The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
To those who did not know Larry well, it might be assumed that he was dealt a pretty poor set of cards in this life. Autistic, afflicted with seizures in his later years, and a brief life of 21 and three-quarter years. However, to those of us who had the great privilege of knowing Larry well, he was blessed with many gifts, just as his life was a blessing to us.
1. At his birth he was blessed with a twin brother, Donnie, who all Larry’s life would be his constant companion: playing with him, and caring for him and guarding him from harm.
2. He was blessed with two parents who loved him more than mere words can possibly convey.
3. He was blessed with a beloved baby sister, a loving grandmother and grandfather and a cherished godmother, all of whom helped guide his steps.
4. He was blessed with a wry sense of humor. I will never forget the lopsided smile on his face as a toddler as he pretended to touch the computer printer paper roll because he knew that would always get a rise out of Mom and Dad. His default expression was a smile.
5. He was blessed with a joyful zest for life, from swinging on swings much higher than they were ever intended to go, to grooving to music he liked, swaying back and forth and rocking his head, to closing his eyes as he savored the big hamburgers he loved. Life never grew stale or prosaic for Larry.
6. He was blessed with a bold spirit. At a year and a half he decided in May of 1993 that it would be a very good idea to walk to Renfrew Park without bothering to get permission from Mom or Dad! In his later years he was fond of midnight strolls, once again without telling Mom or Dad! One of my most cherished memories of Larry is him running ahead of the family like a gazelle, to Mass or to some other favorite destination. Life with Larry was an endless adventure, whether we wanted it to be or not!
7. He was blessed with self-reliance, as I can attest from picking up the remnants of late night snacks that he had fixed for himself in the kitchen after Mom and Dad went to sleep. Some of us march to our own drummer. Larry, ever a rugged individualist, marched to his own brass band.
8. He was blessed with a warm heart as the hugs he gave indicated.
9. He was blessed with a good mind, defying the odds of his autism to learn to read and to memorize long prayers.
10. He was blessed with a love of God. At Mass he said his prayers and always understood that Mass was important and solemn. His physical presence at Mass with my family ended with his funeral Mass, but not the presence of his spirit.
11. Above all, he was blessed by being the child of a loving God, who for His own purposes took him into His heavenly kingdom in the wee hours of Pentecost the Sunday before last.
Larry enjoyed all these blessings, and he was a blessing to all who knew him, from the first day of his life to his last day. May the same be said of all of us when the tally of our days is reached. Goodby my son, until we meet again in the Kingdom of Love Eternal.