By Panagiotis and Zefy Christopoulos
A parentʼs worst nightmare was realized by us when, early in the morning of July 24, 2005, a Sunday, we received the news of our son Andreasʼ death as a result from injuries he sustained while a passenger in a car that was in an accident.
Our lives and the lives of many Resurrection parish families were changed forever.
Andreas lived for 21 years and each day he grabbed life, enjoyed it and lived it to the fullest. He had made a multitude of friends representing all faiths, all races. Andreas loved everything that focused on water: swimming, boating, fishing, ice hockey.
Andreas was as fearless as he was sensitive. His motto in the Glen Cove High School yearbook reads “the only things you regret in life are the risks you donʼt take”.
Two of his favorite places to be were island of Sifnos in Greece and in the altar serving with Father Manny. Andreas was extraordinary proud of his Hellenic heritage and Greek Orthodox faith. On many a Sunday morning Andreas would wake us up in the pre – dawn hours with “Ma, you gotta iron a white shirt for me… Father Manny will be waiting and I donʼt want to be late”. Andreas was the absolute authority on the responsibilities of an altar boy and was always the first one to arrive at church… even before Father Manny. Andreas and Father Manny had a unique bond, each one loving and respecting the other in a way that is hard to describe.
For Andreas wake and funeral – the first held in this, our new church – our family decided that in lieu of flowers which last only a few days, donations to be made for our churchʼs iconography … iconography that will last for many generations.
Over a year ago, Father Manny called us one morning and said, “Come to the church. I have an idea and a sketch for Andreasʼ iconography.” Upon arrival, an excited Father Manny described how a lasting tribute to Andreas should be near the altar, on the wall behind the baptismal font. So, Father Manny explained, the iconographer will paint the baptism of Christ and the beginning of His ministry. Then, on both sides of the icon there will be a depiction of St. Andrew, the First Called. The icon would show St. Andrew as a fisherman in a boat; Christ calling St. Andrew to be a fisher of men and then St. Andrew fulfilling Christʼs mandate.
And thatʼs how part of this evening came to be. Eternal be the memory of our son, Andreas and our spiritual father, Emmanuel.