Archive for December, 2013

Fast Forward to the end…

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Hello dear friends. Just a day or two ago… I was writing and singing merrily “on the first day of Christmas” and now… Christmas is packed away, and hats, noise makers, cups, and plates have replaced green and red stuff in the keys house. A visit to Miami yields lots of party dishes, deviled egg trays, warmer trays, etc etc which I pack into bins while Chuck takes down the Miami Christmas lights and so we go happily and merrily packing more bins to take to the Keys house. Tomorrow I’ll visit the Cardiologist for a final report. When I had a stress test he reported my heart is fine… “being well lubricated and pumping nicely with no extra beats”… and so I will look at him tomorrow and ask him if he can rule out a broken heart… All of us have suffered a great loss at one or many times and we know about “broken heart syndrome” but why don’t doctors take this into account? of course when my weight and b/p, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels are all too high with accompanying chest pain…. I guess the doctor isn’t just going to go “sniff” and say, “Yes, take an aspirin and get over the broken heart.” He’s going to demand exercise, weight loss, and cutting out sugar and fat. I told my sister Donna I had chest pain and I cried a lot when I was with her… She too had the same pain, but we knew Mom was going to heaven which is a wonderful “knowing” that the Lord gives to us. Death still hurts. For example, when I do things I know Mom would love to hear about, like when I go to church to be a Eucharistic Minister, but move to lector because the lector doesn’t show up, and then move to the choir when the lector arrives huffing and puffing, when I am singing with all my heart, I think, “Mom would love to hear about this!!!” So I whisper a prayer, “Thanks Mom for sending me out and encouraging me. Thanks for life and for talent.” God bless our families. Chuck and I will be celebrating New Year’s Eve with about 20 neighbors and one couple driving from Miami! You too, be safe, and have a very Happy and prosperous New Year. God bless. Say thanks.

On the First Day of Christmas we…..

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Begin to celebrate the martyrs. Isn’t that interesting? Jesus gets a wonderful 24 hours and then we turn our faces to Saint Stephen who was the first martyr after the death of Jesus. Stephen was just too passionate and truthful about who Jesus was and what we do to reject Jesus. Stephen angered some pretty prestigious people including a man named Saul who nodded, “Yes” as men threw their cloaks at his feet. “Yes, go ahead, be angry, be petulant, be vindictive against a man who speaks against you. Yes, pick up the first stone. Throw it at his head. Get him in his brilliant mind; get him in his loving heart. Kill him for he is not with us.” How bitter that death must have been for the first disciples who had just chosen Stephen as a Deacon, full of righteousness, to care for the poor among the new Christians. On Saturday of this ending year, we celebrate the Holy Innocents, the children whom Herod killed trying to kill the Babe whom the wise men looked for. “If I can only get rid of the noisy little kid, he won’t grow up and take my throne,” thought a vengeful, very sick, Herod. Actually, Herod killed his own son because the man thought the kid would take his throne. Makes me wonder what I’m clinging to and who I would kill to keep it. What or whom have I shoved away as I strove to get what I thought I needed? Jesus threw Saul off his horse when Jesus had enough of Saul’s ruthless ignorance. “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?” a merciful Jesus asked. “Now man get up and learn something from those who know Me, and then get out there and teach!” So let us get up today and go out there and teach of the mercy that we know is our God. Have you had a bad time lately? Are you blaming God? Get off that horse and start praising him for the abundant blessings he has given to us, his people. God bless us all and Merry Christmas.

Overdoing Christmas…?

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

I certainly hope that we can’t overdo Christmas if the beauty of the mystery of God’s gift in the Incarnation is on our heart. Last year I covered the Keys house that we winter in with Christmas decorations culled from Loretta’s and Trudy’s treasures. Chuck hung up as many lights as the little Keys house can stand, and we used Loretta’s small illuminated tree, and it was just fine. This year, we have decorated the Miami house with outside lights and some inside decorations, and we are leaving Miami December 5 planning to begin our winter stay in the Keys. I have just put 4 bins of Christmas decorations and 2 bins of lights in the van. As I pulled out nativity characters, cups, table coverings, a shower curtain with Santa and his reindeer, ducks, bears, little seats for the bears to sit on, and etc …, I began to wonder where I am going to PUT all this stuff, and is it too much? If you hear of a house on Big Pine Key sinking into the waters of the Caribbean… it’s mine, but I’m not overdoing it! God bless you this season of Advent. May your heart ponder the mystery of God tearing off the best part of himself, making it human, and coming here to “pitch his tent among us.” May you be filled with joy and WANT to decorate and get ready. God bless our families.

Mom is with angels and Jesus

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Our faith tells us to believe the words of Jesus who promised that he is preparing a place for those of us who believe he is the Son of God sent to redeem us. So while Mom and I waited and prayed, and after I left her November 1, I was anticipating the wonderful new home Mom will have with angels and rocking chairs for Mom to rock babies, right up front in the Light of God.

Mom went to heaven in the early morning of November 25 and I imagine the dancing in heaven as angels sang: “Come Grace, let us go. Your work is done here. You have taught your girls and sons and grands to pray and to go to church. Your children will be fine because they have an abiding faith because they saw you believing, praying, and serving your church. Come! and see our Blessed Mother who will hug you and take you to Jesus. Glory! Glory! Grace is home in heaven! Praise God in his angels and his saints. Thank God for bringing his daughter Grace home!”

I thank Mom for giving me birth in a time when so many Moms choose not to give birth. I used to call Mom every year on my birthday to thank her. Mom inspired me and she was my biggest cheerleader. She loved what I wrote, and she was always asking “what are you writing? and where are you speaking next?”

If you are a Mom or grand mom or if you teach little children, take the example of the great woman who was my Mother, and give thanks to God for blessings, and then turn and teach the little ones.

My favorite memories of my mom stretch over the years from watching her polish her nursing shoes with the bottle of white shoe polish with the nurse on the label and starching her nursing hat… I used to starch my school uniform skirts with spray starch and polish my shiny Mary Jane shoes with Vaseline! !!! Mom taught me to be particular with how I look. She worked very hard and expected her nurses to work hard too and look the part. She used to study at the dining room table so as a little girl I spread out my books with her, and do it today. The dining room table is the study spot of choice. Mother prayed constantly. There are about 10 Rosaries in her room and often one under her hand in the morning! She wanted us to go to church and to pray… Mother loved her food served HOT!!! and so do I. Mother told me when the colors in my paintings were dark and muddy so now I am very conscious of dark and muddy. Memory goes on and on. She taught us how to mother others and how to hug. God bless Mom and God let Mom see his face.