Light in Darkness

She’d be waiting for us in her sunlit kitchen with something delicious set beautifully on the counter – a bottle of wine cooling in the fridge, a candle flickering in the distance. It wouldn’t matter if you were arriving for a holiday, weekend or just another day of the week, the greeting was always the same – loving! It also didn’t matter if you arrived in a good mood, bad mood or sad mood – she was always ready to lift you up with her cheerful smile and wise counsel. Cooking dinner tonight for my children in the quiet of my quaint kitchen reminded me of this beautiful memory, infusing a sense of nostalgia for the gift of days gone by with my extraordinary mother.

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As I stood stirring the rice and turning the cauliflower my mind rested on mom and the wonderful gifts of hospitality she shared with me and so many others over the years. She had a way of making everything *better* with a pretty tablecloth, lovely place setting and sparkly wine glass. It might sound silly to some, but one felt special in her presence. Through her attention to every detail, she let you know that she cared. The virtue of graciousness is lost today but I intend to treasure mom’s graciousness and pass it on to my children as something to emulate. Mom took time to make her home and meals special for everyone who entered and by doing so – sad moods were changed to good and life’s challenges didn’t seem as daunting.  This was one of her many gifts.

As I plated the kid’s dinner, I lit a beautiful candle of moms that my sister had given us for Christmas. I set a pretty table and I poured their iced tea into cool new glasses that I purchased over the weekend. Even though we are all tired, somewhat struggling and maybe even sad…the light from the candle warmed our hearts just a bit. It reminded us of beautiful Nona who always had a way of making things better.

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As St. Augustine said “The deceased did not leave us, merely we cannot see them any longer; they are looking with their eyes full of light into our eyes full of tears.” Despite the sadness, I do believe that mom is full of God’s light and shining her eternal goodness into all of us each day. Tonight, it was in the form of the beautiful memory I thought to share. May we all walk in her path and make others lives a little brighter by our graciousness and love.

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