Friends, this past week I had the privilege of traveling up to the state of Montana for several speaking engagements. Apart from the privilege of presenting to four diverse audiences, I also have quite a bit of extended family who live in the state, and was blessed to stay with one of my aunts and uncles. My grandfather and many other relatives also reside in the state, and I was able to fit in some great visits while there.
My grandfather, Tony Sr, and great uncle Jack, lived together in an assisted living facility not far from where I was staying. Grandpa is one of 7 children and a father to 9, my dad being the oldest. Listening to him tell a few stories both inspired and reminded me how blessed I am. He was never rich and he wasn’t famous by the world’s standards, but his life has no doubt been both significant and successful.
Unfortunately, my great uncle Jack fell and broke his hip a couple of months ago and had never truly recovered since. During the few times I visited their place, Jack was only awake for two of them. Despite his weak physical body, his strength was apparent through his words and conviction as I stood next to his bed. His mind was still sharp. Anyone who new Jack would describe him as joyful and full of God’s love. Before he retired, he served in numerous parishes around Montana, and his stories never failed to bring a smile to my face.
The day after my dad and I left Montana and returned home, we discovered that Jack had passed away. Though I will miss him dearly, I know he is at peace. I know his memory will live on for a very long time because of the significant life he lived and all the people he has touched.
Friends, I had a great trip to Montana. I shared my message to a number of different audiences, and I got to spend quality time with two people that have shown me true significance and ultimate success. Yes, I am sad I won’t get to talk to my great uncle Jack again and, yes, I wish I lived closer to my grandfather, but I am choosing today to focus on the time I have had to know these two people who exemplify both significance and success. I am choosing to believe that because of the wonderful example of these two incredible human beings, I am even more convinced that the best is yet to come!