Weddings are about your love bringing friends and family together. Occasions that bring traditions passed on from generations. If not for joyous wedding celebrations I would not have had a chance to get to know Dr. Panagis.
Family weddings are particularly special to my husband and me. These weddings have brought us to Utah, to ours in Malibu, to and from Milwaukee and Virginia this fall. These weddings are when we get to see family that would otherwise be across the country from us. It is at these special events that I had the chance to meet my husband’s Grandpa, Dr. Constantine Panagis.
I met Dr. Panagis at the first family wedding I attended at the breathtaking Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah. At this wedding I first experienced the Panagis family tradition of Constantine reading a personalized poem he wrote for the bride and groom. It was the very best. That night I laughed around with him and he told me I could call him Grandpa Connie. I learned that he had written a poem for his children’s weddings and continued the tradition for his grandchildren’s weddings.
Fast forward to our wedding and Grandpa Connie has written a poem for us! It was beautiful, personal, and so heartfelt. Many people would tell you it was hands down the best part of the evening. His poem even inspired a “Hall of Flame” achievement in my husband’s video game.
This summer Grandpa Connie delivered one last poem at a family wedding in Milwaukee. Even though his eyesight was beginning to fade and he was in a wheelchair he stood up and delivered his poem. Tears were shed as the family applauded the wonderful moment.
This past week dear Grandpa Connie passed on leaving a legacy that will never be lost. He was the son of immigrant parents, served his country, studied medicine and became a doctor, married and had 7 children and 24 grandkids and more great grandbabies. I’m grateful for the few memories I have with him at our family weddings. I will always remember him as the poet and patriarch of a strong family I’m lucky to be a part of.
“Love in Bloom”
What the “Call of Duty” had in store,
Tony would be a Bachelor no more.
Westwood Brewing, the place to meet
There, she swept him off his feet
Boldly, he made the initial move,
She quickly showed the she approved!
Kudos, Tony for your wonderful find,
You have moved to the front of the line!
On his 26th birthday at Disneyland,
What became clear was his next command
Love doth grow, when hearts combine,
Smiling faces and eyes that shine!
The grandeur of the Florentine Ruins,
Set the fate of these California Bruins!
A beautiful gal, with a Milwaukee name,
Assures you a place, in the Hall of FLAME!
Protect and nurture this remarkable love,
Tied with Blessings from the Lord Above
With my love,