Friday, October 30, 2009

Come, Creator, Spirit

I adore this prayer and just wanted to share. Click on the graphic to see it more clearly. God Bless.....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Snapshot: The missing keys

Keeping keys in a place where I can find them is not one of my strong suits. I am notorious for losing keys, and when I travel, I carry at least two extra sets "just in case"! I go through periods of extraordinary diligence, where I dutifully take my keys and put them in my purse. House keys, car keys.... and work keys fill my purse. I do not worry so much about my house and car keys because Russell always has a set, and we have extras at home. My "work" keys are another matter.

Tuesday morning found me standing outside my office door rifling through my purse. No keys. So I went across the hall, where I know there is a spare... but everyone was tied up behind closed doors. At this point I decided that rather than calling public safety, I'd run across to the student union and grab some breakfast, hoping that when I returned I'd be able to find someone with a key.

This plan didn't quite work out, but I was able to find someone to let me in. I looked high and low in my office... and could not find my keys. I was a bit perplexed but this soon slipped my mind as I got on with the business of the day. Later in the evening, I started looking at home. I checked every conceivable place I could think of, but did not find any keys. I was getting quite concerned, because the task of getting replacement keys is daunting to say the least.

And then, as I was getting ready for bed, I stopped and said a prayer to St. Anthony. I prayed that he helped me find my keys as they were quite important. And no sooner had I said Amen, when I suddenly had a very strong urge to go out to our truck. I went outside... it was about 1:00 a.m. and opened the back passenger door. I had looked here once before, but suddenly "I JUST KNEW" that they were there. And sure enough, upon checking the pocket of my rain jacket, I found them!

I then profusely gave thanks to Saint Anthony for his help. Never ever underestimate St. Anthony. I've heard story upon story about him helping people find the most amazing thing, or helping them to find there way out of something that was seemingly impossible.

So once again, I'd like to give my thanks and praise to St. Anthony, for all of his help during my lifetime.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snapshot: Oh, but to be a good daughter......

Today's snapshot has to do with being a good daughter!Sadly, I am not always what I would consider to be a "good daughter". My Mother is in a nursing home, and she is at times confused. She does spend a good deal of time on her computer however, which we encourage. Yet, the there are many times when she can't remember passwords, or gets her computer locked up... and then the calls arrive, and she demands immediate attention. And I usually become cross and impatient. Shame on me.

It was during one of these incidents that I frantically cried out to Mary, in complete earnestness, asking for her help in helping me to be more patient, more tolerant.... and simply.... kind. I was in my car a the time (where I seem to do my best praying, oddly enough) driving to my Mothers. Of course, she was again stuck... and after taking a deep breath... I went in and managed to be upbeat and positive. My Mother commented as I was leaving: "Thank you for not getting mad.". I smiled at her but cringed inwardly. Am I that much of a jerk?

I'm afraid that the answer is at times, yes.

Days passed... and once again I was at my Mothers bedside, working on her computer. I have been able to be more patient... and less grumbly. My Mother was explaining to me that she couldn't remember how to get to this one game she enjoys playing. I told her how, and she argued that she had never done it that way before. So, taking a deep breath, I said "Mother, I've told you this dozens of times." She said "Annie, I know, but I just can't always remember."

I then replied "I'm so sorry, and I'm so sorry that I get mad." She shared that she didn't like when I got mad, and who can blame her? At this point I was stroking her hair and she shared that it felt good.

I smiled, and said "it does?". She looked at me, very solemnly and said "Yes, and nobody touches me anymore."

Tears filled my eyes and remorse filled my heart. I knew I was so guilty of this. Touching her has been such a harsh reminder of how frail she has become, and I have been avoiding doing so.

"Oh Mother," I said.... "I'm so sorry". We just looked at each other... connected so deeply for the first time in ages. I whispered "I love you so much" and she said "I know". I held her hand for the rest of my visit.

I've not been able to stop thinking about this since that visit a few days ago. I have felt so terrible. And then, today, in sharing this with another colleague who has elderly parents, I came to realize something quite inspiring.

This knowledge was a gift... from Mary and from God. I do believe that through Mary's intercession that I have learned so much about my Mother in the last few days. I will be able to give her something so important that I have been failing to do. I can rectify my mistakes... I can be kinder, more patient and more tolerant. I can hug her and hold her hand, and I can love her. And most of all, I can talk to her... and try and connect.

So thank you Mother Mary, for your gentle and loving intercession.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

SNAPSHOT: Family "always behind you"

Family is essential. "Family" makes us who we are... for better and for worse. In my experience, that has always been for the better. Yes, there have been trials and tribulations, yet even those tribulations have been woven in to the fabric of who and what we are. There are two pictures in this blog. They were taken this weekend and are quite different. Yet when you look at them, and understand what is happening in them, they deliver the same message.

This first picture is of my husband Russell and his cousin Jim. After being on the market for over a year, Russell's Mother has finally sold the family homestead and we spent the day on Saturday loading up the last of Russell's things that have been in the house since his childhood. Of course this was a bit bittersweet because we also said goodbye to the house where he grew up... where he became the man he is. The most "important" item we picked up was a tool chest that Russell had inherited from his paternal Grandfather many years ago. It's been stored away in the garage for 25+ years, and his Grandfather used it every day at work. It's the size of a steamer trunk, and being made of wood and filled with iron and steel tools. Needless to say, it is incredibly heavy, and Russell's cousin Jim was on hand to help load it into our truck.

After the trunk was loaded onto the truck, Russell opened it. He and Jim were like two kids exploring a treasure chest. And indeed, it was a treasure. Tools mean nothing to me... but there were so many little things that caught my eye... a couple of photographs, several little booklets and notepads. Tins of band aids, that someone would likely pay a lot for on EBay. There were a pair of safety glasses... Harry Potter type glasses... that were from the 20's. I never knew Russell's grandfather, but his presence was definitely felt. This was his world that we opened up... and there was an amazing connection to who he was. I watched Russell's face, and took the picture (against his wishes of course). Russell was a child when his Grandpa died, and now he's a grown man. I have heard stories of what a wonderful man he was... and I could see the love on Russell's face as he went through his Grandfather's things. It was a truly poignant moment. And in the "theme" of family, to have a cousin from the other side of your family present, offering help merely underlines the importance and specialness of family.

At first glance, the second picture may seem quite odd. I took it the next day as we were driving to Cincinnati to take my sister and her husband to brunch at "The Grand Finale"
in honor of her upcoming 50th birthday. We drove separately and I was feeling silly, and snapped this picture of the side mirror on our truck. If you look in the reflection of the mirror, you'll see my sister's vehicle following behind. Chuckling after I took the picture, I sent her a text saying "there you are!". She couldn't really see the picture on her phone, but in thinking about it, I realized that yes...she is always there, standing behind me, holding me up. And I am there for her in the same regard. And we are blessed because we have the same relationship with our extended families. And that is how it should be! In days gone by, families looked out for each other. It's too bad that not everyone is blessed. And when I look at this picture... originally taken to make a joke, I realize just how blessed we are. And in realizing this, I am going to take more snapshots... and then look at them for perhaps a deeper meaning.

And I thank God, for all of His blessings. When you open your eyes, and really pay attention, it's amazing how often you will notice His presence in all things!