I realize that I write mostly on substance abuse, but I’d like to talk about why I wrote my very first book A Spiritual Renewal; A Journey to Medjugorje.
This is not a book just for women. It’s about my not taking advantage of getting to know my father, Albert L. Gramm, before he died in 1990. He was a retired Brigadier General in the Army and served in the 26th Yankee Division becoming one of their commanding offices during WWII, fighting in some famous battles like; Metz, Lorraine and The Battle of the Bulge. Yes, so many of us let our parent’s lives go with them when they leave this world. We forget they were young at one time.
I watched my father die slowly from cancer at eighty years old as he laid in his bed each day. I unexpectedly called in work on a Monday morning stating I was taking two weeks off to spend my last moments with him. Since I handled the largest account of the company, my manager was upset with no replacement that day. At the time, my need to be with Dad was stronger than leaving him. If they let me go, I felt secure that another job could be found.
He lived with my mother, Sophie Gramm, my brother, Joseph and his wife, Marge in South Dennis, Massachusetts, located down the Cape Cod area. They both lived for years in East Falmouth, Massachusetts. The morning of his death, Cathy Valeriani, Vice President of the Ashumet Valley Property Owners, Inc. came to tell him, they were naming the main entrance parcel of Ashumet Vally to be known as the AL GRAMM PARK. The location is at the corner of Route 151 on Nathan Ellis Highway and Fordham Road in East Falmouth. You can’t miss the tall American flag flying at the large stone. Chathi arrived around 10am and Dad passed at 5am that morning. He never heard the news.
Lucky I did not go to work Monday, because the following Friday, when I would have been returning, my father passed. I would have been at work. Instead, I stayed with him before being taken to the funeral home.
I had many blessing before his left us. He gave me a special gift opening his eyes the last time while I faced him in the rocker staring at him. His warm, lovable smile went through my heart like a flame and has stayed burnt in it since he left. Thinking back to him showing me his love with that grin, still melts my heart. It brings a smile to my face.
I watched him holding his rosaries every day and night trying to concentrate as he said them. My sister, Leona, asked if he wanted us to say them for him. I never in my life learned the rosary. We are all given them at our First Holy Communion. How many know how to say them? Here I was at 42 years old not knowing this beautiful prayer. I said them along with my sister and two sister-in-laws. I learned that this prayer was about the lives of Jesus and his loving mother, Mary.
Leona gave me his beads when he died. He had them his whole life and placed them in his pant’s pocket wherever he went during the war to say them. He promised Our Lady that if she got him home safe to his family, he would say them until his death. He was struggling to keep that promise dying in bed.
His death was a gift to me, because I had left the Church for 15 years from being bitter that God had deserted me while I tried to hold my family together with an alcoholic husband and two daughters. At the time of my father’s death, I realized I not only needed God back in my life, but that I wanted Him. Opening up my heart to God, made me see that it wasn’t God that left me, I left Him. I shut the door on Him.
I had choices living in fear, confusion and abuse with alcoholism in our family. Instead of leaving and keeping the girls safe, I became a great enabler for over fourteen years, damaging my daughter, Lori. If I hadn’t had God in my life, I would have not survived her death or my husbands from this worldwide disease.
I took their deaths and made them into books. In this one, I show how God became my life. We will never know why He takes our loved ones, especially the young. We have to wait until He calls us. I wrote about Richie and Lori’s life ending with the conclusion written by 34 alcoholics and addicts about what we are missing as family to work together for them to desire the want to recover.
This is a book of love, family, death, God, and having our faith return. It doesn’t matter what your religion is that you practice. We are all His children.
The book and the others can be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
It’s a wonderful book to give as a gift to someone in the hospital, sick, dying, someone who has lost their way, or one for you to open your heart to reality….We are here for a short time. Love one another each day! We never know when God will knock on our doors.
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