I took the opportunity on All Souls Day to reflect on the many important people in my life that have left us to be with God. For me there are far too many of my loved ones that have died who made a significant impact on my life. These men and women have guided me in my faith, development of my loving heart, my soul and conscience. Because of their strong Catholic guidance and rearing, my conscience will not change, it can be challenged but I pray that it will not change from others words or negative actions. I will share with you a simple story that happened to me as a six year old boy that I will never forget which was instrumental in my development as a Catholic man.
My Dad, older brother and grandfather were painting the deck on the old beach bungalow on Breezy Point, NY. At six years old, I was a big boy too and could help, so my grandfather gave me a brush, a small bucket of paint and pointed me towards the trim boards on the outside of the deck. It took me all of two minutes to drop the paint soaked brush into the sand. I was crushed and my eyes started to tear up. My grandfather noticed and said "great idea Paul, In the Navy we sand aboard ship to prevent people from slipping! I need you to paint the steps and please make sure you have plenty of sand on your brush"!
His wisdom and kindness changed my experience from negative to positive and has stuck with me today. I trust that you too had the opportunity on All Souls Day to reflect on your own life and remember those that helped shape you as a person, as a man and as a Knight of Columbus!
I leave you with the poem that my Dad was typing on his type writer on the eve before he died:
FOR THOSE WHO ARE WITH US IN SPIRIT:
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousands winds that blow.
I am a diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
I am the early morning light.
I am the stars that shine at night.
So do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there - I did not die.
All my love to each of my Brothers and I pray each night for each of you that you are able to keep up your Charity work, focus on your faith, your private intentions and God continues to bless you and your family.
Knights of Columbus - Grand Knight
Father H. Charles Mulholland
Council #7186 - Apex, NC