Today we celebrated a mass of resurrection for our friend, Peggy. It was beautiful in every sense of the word. I know she would be / is happy with the outcome. The rituals we have as Catholics are so meaninful and enagingrichly The priest was WONDERFUL! He spoke as if he'd known Peg for many years; I was happy to be present. Death, as we know it, is the the end of life here but the beginning of new life.....one which we can only imagine. I will miss my friend, but I know that a piece of her will always be with me.
God knows the things that give us great joy and delight....
He knows the people who we need to come into our path......
to help form and shape us!
Think of someone who fits this role in your life....take a risk.....tell them.
This morning at about 11 am, my dear friend Peggy died. Her youngest daughter, Margaret, was by her side. But then, Margaret has always been by her side. It has been almost two years since Peggy suffered her first stroke. A vibrant ball of fire suddenly lost her total independence. She suffered many other strokes after the first and even sustained a heart attack. Because of her limitations she was never able to return home…..or drive…..or anything her previously active life allowed. Peggy and I shared many years of friendship. Ours was based on trust and genuine love for one another. Together we "played" on our journey of life. She could make anyone laugh, and her heart was so generous and kind. She delighted in wearing silly head bands on Valentine's day or St Patrick's day….or any other occasion she could find something kooky to wear. She exuded Joy.
Peggy's husband, the love of her life ,Jack, died decades ago. He was a young man and she was left with 5 children. She couldn't fall apart; she had to keep going because of the children. She did the best she could.
But the years were not easy ones. As in most families there are always situations which occur with a child that require patience and understanding and unconditional love. She had her share of that. But still, she always landed on her feet, remaining positive.
I will never understand why my friend had to die the way she did. It made no sense that she had to suffer. The lack of independence made her angry, furious, actually, that normal was no longer what it had been. In her wellness she was not an angry woman, but her limitations were more than she could accept. So, she fought and fought and fought. It took so much energy but she never gave up…..until today, that is….today, when she finally let go and entered the kingdom.
As much as death in situations like this can be/is a relief for loved ones, it is also so difficult. That, my friends, is the price we pay for loving deeply. Still I would rather be as I am in the depths of my love than one who cannot allow themselves to FEEL.
The last time I saw Peggy was just a few days ago. It was a good visit, as much as it could be. A friend from Arizona was there also, so we were able to surround her with love. On that day I saw a glimpse of what was the essence of Peggy. While it only lasted a few minutes, it was something I will remember always.
I love you, dear friend, and will
Not sure if you can get the full effect of this snowlady I made today.....by myself! She has flowers for eyes and a carrot nose. You see, I was shoveling out driveway this afternoon and it occurred to me that it had been years since I had made a snowman. (that and I was also bored just heaving the snow from one side of the driveway to the other). Sometimes it's good to let the little kid in us emerge. With the hectic schedule I have ahead of me the next few days it was so good to just do something silly and unexpected.
When did you last play?
Yesterday I had to take Maverick into the vet for his yearly injections. Always sweet and docile, he never even whimpered when he got them. But, as you would imagine he is pretty sore and moving slowly. This morning as I watched him try to walk, he was limping. And the more I watched the more I realized I could relate. I feel like I'm limping through Lent…..working at it, but not q-u-i-t-e up to par…..at times dragging my feet at what I know I NEED….and….WANT to do to make these 40 days more meaningful.
I gave Maverick a baby aspirin, which has helped him….now I need to figure out what I can use to snap me back onto this journey whole heartedly. It won't be in pill form. I guess that is my prayer today….Dear Lord, help me to walk strongly through these days, focused.
Have a blessed day
As I sit here in the comfort of my warm bed, reading Lenten reflections, I am struck by how fortunate I am. So many among us are homeless, without comfort. I struggle with that, wishing I could give them the simple comforts I have. So often I take these simple comforts for granted. I guess I just have to be reminded over and over again....kind of reminds me of the movie Ground Hog Day. The Lenten season always seems to bring me to that place of reflection.
Lord, help me to maintain a grateful heart.
What comforts do you have? How could you share them with others?
I can still remember Scott's call that Patrick Scott McDermott had arrived! Patrick's personality is bigger than life. After all, he IS the youngest of 4, he is the center of the universe. His energy is ever present. And he has a twinkle in those eyes that are full of mischief! Oh, Paddy, you are our youngest blessing, and we love you sooooooooooooo much! We are so glad you were born!
Most people have been exposed to cancer.....perhaps a loved one has battled this disease, perhaps you have battled it on your own. What do we do with those experiences.....where do we go with the feelings? A dear friend of mine, Alice, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few yeas ago. Out of that experience Alice and her husband, Bill, created a beautiful program "Finding strength and hope through the way of the cross: a journey with cancer." The beautiful music which Bill wrote says " We're not alone on this journey...." and "When we stumble into dark despair, shine Your light so we may find our way...."
Next Friday, Feb. 22, our parish (St James in Arlington Heights) is hosting the presentation. It is beautifully written, and the music will touch your hearts. I invite you to join us at 7:30 in the church to experience this prayerful journey. The stations last an hour and there is no fee .... I promise you the stories you hear will uplift you, and you will feel a gentle presence.
"Dear Lord, help us walk strongly, live hopefully and be the human Christ to others."
Years ago I remember having so much fun on Valentine's Day cutting my childrens' sandwiches into heart shapes, putting those little conversation hearts in their sandwiches.....anything to let them know they were special, loved, had captured my heart. Isn't love a wonderful thing???!!! If we know someone loves us, we are more complete. If we know we are loved, we can love in return.
So, today remember to tell someone you love them. It could be the only time they've heard they are loved....ever or for a long time. When we share the love in our hearts, our hearts fill up with more love to share.
I wish you Joy and Love xxxxoooo
Sacrifice....abstinence....fasting....all words we associate with Lent. Why is it that this season is the time when we are most likely to make an effort to really sacrifice, abstain and fast? (Or at least make a stab at it!)
Just something to ponder.....
Rusty married her high school sweetheart, Jim. They have four children and seven adorable