Friday, December 27, 2013

Grandpa Rubio

Earlier this week, my family gathered at Grandma Rubio's house to celebrate Christmas. During the course of our evening, Grandma exhibited something she had found in the midst of retrieving Christmas decorations earlier in the month (and the house cleaning that invariably accompanies it). It was a leather notepad folder that had belonged to her husband, my grandfather, who passed away some five years ago.

It contained assorted papers, some handwritten and others typewritten. They contained musings on news of the day, sketches of short stories, and reflections on Scripture. In the picture below, on the left is his reflections on the wealth of King Solomon, and on the right his reflections on passages in Acts and 1 John.

Grandpa Rubio was an exceptionally hard working and smart man. He immigrated to the United States with his younger siblings from Mexico, as head of the family after their parents died. He was a devoted husband and father. He was a small business owner, owning a tavern in Chicago for many years. After his "retirement," he worked part-time as a car salesman, volunteered at a food pantry, and took a few classes at the local community college -- he loved reading and studying (this love is one of the many things I remember the priest mentioning in his eulogy at the funeral). Many of Grandma's neighbors still remember Grandpa walking their dogs through the neighborhood and stopping to talk over fences. He loved a good story, a good laugh, and a good homemade meal, but always first for him were his faith and his family.

I am honored to have his first name, José, as my middle name (Joseph). I remember him often, and am grateful for the legacy of faithful prayer and Scripture reading, love for one's family, service to one's community, and a strong, honest work ethic that he passed down the generations.

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