Friday, May 27, 2011

Gifts from God

My family received two very special gifts recently.  Several of us had asked Fr. Kettron, a family friend, and the priest who presided over my Mom’s funeral, if he would mind sharing a copy of his homily that he gave at the funeral mass.   It arrived in the mail earlier this week.  Peace and comfort blanketed me, just as they did at my Mom’s funeral, when I read his words.   I wanted to share some of them here, as I think they are beautifully expressed, and filled with wisdom and hope:

In his second Corinthian letter, St Paul made a statement that has special meaning for us at this special hour. He said: “What is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” The first part of his statement is obvious. Everything visible passes away. Nothing that we can see with our eyes and touch with our hands stays the same. It is here one day and gone the next.

This is true of nations and societies. It is true of the entire species of birds and animals. It is true even of the stars: though sometimes called eternal, they are not. This passing away is especially true of individuals. Philosophically, we learn to accept the reality that people die. But when the reality touches one we love, it becomes a much more personal matter. We care very much what has happened to our dear one. And Paul tells us that it is only the visible body that has perished. No one has seen the Father… but we profess HE is a person (three in one). “What is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Think of this as it applies to the universe.  Even there, the most profound forces are unseen. Planets are marvelous. But they’re not half as marvelous as the invisible gravity that holds them in place. This marvel deepens when we think of living things. It bobbles the mind to look at a towering range of mountains like the Great Tetons. Their peaks pierce the clouds, and their shoulders are draped with snow. But there on the edge of a glacier, you find a little flower called forget- me-not or edelweiss. It is tiny, and yet more marvelous than a mountain. The mountain is dead. It just stands there, being slowly eroded by wind and rain. The flower is alive. It lives and dies, and is reborn from its own seed. The real marvel of the universe is life. And life is invisible.  Spiritual life is the supreme marvel of the universe. But it is totally invisible. “What is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” The truth enables us to think of death, not as an end, but as a new beginning.

Although slightly edited, and not in their entirety, hopefully the above words bring as much comfort and hope to you as they did to my family and I.  Thanks to Fr. Kettron for sharing his faith, wisdom and love with our family.

The second gift arrived on May 17th:

This is my beautiful niece, and Lucy’s new baby cousin, Maddalena Grace.  Congratulations to my brother and Jessica!   She is a doll, and we are so happy for you!  What a blessing she is to our family.  Although we have felt the absence of my Mom during this joyous time (she would have been so so happy), we are all praising our Lord for this beautiful blessing that just entered into our lives.  We know that Grammy is up in heaven smiling down on her newest granddaughter, and will forever be a guardian angel to her.  Lucy loves her “baby Maddie” and asks to “hold you” (hold her) all the time.  We can't wait to meet her this summer!

Lucy continues to be a shining star in our lives.  The creative ways she finds to entertain herself provides daily comic relief for us.  The pictures below speak for themselves.  For the record, Mama had nothing to do with either situation.  I simply snapped the camera after catching her in these priceless (and hilarious) moments…
Yes, she is on the potty....

and yes, those are Mama's shoes...

and yes, those are her pants on her head!

Lucy informed me she was going to the "gym" to "work out"!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Life

These are our new garden boxes.  Aren’t they lovely?  All the credit goes to Brian.  He has wanted to plant a garden for years, and finally- here it is!   For several months he has been reading books, building these raised beds, mixing the soil… And then, on Mother's Day weekend, off to the nursery we went (my contribution to the project)! Thanks to the wonderful ladies in my Mom’s group, we were able to use the generous gift card they gave me after my Mom died to buy the plants.  And now, there is lots of new life starting to grow in our backyard:  tomatoes, zucchini, squash, strawberries, basil, peppers, onions, lettuce, spinach...  So, this is how I spent Mother’s Day- busy planting and honoring life.  I think my Mom would have liked this. 

One other helpful thing happened on Mother's Day:   Our ladybug showed up again.  Lucy was out on her swing in the backyard, and there she landed.  Maybe it sounds far-fetched to keep looking for meaning in this, but honestly, we have not seen one since my last post on April 3.  And we have been looking! What better day is there for my Mom to remind me she is still with us, than on Mother’s day?  Brian smiled as soon as he saw our little red friend, and then said “Happy Mother’s Day, Marcy.” 

Our friends Johanna and Ross, and their two girls Lily Kate and Ella, recently came for a weekend visit.  We caught a break from the monsoon-like weather we have been having, and had a wonderful night under the stars, roasting marsh-mellows by the fire. The girls love each other and had a wonderful time playing together.  

We also had a nice outing to the annual butterfly show at the Krohn Conservatory with my friend Tammy, and her sweet daughter Abby.  Lucy wasn’t quite sure what to think of all those butterflies flying around and landing on her, but it was an adventure she won’t soon forget!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!