Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some thoughts at Poppa's passing

One of the things I found interesting about getting married 
was going from being part of one family to two.  A whole other sets of grandparents, aunts uncles, cousins, people you basically don't know from Adam that in a instance become "family".

Because Ben and I dated so long (1999-2005...with the exception of one very sad summer for Benny, and our missions) I already knew his parents and siblings VERY well (he's the oldest of 8, and the youngest was not even a year when we started dating, so she's basically never known her brother Ben with Chelsea too.)

But the extended family was a bit different. 

Takes time and patience and observation and asking questions and really listening and trying to keep everyone straight to make a meaningful relationship out of a mere"relative"

Poppa was easy.

Poppa liked to talk. He liked to share: his thoughts, his opinions, his testimony, his theories on microwaves, his full-endorsement of DeVry (every grandchild will chuckle at this), his genealogy, his time, his love.

Poppa was incredible smart and has an unbelievable story.

He left us, his posterity with many things...

A certain recognizable head-shape (that needn't be covered by hair) and maybe the ears too!

A sense of our heritage. he was a great family historian, loved the temple, exemplified the role of a patriarch, and often spoke lovingly an hopefully of his posterity.

....and more wisdom.

The first time I heard Poppa speak in church he was reporting his church-service mission as a employment specialist. The meeting had long since gone overtime and the poor Bishop, realizing Henri was just getting warmed up looked helpless on the stand. Finally, his wife, June, got up and tugged on his suit jacket. He looked down at his little cue cards, and apologized to the audience, "I've only got through two of my twelve cards, but my wife's telling me it's time end...perhaps another time"

I wonder if he feels like that now, his time on earth running out, but he still would have loved to share more.

I'm sure he is still sharing. { What happens after we die}
Henri sharing his ice cream with Ben's other grandpa Albert.

Such a great picture, of the men who's blood flows through my husband's veins and now mingles with mine, in my sons. 

Both left a legacy. Both are missed. I hope I can through my own memories and the journals and memoirs they left, help my children"know" them and learn from their examples.


Chelsea Belle said...Best Blogger Tips

Found this on my computer, a birthday letter from a few years back:

As someone coming into the family, I have always been impressed with the sense of total respect everyone in the family has for you. I was informed early on that you were a genius, a hard-worker, a spiritual giant, and a hero---and all of these descriptions have proven completely accurate.

I think the heritage you have created fro your posterity is so rich, and I’m grateful it will be a part of my children and grandchildren’s family past. Thinking of you, so young, journeying across a very dangerous Europe, surviving unthinkable conditions and situations I think has infused your family with a keen sense of indebtedness and gratitude for the life of freedom we enjoy.

Beyond the courage of your youth, I think we have all witnessed your continued faithfulness as you served your mission, and labored in the temple.

I have yet to attend the temple, when someone has not inquired if I’m related to the Bretzkes in Raymond, to which I can proudly say I am.
You were loved there among the temple staff, and it’s nice to be reminded that I have a legacy to live up to--one that isn’t solely concerned with earthy achievements or inheritances, but is founded upon the possibilities of eternity!

Thank you for taking your role as patriarch seriously. Your strength is leaned upon, and looked up to and hopefully will be emulated, by you many grand and great-grandsons. In a world were many are losing their way and losing their families, you have held onto us, with faith and love and a steadiness we have clung to. I love you for it.

What a lucky girl I am to have not only caught a great husband, but to have got a great Poppa out of the deal as well?!?

All my love, Chelsea

Marie said...Best Blogger Tips

So wonderful to have a history and tradition of strong men for your children to look up to as their inheritance and birthright.

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