It’s late – prayers have been said, books have been read but a dim light casts a white glow into the dark hallway. I slowly push the door open and find him staring into the distance. “What’s up buddy, time for bed?” I ask. “I’m just contemplating where Nona is at this very moment.” he responds. “Do you think she is on a beach with her sister Barbara? Do you think she is eating a Snickers or an Almond Joy? What do you think she is doing mom?” The innocence and sincerity in his voice takes my breath away. I smile lovingly at this sweet boy of mine and respond “I’m not sure, but whatever she is doing, I am sure that she knows YOU are thinking about her.”
As I close his bedroom door after multiple hugs and kisses, I think about this unexpected nighttime exchange. He was only 12 years old when Mom went home to God 8 weeks ago and yet his memory of her is so clear…so real…so big. I expect it will always be this way. Mom was such a huge presence in his life and in the lives of all her grandchildren. What was the key to her presence…why was it so big? Simply put – it was LOVE. When love is given and received freely, the effect on a person is simply magical.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Mom lately – her ability to love everyone and in all circumstances. What gave her the strength to push through the muck and negative energy of every day struggles and emerge unscathed with only a positive and loving heart? (This is an especially important question to pose during this post-election time.) It was her faith in God – a faith infused with intellect and reason. I am confident that without her faith, she would not have been able to remain steadfast in love, optimism and hope.
St. Josemaria said “Be cheerful, always cheerful. Sadness is for those who do not consider themselves to be children of God.” Mom knew that she was a child of God and loved unconditionally exactly as she was! She was joyful! It was with this in mind that she stepped out in faith each day, with a positive attitude, assuming only the best in everyone she met. Her attitude was infectious and one was left better after an encounter with her. Don’t misunderstand me, Mom suffered and endured hardships just like the rest of us. She was concerned about important issues in our country, just like the rest of us. But unlike those who only look at what is going wrong, she chose to look at what is going right and what she could do to make the wrong things better. She chose to LOVE and infuse that love into her family and the world around her. Imagine if we all had that attitude today?
So tonight if Andrew asks me what I think Mom is doing in heaven, perhaps I’ll offer “She is loving you Andrew and counting on you to carry on her legacy of LOVE. She is also willing you to be part of all that is good, hopeful and positive in this world. She knows you can make a difference for good. Just follow her example and trust in God. He will show you the way.”