Today I have been given the image of brokenness to ponder. Writing through it helps me gain clarity, hence the blog post. This image kept coming to me throughout the morning, starting with the visit of Mom’s Eucharistic Minister, Rocco, and his wife Liz. They didn’t realize that I would still be here at my parent’s home – not even I did – so he didn’t have three hosts for all of us. He told Dad and I that he would break one to split it between us. And we had a sweet little Mass service at my parents’ home, with Mom receiving the communion and Dad and I splitting the other one.
Thinking about that image more, it becomes a beautiful Metaphor. And when I say Metaphor, I don’t mean it the way my precious almost 9-year-old niece, Anna, understands it. This story is too funny, I have to pause to add this tale of comic relief. This conversation happened yesterday before the rest of my family departed to tend to all that God calls them to, allowing for this time for Dad and I to share with Mom:
Anna and I sat on the couch in the living room, while my 15-year-old nephew, Abraham sitting near us made some funny comment, as is usually the case. Anna asked, “Is that a Metaphor?”
Abraham replied, “Yes, it is.”
Somehow I felt Anna might not yet fully grasp what that word that she’s heard from her older sister, Alyssa, meant. So I asked her, “Anna, do you know what a Metaphor is?”
Matter of factly, Anna replied, “Yeah, it’s an animal – like in the movie, Percy Jackson.”
Trying not to laugh, because sometimes it embarrasses her, I asked her more about that “Metaphor”, and she continued to share how it was mean and pounced on the sheep in the movie. I had a feeling she was thinking of a Minotaur, but hey, I often get those confused myself, and I’m 34-years old…but I digress.
Back to brokenness… The Lord calls us to imitate him, and as Christians, Catholics, or any type of Believer, we say that we will. Yet, something we so easily profess with our lips often becomes quite a struggle when presented the opportunity to put into practice. Still, Jesus, of all people, publicly showed the ultimate act of brokenness – crucifixion although not guilty – laying down his life that we might share in eternity with Him.
I think of that single host, which I know undoubtedly is Jesus, being broken and split between my Father and I. And right now, Jesus is tending to us both in order to carry our shares of this “burden” right now. It brings us into the mystery of Calvary – in the blending of sorrow, hope, agony, peace, pain, humility, divine assistance, sacrifice, death, resurrection, and ultimately triumph…
I’ve never experienced anything quite like this. Sometimes tears just roll down my face when I realize what lies ahead, as my heart “readys” itself. Sometimes I just walk over to Mom, kiss her on the cheek and watch her smile, and it makes me smile. Sometimes I want to lose it when I become impatient and frustrated because I am just tired, and have perhaps a thought such as, “she may never hold the children Mike and I want to have” crosses my mind.
But Mom told me on New Years Eve, “I will always watch over you.” Dad, Mom and I cried as she shared this, and more from her tender heart. I don’t know much, but I can tell you that I believe more then ever heaven is real. I also know that my sweet Mom will be eventually return there, as we all were created to do. She will be so happy, no longer suffering, and will be back with all of our dear friends and family that have gone before us, and with God, his Angels and his Saints. These things we know, but they do not always comfort us as we struggle with detachment.
I have to share that we honestly have no idea how long we have with her, or from one day to the next how she will be. Mom continues to fight and gain strength, and I will let y’all know when we feel like things are really declining. Just as Mike, Abraham (my nephew) and I arrived here, she had a bad allergic reaction to the new Chemo pills the Doctor had just given her for 2 days, and it was scary. But now that her 6 days of Steroids (which are hard on her – not being able to sleep) are finally over, I think she will be better. We just take it day by day, which is how we are called to live anyways.
Thanks for all your comments, emails, phone calls, texts, and the like. I may not always be able to respond, or do it in a timely manner, but know that I receive them with the love that I know prompted them. I will try to use my blog to periodically give updates– it’s easier then trying to constantly re-tell something we are living and sometimes need a break from – I’m sure you understand. Thanks for the advice from experienced dear friends and family too, and all the offers to do whatever, whenever, and the phone is “always on”. I am humbled and blessed by the incredible network of support God has provided.
I’ll just wrap up by relaying about the love that is so tangible to us right now. I can almost taste the Love, it can be felt so strong. God is Love. You know that I, like other people, utter prayers out of love while never really knowing what they do for another; but it brings love, hope, courage, fortitude — whatever virtue or fruit of the spirit that the other needs. Only in heaven will we truly understand. In God’s time, Mom will know how her love touched and transformed so many lives.
Feel free to leave messages here, on her Facebook wall, in a card or what not to let her know how you have been touched by God’s love through her. She loves to hear all those things, and even needs them sometimes just like we all do.