Sweet Mary resides in a nursing home. On Sunday mornings a deacon comes to do a prayer service and give Eucharist to Catholic residents. In January music was introduced to these services. A wonderful friend plays guitar and determines the music we will sing during the prayer service.
But back to Mary….she was one of the residents who are brought to the service every Sunday. Last winter she would be wheeled into the room. Her head was never up, always bent down, eyes closed. We always include her in the handshake of peace even tho she didn't respond. In the last couple of months Mary has been more alert. And last week our eyes filled with tears as we watched her sing Alleluia with us. And she sang and sang and sang….and smiled such a beautiful smile. At the handshake of peace she touched our hands and spoke to us. And her smile continued.
It is MUSIC that has awakened something within her and other residents. The joy we see in their faces has brought joy to each of us who are part of the group.
Music is a universal language…and it touches the very core of our beings. I am so grateful to have the privilege of witnessing these transformations and bringing them a little heaven on earth every week.
Three beautiful little girls had just started high school in August. Their lives were busy, fun. They were all happy children, each the youngest in their family. They had so much life to live….until November 9, 1991. For Emily and Kate life was over in a split second, For Meggan, life continued on life support for 8 days. There are no words to describe the agony and horror of watching your child die……and all because of irresponsibility and recklessness of a few other kids. For them life continued but for those of us whose child died life would never be the same.
DON'T be stupid, foolish, irresponsible by drinking and driving. These three innocents never got the chance to live their lives. And now they have been gone twice as long as they lived.
I have a dear friend who lives in England. My friend, Debbie, is clairvoyant and has a direct connection with angels. Some may read this and question my sanity…but, my personal experiences when being with her over many years tells a different story. She's a deeply spiritual woman and has been blessed with this gift. Some may call it a curse… because of the amount of energy that Debbie must have in dealing with this other heavenly realm, let alone the skeptics who are in total disbelief. But, clearly Debbie's purpose in life is to help others often at the most difficult times of their lives.
The first time I met with Debbie was about 15 years ago. She had come to the Chicago area to do readings in an "angelic store." When I entered the room I came upon a smiling, exuberant, wise woman. Her smile and twinkling eyes put me at ease immediately. There was an atmosphere of peace in the room.
Within minutes Debbie asked me if I could smell the beautiful primroses that were surrounding me. I couldn't. But then she said "is this your daughter?" One of the heavenly signs from a loved one who is deceased is an overwhelming smell of roses. And yet, I had always referred to Meggan as our Christmas rose. Debbie couldn't have had any previous knowledge of our little Meggan who had been killed. As I sat in amazement she carefully described the physical details of this child of ours….not generalizations…specifics that she had no way of knowing. And as if looking right at her, she told me Meggan was right behind me, arms around me. Could I FEEL it ? No, yet how could she have known? She went on to say my Mom's energy was coming through…Mommy had a huge persona and was full of life and joy and love. Her aura must have been huge. Debbie described her perfectly, no generalizations. Mommy had died several years before this reading yet there wasn't a doubt in my mind that she had come through. Over the years the meetings with her have always been revealing and oft times affirming that which I know or situations I'm questioning in my life or those of our family.
So how does she work? Debbie works within energy fields of those who have gone before us as well as angelic energy forces of those still with us on earth. She's had the gift since childhood and always felt this was a normal thing that everyone had. But, of course, she found out when she was well into her teens and early 20s that her gifts were rather rare. And rare they are. Over the years Debbie has been spot on about the people and happenings in my life….no generalizations, mostly remarkable.
How I wish I had her vision, and the ability to connect with souls. The comfort and peace I have witnessed when she blurts out situations, people, stories is truly amazing. I have received many blessings because she has been spot on in memories of our loved ones. Debbie's message is to love one another, to send loving thoughts to those who are difficult in our lives, to be present to one another, to remain faithful and hopeful….And to always connect with the angels around us, knowing they are near for protection and guidance….if we just ask.
Fall has always been my favorite time of year . In fall we witness brilliant beauty…..leaves changing, each one so different and unique. A time of shedding the old and lying in wait for the new.
The same is true for us….what do we need to shed ….. what will give way to new life within us by simply letting go?What do we hope to change, accomplish during this period of growth…thats right, growth. When we are able to let go we make room for new growth. Letting go can be harder than it sounds, but when we are finally able to "shed" that which holds us back, there is a freedom, a newness, a purpose…..I wish you a beautiful fall and new growth in this transitional season.
I wonder where all these moments went the past two months. For someone like me who loves to write, I simply haven't taken the time. Many things got in the way, of course…..but that's life (as the song goes). As I look out at the icy white snow I see patches of grass. The little blades are frozen yet stretching to begin growing. Its almost as if these little blades are saying …."nothing's gonna stop me. I'll do what I have to do to survive."
Seems silly, writing about frozen blades of grass, doesn't it? But from a human perspective (mine actually), there is a parallel. This time of year causes me to do a lot of searching….for light, hope, more light, the promise of new life and the anticipation of its beauty. I'm not at my best but I struggle to stay motivated…..to look for the signs that lead me to new growth…in nature and within my being.
During this season of waiting I'm reminded of being pregnant with Meggan, the anticipation of her arrival and finally being able to meet and hold her.
Our precious Meggan will be celebrating another birthday in heaven tomorrow….She would be 42 years old, but to us she will always remain 14. As a mother it's important for me to know what she's experiencing….though I can only guess what it must be like in eternity.
Still every year i ask "What is it like there, Meggan?" Surely there must be ongoing celebrations….streamers everywhere, suspended in animation, rainbows, laughter and so much happiness that we here on earth are missing. I can see angels with gossamer wings, bringing an atmosphere of peace and joy…butterflies, of course, are also everywhere.
For us, there will always be The "missing" PEACE….you, Meggan.
Advent has arrived….that time of waiting, anticipating the birth of Christ.
In our hectic society this time is usually filled with shopping, decorating, baking, parties….all wonderful things. BUT, are we also taking a few minutes each day to just reflect on the miracle that occurs in just a few weeks? It can be done in any way that works for you. It can be just a few minutes….just a little time to STOP, BREATHE, and THINK about this special time. JOURNAL a word to reflect on, a page, a sentence, just a thought.
I wish you a gentle Advent….
Our loved ones who have gone before us have joined the communion of saints in heaven.
When I awoke this morning, there seemed to be a running list of these saints…dear parents and parents in law, beloved grandmother (my girlfriend!), gentle sister, dear friends and acquaintances (though I must say the acquaintances usually become friends)….all of these and more have blessed my life in some way. And because of them I've learned countless lessons that have been so valuable in my life. I also think of the many people who have died at our parish and of their families that I've been privileged to help in their journey of grief. There are also so many hospital patients, particularly cancer patients that I have been blessed to know. Each death is significant in a different way, yet each has left a footprint on my heart.
The most shattering, soul altering death, though, has been our precious Meggan. She was almost 15, our youngest child.There are no spoken or written words that could ever describe life without her. Strange how some view death….a woman recently said how wonderful that I've gotten "over it." She didn't know me or our family or anything about the tragic death of Meggan and two of her friends. And I'm positive she wasn't being callous…..she was just clueless…..until she started to think about her 14 year old granddaughter. Perhaps she will remember.
EVERY loss of a loved one is significant. The impact from the sudden deaths of my mom and sister, mother and father in law
and 4 very close friends have never left me…and that's not a bad thing. When you love deeply you hurt deeply.
A dear priest friend of ours always includes this thought in the funerals he celebrates….although your loved ones are "gone," you only have to say their name and they are with you. That's tremendously comforting for me.
Today and every day, utter the names of those you have loved and lost…..they are always with you.
Rusty married her high school sweetheart, Jim. They have four children and seven adorable