I remember my own First Holy Communion like it was yesterday (it was actually May 9, 1970). I couldn’t fall asleep the night before because I was so excited. My house was going to be filled with family and friends the next day, and one of my favorite relatives, my Uncle Chris (my mother’s brother), was going to be coming in from Long Island. My dad had died the previous September and Uncle Chris was like a father to me. He had a lot of experience being a dad having four of his own children (all boys) as well as a step son and a step daughter.
This past weekend my own son, Aiden, made his First Holy Communion and it was very emotional for me. I personally dressed him in his little suit and put his tie on him and made sure that he looked just right. The whole thing hit me as he was walking into the church with the rest of his class. I was seeing something my own dad did not get to see. I am sure dad was watching my ceremony from his seat up in heaven, but to a then six-year old kid it’s just not the same thing.
I was very proud of my little big man. He was as close to perfect in church as he could have been. While some other kids were fidgeting and even falling asleep, Aiden was steady as a rock. He made me proud. Of course my wife and her parents were the first ones in the church and grabbed seats in the pew right behind where Aiden would be sitting. While they were getting seated, I took him in the back room where he was to meet with his classmates and get some last minute instructions. It was here that I gave him something I wanted him to have on him. I gave him the tie I wore the day I made my first Communion.
What can I say? I‘m a pack rat, I save everything. I showed it to him, told it what it was and put it in his pocket. There was no way he could wear it, as it is 46 years old, yellowing and about two sizes too small for him. Some may call me a sentimental fool but that is alright I have been called worse!
On my wedding day I wore a tee-shirt with a pocket under my tuxedo shirt and in that pocket I had a picture of my mom and dad from their wedding day. Obviously they couldn’t be at my wedding so I was going to have them close to my heart. Sentimental fool indeed.
Aiden was also wearing a gold pin in his lapel that I bought for him the previous week. It’s a chalice with grapes and a host. I was wearing something a little different in my lapel. I had a pin with four Stanley Cups and the New York Islander logo in the center of it. I figured while I was in church, it couldn’t hurt to ask God for a little divine intervention for Sunday night’s game. And as always, God came through for me as the Islanders won the game in double overtime and thus won the series. Thank you God and John Tavares!
Speaking of John’s, my cousin John, who is my Uncle Chris’s oldest son came to the church with his entire family, which I thought was a really nice gesture. His dad was at my First Communion and here his family was at my son’s ceremony. It meant a lot to me and my wife and it just goes to show you how strong our family ties can be.
After church and some picture taking we headed home for a little party, which John’s family attended. John’s youngest son, Andrew. is my Godson. He is a terrific kid. Well calling him a kid is kind of pushing it, he’s 23 years old, 6’ 4” working a full time job and going for his Masters Degree. It’s kind of hard to believe that 23 years ago I held this kid in my arms on his the day he was baptized.
I watched Andrew grow up and I never missed one of his birthday parties and I would always go to my cousin’s house for Christmas and spoil his kids with gifts. Aiden really liked having my cousin’s family in the house. My Godson was so cool. He looked at Aiden’s Pokemon cards and told him that he had a bunch of them when he was younger. Then he did something Aiden loved, he played video games with him. Super Mario 3D World and New Super Mario Brothers U. Like I said Andrew is a good kid!
After everyone left all Aiden could talk about was how Andrew told him that he had a video game over at his house that he (Aiden) wanted to play and that we should go over there sometime!
What I thought about was My Uncle Chris coming to my First Communion and now 46 years later here was his grandson at my son’s first communion, interacting with him and having a great time. Another big event and our family ties remain as strong as ever.