I live near an elementary school and because I live in a small city, most kids walk to the neighborhood school. Most of the kids and their parents escape my notice except for one.
She is usually bundled up in a coat, hat and scarf. Sometimes she wears mittens. The backpack she carries must be heavy for she compensates for its weight by leaning forward as she walks. She appears resigned as she trudges along to her daily meeting with destiny – teachers, friends and schoolwork.
He usually walks behind her. It is always at a relaxed and easy pace. He holds her hand as they cross the street – waiting for the crossing guard to clear the way like Moses parting the waters. They walk safely to the other side and continue on their way to the school.
He is much older than she is. He may be a father who had a her late in life but I am thinking he is her grandfather. He just gives off that aura.
They rarely talk as far as I can tell but their bond speaks volumes. She walks with an assurance of safety because he is there. He is there no matter how cold it is or if it is raining or if he would rather be home drinking his coffee. He envelopes her with such love and affection that it is palpable by her and by others they pass on the street.
I imagine that at the end of the day he is waiting for her at the school gate. Perhaps they talk about her day as they begin their walk home. She waves goodbye to her friends and then they return home, walking in love and security.
December 31, 2014
Greetings to all our Friends and Family!!
There is so much that has happened in such a short time span that it feels like it’s been more than a year since last we wrote to you. This past year has been an exciting adventure peppered with losses of dear ones, life renewed by newborns and renewed relationships.
I suppose I should start with January when we said goodbye to the matriarch of our family – Adelaide Gentile. She lived a long life (101 years) and made such a big impression on those around her that it is impossible to have known her and not be influenced by her spirit. She was full of stories of growing up on the farm in Berwick, PA and moving to the Bronx as a teenager and meeting my grandfather, Pasquale. Her life was not an easy one but it was a rich one. She will be missed but never forgotten. (That’s her, second from the left in the back row, 2nd grade and her holding the baby in the photo below).
We also lost Uncle Domenick and my step-mother, Kathleen. Both were such happy people who enjoyed family, telling stories and oh how they loved to laugh! The loved ones we lose leave such a hole in our lives but we cherish their memories and the intensity of their souls on us.
Last year we told you about our orphan hosting experience. Daniela (as well as many other orphans we met in Latvia) continues to be a part of our family albeit from several time zones away. In March she gave birth to a healthy baby boy – Harry! She has demonstrated an innate ability to be a good mother and she has grown as a woman. We were blessed to see her and Harry this year in Latvia. What a joy!!!!
What were we doing in Latvia, you may ask? We traveled to Latvia in June, September and November. We were taking steps to add to our family. So here is the big news … we have adopted Kristofer (that’s him on the right) !! He was born on October 30, 1997 and the adoption was finalized on November 6, 2014. He is in high school and is adapting to the American way of life quite well. He enjoys soccer, track, wrestling and fishing. We must tell you that the adoption journey was exciting and required a lot of faith that God would pull this together for us and He did. Many, many people participated with us financially and through moral/prayer support. For those earthly angels we are eternally grateful.
Peace and love and a joyous 2015!
Phil, Eileen, Peter, Kris, Daniela and Harry