Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent: Pride

The most proud American I know.

He is 92 years old.
He is a Master Sargent.
He is a Pearl Harbor Survivor.

He is my wife's Grandfather, Frank Navagato.

I call him Opa.

In this day and age being proud to be an American is rare.

Sometimes I am not proud. Sometimes I am ashamed to be American.

I don't think I am alone, but I think that needs to change.

Opa makes me want to change.

During this past World Series Lyle Lovett sang the National Anthem, and Opa began to sing along in a quite strong voice, and then soon after his wife of over 60 years (um wow) began to sing too.

I watched speechless.

People don't just do this, we make fun of those who sing the National Anthem, we don't join in.

I motioned for my wife to come into the living room and watch what was going on. We stood there as our Grandparents sang, together, and as our flag was still there, Opa saluted.

It was my favorite moment of the World Series (after all my beloved Phillies were not in it).

Every now and then I can get him to tell me stories about his days in the Army, sometimes even Pearl Harbor.

It is not like a Ben Affleck movie, it's better.

There is a sense of humility and duty in his stories; they are great stories.

He rescued a German refugee.

He would send clothes.
He would share food.
He would share his heart.

This refugee was named Suzie.
This refugee would become his wife.

Opa loves his wife as much as he loves his country.

He calls her Shatzy, German for sweetheart (I think that's how you spell it).
He kisses her goodnight every evening before he goes to bed.

It's cute and I think I need to start doing that with my Shatzy.

There is so much more that I can tell about this amazing couple, this proud American.

Stories of escaping down the German country side to a safe houses.
Stories of how he lived in more countries than I have been in different states.
Stories of how he loved to serve others from Meals on Wheels to selling Fruit Cakes for church fund raisers (yes fruit cakes and he sold boxes of them).

Jesus shared this with his disciples "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all." Mark 9:35

In a culture today were people strive to be first but never really are, this man lived his life in such a way that he is, but never realized that he was.

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1 comment:

  1. i just read all of ur advent posts. good stuff bro.