It’s hard to believe that one month has passed since my beloved mother has passed from this life into the next. My sister and I were talking tonight and shared that we still expect her to walk back through our front doors. It just doesn’t make sense to us that the one who loved so deeply is gone from our daily presence.
After pondering this for some time tonight, I was drawn out of my sadness by my son Andrew. He joined me in the basement as I attempted some back strengthening exercises. When I looked over at his innocent face he said “it’s okay mom, we all miss her, but she’s here.” That’s all I needed to hear, to coax me out of my sad state and cause me to reflect upon the incredible goodness of my mom’s life which was lived in love.
My mom walked the path of love as a child, a newlywed, a young mother, and a grandmother. Later in life, she walked the path of love as a cancer patient. She surrendered to God and allowed his grace to flow through her during her entire life. Because of her deep faith, His love flowed through her to everyone she came into contact with and they were better for it.
Because Mom walked the path of love so faithfully, she was able to take up her cross every day. Before cancer, these crosses looked similar to those many of us encounter daily – challenges with a young family, household finances, college tuition, minor health issues, etc. Later in life, her crosses became more serious. They came in the form of brain radiation, chemotherapy, hair loss, numerous trips to Dana Farber, clinical trials, and many unknowns about the disease that had invaded her life. She handled these crosses in the same way she had always done – with deep faith, steadfast courage and unfailing hope in God.
Bishop Robert Barron shares “the Gospel of Luke reminds us that the gate is narrow precisely because it is in the very shape of Jesus Himself, and entrance through the gate involves conformity to His state of being.” Mom conformed herself to the shape of our Lord by walking the path of love and taking up her cross every day of her life. I am confident that she is safely home with Him in heaven where we will hopefully join her one day.
Andrew is right (a child always is) – I shouldn’t be sad – Mom is right beside me. I just need to follow her incredible example and walk the path of love every day. With God’s grace and a little help from my beloved mother, I will be okay. (We all will – Joanie has shown us how it’s done – let’s follow her path of love.)