I’m sure Grandpa is with the March for Life today.
My dad passed away a few years ago after a long battle with heart problems and Alzheimers. He was a member of The Greatest Generation. He exaggerated his age to join the Navy in WWII and was in the Army during Korea. Later he fought a much longer battle as a Sidewalk Counselor on the streets of Chicago.
Shortly before Dad passed away one of his friends wrote this:
“The days are short for my friend, a faithful pro-lifer, who with his gentle and unassuming and ways, saved countless babies from abortion in front of some of Chicago’s most notorious abortion clinics.
“Known as the gallant man who would tip his hat to women approaching clinic doors ashe offered his calming words, has been bedridden for a year. Now, at age 85, he is battling Alzheimer’s, pneumonia and heart failure in a Chicago-area nursing home while his wife holds constant vigil at his bedside. He is expected to live only days.
“I visited him today, and although he cannot speak, his bright eyes seemed to recognize me. I could only ponder his many weekly vigils as a sidewalk counselor that stretched for some twenty years, between 1985 and 2008, with a needed break for heart surgery in 2000.
“Miracles happen when grace confronts cruelty. He had a way of reaching women who might be turned off from other counselors, and more than once a happy mom would return to his post at the abortion mill to thank him for saving her child five years or more in the past. He proudly kept a photo file of babies he and others saved.
“His presence, week after week, softened many unexpected hearts, including that of the abortionist himself at the abortion mill on Chicago’s near north side. Who knows the effect of his kind words? The mill, which had opened in 1973 when abortion first became legalized, was later shut down for lack of employees.
“His witness gives testimony to the importance of relying on friendship, reason, grace, and perseverance. He knew that this is a battle that will be won by the last man standing in the foxhole. His quiet work is the kind that does not make headlines, although he was awarded a Pro-Life award in the 90s.
“Today, the man who saw a friend in every stranger, and yet has difficulty recognizing his own three children, might enjoy a hundred visitors from grateful mothers and their children, whose lives were spared from the abortionist’s cruel knife. They won’t see him now, but they will in heaven. In my many years of pro-life work, my greatest accomplishment might be recruiting him into this gallant work. May God reward you.”
Dad attended the March for Life for many years. He took the bus from the Midwest and slept on the floor in the basement of the Cathedral. He saw the March grow in size every year – and saw the crowd get younger and younger!
On one of his last trips to the downtown abortion mill Dad showed our daughter’s baby photo to a couple – and they turned around. She will know that literally anyone she meets who is about her age could literally be alive because of Grandpa’s witness and her picture…
Have a great March for Life Dad.