These past few weeks have been emotional for me to say the least.
My grandfather’s health was declining and it was becoming evident that he didn’t have much time left. I received disheartening news:
And there I was 3705.4 miles away – just to be exact – and it is during times like this where I feel far, far away from my roots.
I was following the process of my grandfather, the old baker, slipping further and further away. I of course could not physically be present for this – so saying goodbye was something I did in my heart knowing that he was ready to be at peace.
Finally on a Friday he slipped away into the land of Gods, spirits or who knows where. I’m hoping it’s a place of happiness, butter cookies, love and delicious pastries.
I was, again, confronted with the reality of living on the other side of the world. Living in a place that I now call “home”, yet I also have another “home”, my home country, Denmark.
I jumped on a plane to participate in the funeral and family gatherings as the thought of not participating just didn’t sit well with me.
I was reminded of the importance of family – of coming together to celebrate - whether it be a new life or the end of a life.
Being there with my family reconnected me to what I truly believe is most vital:
Family, Love & Connection – and I was honored to be reminded of my roots – of the legacy that my grandfather and late grandmother left behind.
During the service the minister talked about how my grandparents had created a home full of love, diversity, adventure and acceptance. A home that welcomed artists, the homeless, and the wealthy – no one was too big, too small, too important or not important enough to be welcomed with open arms and hearts.
I have many fond memories of my grandfather – most of which revolve around bread and pastries. Every Tuesday afternoon he would pick my sister and me up from school and per our request we would make homemade pizzas. I vividly remember his big hands working the dough – his hands were abnormally big – almost like backhoe shovels. Yet, his attention to detail (also the very refined!) was impeccable.
As I reflect upon my grandfather’s life and career I believe the most central part of his life was his profession. He shared the business with my grandmother and honestly I believe they had one simple hope and goal with their business:
To bring people together through bread, pastries and cakes.
Think of every country you have ever visited… What’s a place we always turn to for comfort in taste and smells? The Bakery! It’s a central part of so many cultures – it’s universal. It has no language. No color. No religion.
During my grandfather’s last days he asked my mother “Can you please help me cross over…? I don’t have an agreement worked out with God”.
I don’t think he had a problem though. In my opinion my grandfather served *God* every day through his profession. He was a baker by the grace of God. He was not a religious man, however, he always pointed out that the only profession mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer was his.
I cried when I heard that he had passed away at 88. That night I had a dream which made me wake up smiling:
I dreamt that granddad crossed over, gently flying away… on a puff pastry.