I was so touched by the sweet messages in response to my first post about my grandfather's passing a couple of weeks ago. It's not only like getting a virtual hug from all of you but gives me a outlet to tell their incredible story which continues their legacy. I actually had not planned to write a part two but to my surprise there was more to the story. To get caught up you can read part one here.
Probably about six months ago (while posting under #elfenixwednesdays on my instagram) I noticed that the company's account, @elfenixmexican, started liking my photos. I think at one point I told my mom that gma and gpa should be the mascots for the restaurant. I mean... who wouldn't love that! The pictures were a perfect way to propel them to celebrity status as well as cataloging them through the weeks. When gpa passed away May 9th, I reposted the first picture I had taken of the two at El Fenix with the news on instagram to which @elfenixmexican liked the photo. In the comment section, I directed them to my initial blog post that told their story.
That day I was contacted by the Director of Marketing for the restaurant who offered his condolences and said the restaurant would host the family for one more #elfenixwednesdays in his honor. How tender for a company to reach out to it's patrons in this way!!
Seeing as gpa was cremated, we had some time to organize his memorial and decided that Wednesday was probably the best day. As a Lt. Coronel in the air force, we opted for a memorial at the Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery. I hadn't been to the grounds until today and let me tell you it is something special. Seeing all the american flags, tombstones, and rolling hills struck a cord.
After the ceremony yesterday (folding of the flag etc.), the family congregated once again at El Fenix for lunch. This is the part that truly floored me...
When we arrived at the restaurant they had reserved our usual spot and set a place for gma and gpa. The manager came over personally welcomed us and presented us with a framed collage of all of the instagram photos I had taken each Wednesday with the sentiment "here's to many more #elfenixwednesdays in heaven!" Brought the table to tears. Check out this amazing-ness.
It now hangs in gma's hospice room. I believe it helps her remember "Robert".
Our favorite waiter, Ramon, brought out all of our usual dishes and even brought out dishes for gma and gpa in their honor as if they were right there with us.
I'd have to say although unconventional this was the best tribute to my gpa's life and legacy.
Thank you, thank you.