Friday, October 21, 2011

Luke Ray Fitzgerald

In April, Trevor and I went to Seattle to see his grandpa. He wasn't doing well and he wanted all of his grandchildren to come and be with him. At this point I was about 5 1/2 months pregnant.

As Trevor's sister picked us up from the airport she gave us a run-down on Grandpa Ray's status. After a surgery, his health was deteriorating by the hour and she was giving us the details. I sat in the back of the van listening. I knew at that moment that I wanted our baby to have Ray as his middle name in honor of Trevor's grandpa. With Grandpa Ray so near death and Luke so near birth I just felt like there was a connection. Little did I know that their connection would be so much more than that. I, of course, had no idea that Luke would shortly be leaving us and joining his grandpa.

Throughout the week that we were in Seattle I felt like I learned so much about Grandpa Ray. Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to my family a couple months after returning home from Ray's funeral:

With each story I heard and each picture I saw I realized what an example Grandpa Ray had been to everyone -especially his family. I learned that Grandpa Ray was an honest, hardworking man. This made me realize that because of his example, his children and grandchildren were able to learn from him and also obtain these qualities (among many other great attributes). I started to see that the wonderful people who are my family and that I admire for being such great people are who they are in part because of Grandpa Ray. I learned that Grandpa had made his family a priority and because of that I know that Trevor's parents also made their family a priority. And in turn Trevor makes our little family a priority, and for that I am so lucky and blessed.  I am proud and grateful that our son (who’s almost here) has a great-grandpa that was so influential in shaping all of his family into wonderful people. I will be forever grateful to Grandpa Ray for his role in our family and how his great character has directly blessed me in my life. What a great man he was during his life on earth and I am honored to now be a part of his family legacy that will continue on. (June 5, 2011)

Grandpa Ray with Trevor, Scott, and Laura
Grandpa Ray was a handsome man!

Luke, I hope you get to hang out with your Grandpa Ray! He was a wonderful and loving man. We're so glad that your name can honor him. We love you! Love, your mommy.

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