Friday, October 22, 2010

Abramo Pietro Lattanzi, 1925-2010

I gave this eulogy on Thursday, October 21, 2010 - the final delivered form deviates slightly from this text -- Josh

Good morning.

Abramo Pietro Lattanzi was my grandfather. Nonno was a kind, generous, and loving man who always had time for and always showed affection for his family. He also had a lot of wisdom and many stories to share with us. Allow me to share some of my memories with you.

During my childhood, on car rides, I always got to ride up in the front seat and Nonna had to sit in the back seat! Nonno always referred to me as his co-pilot, which I am sure also stemmed from my reputation as a child in giving good directions. In the car, he always had a tune on his lips and we would always try to make up the most ridiculous and nonsensical song possible.

When my brother and I were kids, Nonno always told us to eat our greens, because it would "put hair in your chest". Boy, did that ever come back to bite!

One year, when I was about six or seven, I had come here to Queen of the Apostles to help Nonno install some electrical work that he had done for years. I had apparently done a good job and he was extremely pleased and began telling anyone and everyone who listened that I would be the first American Pope. On the ride back to the house, I said, “Nonno, I want to be a baseball player!” He said in response, “I’m sure they will let you build a baseball field on St. Peter’s Square.”

As I grew older, baseball didn’t work out and I decided to go to school to study theology in order to become a teacher. This led to such “friendly banter” as to what actually happened at the creation of the universe and what it means to “sit at the Right Hand of the Father”.

In the final 10-12 years of his life, his mantra became, “Don’t overdo it – just do it.” He said this to me and many of us every time we saw him, and especially upon departure from him. It didn’t matter the circumstances under which we had met, those words were always there waiting as a reminder to us.

As we gather today to remember and honor Abramo Pietro Lattanzi, we can honestly say that he never overdid life, he just lived it as it was meant to be lived. We love you and miss you.

Goodbye, Nonno.