Peace Within

“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.”

This is a story I have carried with me since 1982.  It involves my grandpa at the end of his life.  I can’t tell this story as the meaning is so deep, the words get stuck. So, I welcome the opportunity to write it down and share it that way with others.

My grandpa was 89 years old.  He still lived at home with his wife of 66 years.  They lived in the home built by my grandma’s father.  My grandpa lived on the same block his whole life.  They belonged to and were active members of Sts. Mary and Joseph Catholic church which overlooks the Mississippi River in south St. Louis, Missouri.  For many years, my grandpa had served as an usher.

At 89 years, my grandpa began to struggle.  He was restless, and he wasn’t sleeping through the night.  It wore on my grandma, so my uncle and my mom decided he needed to go into a facility where he could get the care he needed, and my grandma could get rest, too.

So my uncle called an ambulance to transport my grandpa to the facility.  When the ambulance came, my grandpa refused to go.  The ambulance driver said, “Come on, Mr. Z.  We just want to take you for a ride.”  But my grandpa knew better.  His body was weak, but his mind was fine.

My uncle didn’t know what to do.  So, he said a silent prayer, “Lord, please help me.”  Immediately, he had a thought – “Call the priest.”  This was an inspiration in the truest sense of the word.  I can still hear my uncle say, “It just came to me.”

Within a short time, the priest came to my grandpa’s home.  He asked my grandpa, “Henry, why don’t you want to go?”  My grandpa replied, “Because I don’t know if I’ll ever come back.”  The priest’s reply: “But Henry, it’s all part of God’s plan.”

My grandpa said no more. With that thought, he agreed to go in the ambulance. That reminder and my grandpa’s faith, which he had had his whole life, carried him through.

He died that night in his sleep.

My grandparents were an inspiration to me in so many ways, and I hope this story of my grandpa’s faith is an inspiration to you, too. Here is a picture of my loving grandparents in 1973.

Betty Grandparents 1973

This blog post was shared by Betty, who shares her stories of travel on her blog: 


6 responses to “Peace Within”

  1. Thank you, Betty for this marvelous story! It sounds as though this familyhad been practicing their faith for years, so that when there was an immediate need for help, the ask was made and the the response came and was recognized immediately. May we all learn to practice our faith with that kind of consistency and commitment.

    • Thank you, Karen. Yes, my grandparents lived their faith every day in all they did. I hope you have a blessed Lenten season.

  2. Betty, thank you for sharing your grandpa’s story. I felt goosebumps when I got to the end. Truly his faith led him to trust God and surrender and God was faithful. May our faith remind us that God is always with us to the end of time. Blessings.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Betty. A faith-filled soul who gives it all over to God must inspire us to do the same.

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