Thursday, March 05, 2009

Have faith

My cousin, Peter Joyal, got up to speak at the funeral mass of his father on Monday. I'll paraphrase but he said something very much like the following:
My father would not want a eulogy so I will be brief, I have one story to tell.

(Turning to Father Morse.) You mentioned faith earlier. This story is about faith.

I do not recall exactly how the conversation started. Dad and I were sitting at the table talking. You know he had always been self-employed. There were five of us kids, all less than 10 years old at the time. He did not have work at the moment. It was Tuesday. He did not have another job lined up to paint for someone or do carpentry. The rent was due on Friday. We needed to eat. He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a quarter. That's all I have, he said.

What are we going to do? What is going to happen? I said.

I have faith, he said. It will work out. Not sure how, but I have faith it will.

On Wednesday he got a call to do some work. That work provided the money for the rent and food.

He had faith. A quarter, and faith.

I have put a bunch of quarters in a jar at the door to the church. Please take one as you leave. Think of my father, Jean Joyal, and how he had faith. May the quarter remind you to have faith.

Thank you!
Peter told a simple and effective story. As we filed out of the church, both Dolores and I left with a quarter. A reminder to have faith.

Note this was originally posted on Jerry's Story, the site of my father's oral history.

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