Sunday, November 23, 2008

Remembering Charles "Charlie" Wight: December 10, 1915 - November 17, 2008

My grandfather passed away last week and his funeral was Friday. As hard as it was to know that he is gone, it was a wonderful opportunity to hear from many people who loved him, what a special man he was. Each of his sons spoke at his funeral about his example, his work ethic, his generosity, his faith and his dedication to family.

In this picture my grandfather is surrounded by my Uncle Glen, my Dad (Ed), Uncle Paul and Uncle Bruce. I can't think of anyone better suited to raise 4 sons. My grandfather was a gentle man, a true gentleman. When my Uncle Glen spoke of getting ready to leave home and go out on his own, he told of how my grandfather sat him down and told him that when you work, you give your work everything you've got, always more than 100%. When you leave work, you leave work, and give your family the same.

As I listened I realized that my grandfather truly is the foundation of who I am. While I have always given my father credit for my work ethic (aka workaholism), my peaceful nature, my faith, my consideration for the feelings of others, my desire to be helpful and make a difference in the world; I recognized that my father inherited these qualities from his father, and I from him.

My grandfather was in touch with his emotions. I can remember many occasions when saying grace before dinner that my grandfather would begin to cry; so overcome with gratitude for his family and his many blessings. I can also remember that it was the rare occasion that my grandfather didn't fall asleep at the table after dinner; so overcome with fatigue from always giving of himself.

I know my grandfather has gone to a better place, and is overjoyed at being reunited with my grandmother. Two more loving human beings, I could never imagine. I was so truly fortunate to experience their kindness and generosity, their support and encouragement, their passion for sharing the love of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Tribute to my Dad on the 25th Anniversary of his Ordination as a Deacon

Anyone who knows my dad, and especially anyone who’s been to his house, knows that my dad is a packrat. He can’t throw anything out. He’s brings to life the expression, “one mans trash is another mans treasure”. That’s because he sees the potential in everything. Where others see broken and worthless, my dad sees possibility. He can envision that an object might be worth more than meets the eye.

He sees people in just the same way. He believes in the inherent value of each person. He has an exceptional capacity to do what we are all called to do; see Christ in others. My dad has the gift of creativity. Many of you know that he uses that gift to make things with his hands. Creativity requires the vision to see not what something is, but what it can become. This applies to how he views others – not as they are, but as they can be. I believe his creativity is one of the greatest expressions of his faith.

If I had to think of one description of my dad it would be hard working. He worked many jobs to support our family. But more importantly, he worked hard to share God’s love and bring more people to the full understanding of the Kingdom. My dad never sought glory for himself, but always sought to glorify God. He became a deacon out of his desire to share the joy he found in the Lord and out of his deep commitment to help others experience what he has found in the power of love and the grace of redemption.

Growing up with my dad was a gift that I will never stop being grateful for. My father expresses his belief in us through unconditional love. He is able to be Christ like in his acceptance, his patience, his perseverance, his generosity, his service, his humility and his example. I have always seen my dad as a servant; one who could put aside himself and focus on the needs of others.

I consider my father to be the greatest role model any child could have. He taught us that you never give up, you treat people the way you want to be treated, you give thanks for what you have and don’t complain about what you don’t have, you pray when you are in need and you love your neighbor as yourself.

One of the things that made my father so successful in his ministry over the years is his humanness. He never came off as a pious, holier than thou religious figure. He is an everyman, no better than anyone else and he’ll be the first to admit it. People respond to that and can relate to him. He puts a real face on Christ.

I’ll bet you didn’t know my father had a “girlfriend” ministry. When he took communion to shut-ins, many of the people he visited were women. He would always say, “I’m going to see my girlfriend”. He brought not only communion but a good natured playfulness and joy to these women. He’d walk in and say, “How’s my best girl today?” and they would glow and grin from ear to ear. I wonder if he could even count all the girlfriends he’s had over the years.

I often run into people who knew my dad as a teacher, or a deacon, or a hospice volunteer. Our name is unique enough that I’m often asked, are you related to Ed Wight? When I say, “Yeah he’s my dad”. I always get the response. “Oh I love your father. He’s such a nice man.” To which I always respond, “Yeah, I love him too, he’s one of my favorite human beings on the planet. “

Sunday, November 16, 2008

~So Much to Celebrate!~

If you have visited this blog in the last couple of months, you know there has been absolutely no activity. That is not to say that there hasn't been anything going on in my life. Quite the contrary. So many wonderful things to catch up on!

I am going to be a grandmother. I haven't figured out what title I will have Maria's daughter Alana Marie call me, perhaps Oma, perhaps MiMa, something that doesn't quite sound as traditional as gramma... Maria's due date is March 29th. Here is a great sonogram picture from her last appointment on October 29th.

Pretty cool huh? I could show other picture, but you can't really tell what you are looking at like you can in this one. We are planning a February baby shower, with a Flower Power tie dye theme. (My little hippie...)

My dad celebrated his 25th Anniversary of his Ordination as a Roman Catholic Deacon on Oct. 3rd. His current parish St. Mary's in Bath, NY had a wonderful recognition dinner for him on Nov. 7th that our whole immediate family was able to be present for. Many people who couldn't come sent letters that Lynn and I read as a testiment to the profound impact my dad has had on their life and how his ministry has touched them in so many ways, both great and small.

I too celebrated a religious milestone of my own. I was received into the Episcopal Church at St. Luke's the Beloved Physican by Bishop Love on Nov. 9th. My reception took place while the Bishop was at St. Luke's to confirm our high school students. I had the privelage of helping prepare the students for confirmation. I have been so blessed since I joined St. Luke's and have found a beautiful community to share my love of Christ and passion to share the Gospel with young people.

And if all of this wasn't enough to top off our joy, David's team has made it into the State Semi-Finals for Class C Football. They play in Kingston at Deitz Stadium Nov. 22nd. If they win they advance to the State Championship Game in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This is so exciting and David has had a phenomenol season. This is an excerpt from the Press Republican coverage:

"But Red Storm Head Coach Mark Farmer saw an even more significant play earlier in the game from his defensive unit. With the Cannoneers already up by a touchdown, quarterback Chris Hughes led Tom Ebenhoch with a perfect toss over his shoulder, and Ebenhoch raced toward paydirt without breaking stride.However, David Snyder made a game-saving tackle after catching Ebenhoch on the Red Storm five-yard line. 'David made the best play of the game, knocking him out at the five,' Farmer said. 'That turned the tide for us.' The Saranac Lake defense, electrified by the game-saving play, stiffened and prevented the Cannoneers from scoring, capped by a Snyder interception on a fourth-down play."