Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mom's last message

At 10:45 this morning, surrounded by six of her seven children and her eldest sister, Mom left this life. My most cherished keepsake of her will probably be the page of a notepad on which she attempted to communicate her desire for Holy Communion:
The shaky handwriting was not typical of Mom, notwithstanding her 85 years. It is a sign of how weak she was a week ago. It took three sheets of paper before we "got" what she was trying to tell us.

During the nights I have spent alone in Mom's house, while my sister took the "night shift" in her room, I played an audio New Testament playlist continually through the night. When I would wake at night, I would hear a snippet of the Word of God that could help me to pray. Yesterday, I woke just as John 17 was beginning. The Gospel words were so apropos, I asked my siblings if we could put them on her memorial card: "I have made your Name known to those you gave me... and now I am coming to you."

If you had asked me three weeks ago, I would have certainly acknowledged Mom's great and active faith, but I had always assumed it was Dad who was the real religious influence in our family. After all, he was President of the National Association of Holy Name Societies, active in St Vincent de Paul and in the local parish, and died within two minutes of receiving the Eucharist. These last three weeks showed me how incredible that faith really was, and how much I owe to it.

Thanks, Mom. Thanks so much. Rest in peace.


16 comments:

Jackie G. said...

That is such a beautiful moment in the life of your family! Who will ever forget her last communication (that she so desperately wanted to communicate) which is that she wanted to have Holy Communion with Jesus. He did come to her whom she did make His name known. Blessed be the Lord God of the living and the dead who has allowed to have His name known and cherished throughout all of heaven and all of earth!! Happy are the children whose parents have had a holy death. Thank you, God. Thank you.

Denise Morency Gannon said...

Gone ahead and in a beautiful season. Prayers and condolences on your loss. She is a whisper away.

Fran said...

May your mom find peace and rest eternal in the presence of the Lord. For all who will miss and mourn her, I pray for your hope and consolation.

Anne said...

My sympathy, Sister Anne, to you and your family. I know it is very painful to say goodbye (even though it is a temporary goodbye) to a mother. How happy you must be, however, to know she is resting so happily and peacefully with the Lord.
I'm sure she is already bragging to Him about her wonderful daughter who serves Him so beautifully! God grant you and your family members His peace in your grief. I will pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for your mom and all of you who mourn her passing. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Bernie and Anna will remember to pray esp. for you and for the family. Mom is happy to be where she is... because Christ is risen.

bridgetheresa said...

My condolences on the loss of your mother. She was very special and I'm sure she will continue to accompany you from heaven. Pleas be assured of my prayers for you and your family.

Stefanie said...

Sister Anne, what a tremendous gift from your mom and from the Holy Spirit who guided her hand! How I wish my own mom had been able to tell us that...
Also a blessing that you were with her! Due to my usual Sunday teaching duties, I had told my comatose Mom I wouldn't be able to return until later...I told her the exact time I would return. Two minutes before I was heading to my parents' house, my dad called me with the news that she had just passed away. It doesn't make me sad to think I was not with her...because she died on the Lord's Day...Sunday...the best day ever.
You are in my prayers...as is your dear mom.

Anna Caiazza said...

Sono vicina a te e alla tua famiglia in questo momento di dolore, certa con tutti voi della vita in pienezza che ora gode per sempre la tua mamma. Il Risorto l'accolga nel suo abbraccio e doni a tutti voi consolazione e pace. Con affetto, sr Anna Caiazza

Ginger Bap said...

I am sorry for your loss. I am a bout your age and i look after my elderly mother. I try to make her last days as happy as possible. I am sure you made your mother happy. God bless.

Anonymous said...

God is awesome, in life and in death. Your mother left a testimony about how God uses everything for His Purpose. Rejoice, for she is with Him and is in pain no more.

Rita and John said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. How amazing to be getting to know your mother better even in her last days on earth. I have been following your journey with her and will continue to keep her and you and your family in my prayers. God Bless.

Lisa said...

A very beautiful tribute and grace filled memento.

Julia Hardin said...

Sr Anne - Paul relayed your sad news and I wanted to let you know my husband and I will be keeping you, your Mom, and your family in our prayers. Sending you peaceful and strengthening thoughts! -Julia Hardin

C. said...

I'm so sorry, Sr. We're never actually ready for a loved one's passing. The one thing I read that might help a bit, which came a decade too late, was that the next time you see her, she will be in her glorified state. Oh, may God bless you all and tell you something very personal of your mother. My sincere condolences to your whole family.

Pat Gohn said...

Hi Sister,

I tried to leave a comment a few days when this first was posted but I was out of town and away from my computer and that dang iPhone was not able to leave a post. I think its the capcha thingy that was failing.

Anyway, you and your family -- especially Mom!-- have been in our prayers over here.

I have the fondest memory of meeting your Mom -- at the motherhouse in Boston at your Christmas concert. She was so proud of you -- and that solo you had! She was a delight to meet. I'm so glad you were with her in her final days.

Godspeed her to heaven and may He send his love and graces to you in the days ahead.

Anne D said...

I am so sorry about your Mother. The loss of a parent is especially hard as they have known us the longest. Here is a quote that I think of often.
The world loves closure, loves a thing that can, as they say,be gotten through. This is why it comes as a great surprise to find that loss is forever, that (two) decades after the event there are those occasions when something in you cries out at the continual presence of an absence.”  Anna Quindlen

Be good to yourself. Take Care.