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:
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.