Today we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints; there was Mass in the morning, which we couldn't attend because of work, but we did attend the evening Mass. It's a Mass that always makes me a bit sad, but also grateful and feeling blessed, because it reminds me of my grandparents and my extended family, of how lucky I was to grow up surrounded by my family, with everyone close by, everyone always there for birthdays, holidays, whatever concerts I was in, all that good stuff.
One grandparent, my mom's father (Tom Hynes), died a few weeks before my 18th birthday; my dad's mom (Carmella Solomon; but everyoen called her Millie) died the following February, a few weeks before my 19th birthday. My remaining two grandparents died within about six weeks of each other (first my grandmother, Bridget Hynes; then my grandfather, Sam Solomon) , in late 2006. They all saw my brother and me grow up.
My church does a very nice thing in which parishioners can write the names of deceased friends and family members into one of two books that have been placed on the altar, and who are then remembered at all Masses said throughout November. I remembered by grandparents; my aunt Esther and Uncle Mickey; and their daughter, my dad's cousin Carol. Ed wrote his maternal grandparents' names in there, too.