Reflections on 61 years.
I am thinking about this as today was my 61st birthday celebration. And the woman responsible for that momentous event 61 years ago is no longer with us here on earth.
Not that I can really be sad that she is no longer here. I know she is with God. To paraphrase Thomas More, God would not refuse one so blithe to go to Him. No, the only regrets are that she cannot tease me with one of her stories about how I took so long to be born, or pick on us for not taking group pictures.
That was Mom. She was during her life so involved, so invested, so much a part of her children's worlds that any of us could close our eyes and hear her telling us to do one thing or another. There was the proverbial - don't mention this to your father - it will only upset him - but ...... the politics would especially frustrate her. She would ask how Fr. Frank was doing. She would remind me that so and so needed prayer. So in this morning's prayers, after my "good morning, Mom," I gave her a list of people for whom she should pray and events that need the Lord's intervention.
My mom - the prayer warrior.
Well she must have asked the Good Lord for a good day for me because it was wonderful. Mass is always special and the boys were very happy when I sprung for donuts afterward. I saw my brother who gave me the biggest hug and then returned to the house where my Dad was there to remind me to not yell at the boys. Soon it was everyone coming over, the adult children, the grandchildren, and the decibel level reminded me of the old days when all eleven were still living at home.
There was little James sitting at the piano, hitting the random notes and singing Jingle Bells. When I joined him and played the song, he continued singing the not quite recognizable words with the biggest smile. Meanwhile over in the corner Juliet was swaying to the music happy to be relieved of the burden of socks and shoes - again.
My wife, of course, was being a saint throughout all of this. My surgery had rendered me quite limited in my abilities to contribute to the cleaning and cooking and Christmas shopping. Instead I hobbled around trying to walk properly as directed by my physical therapist. She called upon the boys to pick up the slack and so yesterdays's little tree (and we were lucky that there were any left) was trimmed and decorated. Soon the room was filled with the nostalgia of 21 past Christmases in this old house. For my part I continued to remain amazed that 12 days post surgery, I was walking with a new left hip.
Talk about a Christmas present.
Then we "skyped" with my son in Europe. Again another modern technological miracle - and so I thanked God.
The football games, more family coming by and of course the football debates all absorbed the balance of the day until dinnertime. Again the great meal Petra made was only outdone by her desserts - something else that did not make it off the dining room table.
I went onto Facebook and there were all the birthday greetings - so many with extra kindness that I felt a little like George Bailey.
so thank you.
First, thank you Lord for all the beauty,goodness and joy you have showered upon me in my parents, my wife, my children, my grandchildren and my friends.
Second, thank you Lord for healing my hip and for all those who were involved in the operation.
Third, thanks to everyone who has been so kind to me.
As Christmas approaches, we all have reason to be grateful for the gift God sent to the world - His Son Jesus Christ - who came to redeem us and restore us to the Father.
With the world as dangerous, violent, confused and distraught as it is, we need Him more than ever, I pray He is a part of your world as He has been so much a part of mine.
Such is the prayer of a grateful son of a most amazing mother who showed me the love of God during these last 61 years.