A special person to me.
I can always think back with fondness to when my great grandpa was alive and our family was sitting around our big dinner table. Before we started to eat, Grandpa Bradt told everyone to stand up and join hands. We all locked our fingers with each other’s and held tightly as we softly sang the blessing, “Be Present at Our Table Lord”. Singing this prayer was a tradition we always enjoyed when we were around a table with him and our extended family. Though we all knew the words and sang along, it was my great grandpa’s voice you could hear above the rest. My family only got to see Grandpa Bradt once or twice a year, which was never enough. When someone you love has been alive for over a century, you never know if the time you last visited him will be the last time you see him.
“The Lord’s Prayer” is another sung prayer that has always been special to my family because it was special to Grandpa Bradt. He loved to sing, and prided himself on his ability. He was a member of his church choir for over 80 years and also sang in local theater productions. Every night before bed, Grandpa Bradt knelt to say his prayers and sing ”The Lord’s Prayer”. My grandpa was very fortunate throughout his walk in life. He lived to be 108 years old and celebrated every birthday with a huge party until his last year. We always felt like there was some reason that he lived for this long. I think it may have been because he was such a positive influence on so many people in his life.
When “The Lord’s Prayer” was sung at Grandpa Bradt’s funeral, it was very emotional for every soul there. People that never really knew him all that well were crying because they could tell how special this prayer was to our family and to him. I would have to say that my grandma was the most emotional of us all. Grandpa Bradt was a wonderful father to her. He was also an endearing grandfather to my dad, an entertaining great grandfather to me, and even an inspirational great great grandfather to a few.
Singing these prayers will forever be a special tradition for our family and I hope to keep the tradition in my own family when I grow older. The blessing “Be Present at Our Table Lord” concludes with, “... may live in paradise with thee. Amen.” This is a very significant piece of this prayer because Grandpa Bradt truly lived in “paradise” for a long and fortunate 108 years. He taught us all how to live life on the edge with a positive outlook and no regrets.