I found this great picture of Lorena from shortly after we were married in 1992. It reminded me of another photo I saw of the day when Grandpa Lauro and Grandma Conchita got married on November 13, 1966–very close to exactly twenty six years after the above picture was taken. It is kind of amazing that they both look so much like Conchita’s mother who is signing for the marriage on the right side of the image below. Our twenty fifth anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. I am awfully grateful to be part of this family that has been so kind to me.
Lorena’s father, Grandpa Lauro died just three years ago on June 10, 2017. We think of him often. Last Saturday, Lorena’s brother Tio Lauro went to the town and house where Grandma Conchita was born and raised to help some other members of the family clean it up because no one lives there anymore. They found a lot of great old photographs and this is one of them. The picture was taken on November 13, 1965, the day of Grandpa Lauro’s and Grandma Conchita’s wedding. The lady to the left of Grandma Conchita is her mother Leonor. She is signing as witness to the wedding. We just love this picture. We had never seen it before and wanted to save it for posterity.
Yesterday would have been Grandpa Lauro’s 73rd birthday. Lorena and I were thinking about it and went back through the blog to find the portraits of him we drew as part of our homeschool drawing class when Christian was twelve. These were drawn shortly after we moved to North Carolina and some of our very first efforts, so they really were not that great, but it brought back great memories of both Grandpa Lauro and of our drawing classes.
The reality is that I have never been much of an artist so I had to study a lot myself to be able to teach our homeschool art class. I have to say, in the end, it was one of our greatest homeschool success stories. We got some art history along with basic drawing skills and had great time together. Kelly’s comic strip (you can see an example at the bottom of this post) was an outgrowth of our homeschool art program, too. Best of all, though, it put all of us together, sitting quietly, listening to classical music and drawing and talking for an hour at least three times per week for several years. I would not give that back for anything.
You can see some of my old posts on drawing by clicking here.
One year ago yesterday, Grandpa Lauro died. He was 71 years old. The photo to the left is of Grandpa Lauro and his youngest grandson, Matias. I was trying to think of a way to describe him and it is hard. Of course he was a genuinely Christian man, but that word has been diluted greatly in our day and age so it just does not say enough. After considering it for awhile, about the best I can do is describe some of his accomplishments. There is not time nor room to describe all his accomplishments, but I will try to describe what appealed to me.
He was extremely erudite. His erudition probably was a result of voracious interest in, among other things, music, art, history and theology. He did not have a high level of education, but three of his sons graduated from world class engineering Universities. His fourth son is an entrepreneur and on the verge of earning a law degree. He participated in his community and was politically active, mostly at a local level. He earned a diploma in Music with a focus on Violin from the local University.
His greatest accomplishment, though, was the impact he had on those around him, particularly his family, but also the people with whom he worked, his neighbors and many life long friends. He gravitated to “the least of these.” He loved them and they loved him. His funeral was the most amazing funeral I have ever attended with hundreds and hundreds of people who came to show their respects. A special letter arrived from a man who had not seen him since he was a little boy but on whom he had a profound positive influence. He had this same impact on others when he was young as he had on me as a middle age and older man. The attendence and reverence of the people at his funeral were a manifestation of that influence.
I respected him very, very much. The thing I respected most about him was his fierce love for his God and a fierce dedication to the greatest commandment of them all, to love others as Jesus loved them. We miss him and look forward to the day when we can be together again.
Our niece Amy drew this wonderful portrait of Grandpa Lauro and sent it to us. She stayed with Grandpa Lauro and Grandma Conchita for a time while she worked on her talent. They love(d) her very much. She really is an amazing talent.
Everyone should aspire, sometime in their life, to attend a funeral like Grandpa Lauro’s. It was truly a celebration of the life of a great man as well as a victory in finishing well–the way our Lord wants us to finish. There is too much to tell and I will not even try, but I thought it might be nice to put up a few videos of the carne asada at Grandpa Lauro’s recently departed mother’s home. Our dear friend Omar Tamez was very kind to sing for us. The video that accompanies this post is about Mexico and shows the atmosphere of the event. On another day, I plan to post one more by Omar, a favorite of Grandpa Lauro’s, O Sole Mio, and a couple by Kelly, Danny Boy, another Grandpa Lauro favorite and a Hymn, How Can I Keep from Singing. Here is the first:
Betty Blonde #127 – 01/09/2009 Click here or on the image to see full size strip.
Kelly’s watercolor of our friend Celia (middle left) got me to thinking about the art classes we all did during our homeschool years. We all learned how to do pencil portraits during those classes. You can see Christian’s effort at drawing Grandpa Lauro at the top left. Mine is at the bottom left. We sat down every day to do art together for a period of five or six years. We still like to do it when we get the chance. We started with something titled Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad. This post will serve as an index to posts we made on our art training. I say our art training because I got trained at the same time as the kids. The astersiks are posts that include drawings.