The year was 1993. One of my cousins had recently gotten engaged and her dad told her and her fianc? that he had a proposal for them. He was willing to pay them $20,000 if they were willing to agree to have a small wedding that only included immediate family members. The offer came after the wedding invitation list had grown to more than 400 people. While the groom was interested in accepting the money, the bride put her foot down and insisted that they follow through with the traditional wedding they were planning.
About five years ago, I was attending a weekday Mass at a local church. Halfway through the Mass, two women in their sixties snuck in the side door of the church and ran over to the nearest pew. Both women were wearing gray sweatshirts. The way they scurried over to the pew reminded me of the animated mice you would see in a Disney movie — because the women were short, pudgy, cute, and grinning from ear to ear.
One of my older brothers, Mike, is a medical doctor who lives in California with his wife and family. I see Mike about once a year, usually at a family function. Mike was recently in Peoria with his wife and one of their children for a family wedding. Mike is 61 years old and he looks like a movie star. He’s tall, slim, and good-looking. If you asked me who he looks like, I would say that he looks like a cross between the modern-day actor George Clooney and the legendary actor Omar Sharif.
I was born on the same day that my grandfather, Harry LaHood, was buried. My grandfather died on May 17, 1957. My mom and dad attended his funeral Mass on May 20, and then went to the cemetery for the burial service. Mom’s contractions had started earlier in the day and became more intense while she and Dad were at the cemetery. After the burial service was finished, Mom told Dad that she needed to go to the hospital. I was born later that day, and Mom gave me the same name as her father.