle, that passed among them as he would pass at the end of the communion line. I don't know if i ever saw him smile, but I surely saw my fellow parishioners smile as he passed and nodded, passed and whispered.

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