The Homecoming

me and hallieThis weekend my first born and only daughter is coming home!  She moved out on her own at 18 and has lived a little over an hour away.  I know that is not very far, but that was 12 years ago and she has had a rough couple of years.  It is hard watching a loved one go through life’s trials and not be there physically for them to hug and wipe a tear.

With my daughter moving back closer to us, I get the extra bonus of spending more time with my grandson and granddaughter.  They have spent a lot of time with Grams and Pop, but it will be so much easier to be able to drive a few minutes and pick them up for an all day adventure or for just a couple of hours of fun.

This special homecoming has brought up memories of all the other special homecomings in my life.

Bringing new babies home was a very special homecoming.  I can remember each of my three sisters coming home from the hospital and my own three children. Any time leaving the hospital was a great homecoming!

For a time, my husband was in the US Navy.  Those six month deployments were months of loneliness and hard work for both of us.  A Navy wife is essentially a single parent much of the time.  I can still remember how excited the kids and I would be when it was time for Daddy to come home.  We made a “Welcome Home” poster.  We stood at the dock and watched the ship gradually roll in.  We could not climb the endless steps to the deck fast enough!  Our first time, I had to carry my son who was just two.  His big sister (two years older) was in front of us.  She made it about a quarter of the way up – then bam! fear of heights sets in!  She froze!  With so many families impatiently waiting to see their loved ones, it was an awkward moment.  I really did not know what I would do!  Fortunately a kind man in front of her scooped her up and carried her up the steps!  Reunions could be made after all…

We lived in Virginia while in the Navy.  It was the only time we did not live in Louisiana.  We missed our family back home.  My parents, God bless them, made the long trip to Virginia several times, pulling their camper.  They were at our door just four months after we left.  They were also the ones who drove over when my husband was in the Gulf War and was about to be discharged.  They came collect me and the kids so that I could get a job and place to live for our new start back home.  My parents must have been so happy! Their daughter was coming home!

I suppose there are many homecomings in one’s life time.  Some are literal homecomings, others are on an emotional or spiritual level.   The Lord rejoices at all of our “spiritual” homecomings.  At baptism we become a member of God’s family. He welcomes us with open arms.   Once we are old enough to understand the teachings of the Church and make that leap of faith to follow Jesus, I am sure Our Lord is again rejoicing and  leading us to our true home.  Our Lord knows that the most important homecoming occurs at our death.

Because I know my happiness in my daughter’s homecoming, I can only imagine our Father’s happiness when we move over from this earthly life to our spiritual life in His Presence.   In heaven we are reunited with Our Father and our loved ones who have gone before us.  What a homecoming that must be!

1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with Him.”

In the midst of the big move this weekend, my family and I will stop and take time to thank our Heavenly Father, who makes all these homecomings possible.

My Elizabeths and Luke,

WELCOME HOME!

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry (Mom and Grams)

 

 

 

 

 

Remember

holy spiritIt is Memorial Day.  I have much respect for our fallen soldiers.  My husband is a veteran; I know first hand the sacrifice and life-threatening situations our soldiers endure for our country and our freedom.

This Memorial Day, I am also choosing to remember our fallen brothers and sisters who died defending their beliefs and Jesus Christ.  It is so important to remember these sacrifices especially today when  it seems as if so many in today’s culture wants us to forget the lessons taught by our Savior more than 2000 years ago.  The battlefield has moved to our own state capitals, county court houses, and our own back yards.

In the history of the United States of America, there have been many wars and battles.  The Revolutionary War of 1775 saw 25,000 dead; Vietnam War, a total of 58,209 died.  All together, over a million United States citizen have died protecting our freedoms, including our freedom to follow our own religious beliefs and morals.

Since the time of Jesus Christ, there have been countless martyrs.  Saints Stephen, Peter and Paul all died proclaiming the gospel.  St. Joan of Arc was executed in 1431.  More recently, Maximillian Kolbe died in 1941 and Oscar Romero in 1980.  You may be thinking that all of these individuals were not killed in this great country that was founded on principles of freedom, and that is true.  This country is slowly persecuting Christians by taking away their jobs and economic resources.  Speak out candidly regarding matters of faith and you risk losing your job, friends, and respect.

I will also argue that there are many more victims killed in this country today than ever in our country’s history.  Remember the “Massacre of the Holy Innocents”, Matthew 2:16?  Since 1973, Roe v. Wade, over 40 million innocent babies have been legally killed in abortions.  That is 1100 times the number of fallen soldiers in the Vietnam War.  Already this year, there are over 450,000 victims.  Pro-abortion advocates have always stated that legalized abortion protects women.  The truth is that in 1970 there were 119 deaths resulting from illegal abortions.  Legalized abortions have not brought down that number, in fact it has increased.  Abortion clinics have not been regulated and women have been injured, harmed, and many have died.  Of course there is always a death in every abortion, as a creation of God is given a death sentence because they are an “inconvenience”.

One of the readings at mass yesterday was Acts 8:14-18. “they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”    This passage for Catholics is the Biblical foundation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

As infants, we are baptized into the Church, which is the mystical Body of Christ.  As adults, we become confirmed, which gives us the special strength of the Holy Spirit.  Once confirmed, we are to become true witnesses of Jesus Christ and are obliged to spread and defend the faith by our words and deeds.

It is not easy to speak out in defense of our beliefs these days.  Society wants to tell us our beliefs are old fashioned and meaningless.  We must remember those who have gone before us and gave their lives so that we could be brought up in the faith.

I encourage all of you to view the YouTube video clip of Jim Caviezel’s speech at the Rock Church.  Not only did Jim play Jesus on the big screen; he is living a life in imitation of Christ and defending what is a true Christian.  If all Christians spoke out in defense of our faith – this nation would see great changes.  If all Christians voted according to candidates that will uphold our Christian values – this nation would see great changes.

It starts at the home.  Teach the faith to your children.  Teach your children to stand up for their beliefs.  Pray as a family.  Pray and fast for the conversion of this nation and our world.  Remember all the fallen soldiers who have died protecting our country and our freedoms.  Remember the Christian Martyrs who have given their life in defense of Jesus Christ so that His teachings would remain. Remember the innocent victims of the legalized sin of abortion, both the mothers and the children.  Remember your faith.  Remember Jesus Christ.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

“Behold Your Mother”

olphMy husband and I are members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.  I have attended mass at this church all of my life, beginning at my baptism soon after birth.  There is a beautiful replica of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Icon in our Church.  I have always loved the icon, but never took the time to understand its meaning or significance to our church history.

It is the tradition of the Catholic Church that Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the oldest Icon of the Church.  It is believed that it was painted by St. Luke while Our Blessed Mother was still in Jerusalem.  According to legend, St. Luke showed the painting to Mary and she blessed it, saying her grace would accompany the Icon.  Many miracles have been attributed to the veneration of this Icon.

St. Luke reportedly gave the Icon to his best friend, Theophilus.  There is little reported on it until the 5th century when St. Pulcheria erected a Shrine in honor of the Icon as “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” in Constantinople.  The Icon disappears around 1453 when Constantinople became under siege.  It reappears years later on the island of Crete.

After exchanging hands a couple of times, the Icon finally found its way on March 27, 1499 to Rome.  There are still centuries of war and reconstruction.  The Icon spent many years hidden away and at one point forgotten.  But the Lord gave us His Mother and He did not want her forgotten!  The Icon was eventually discovered and restored.  It is kept today in The Church of St. Alphonsus Ligouri in Rome.

The Icon is full of symbols and messages.  There are angels on the left and the right sides of Mary and Jesus.  The left angel has the Greek initial for St. Michael the Archangel  He is holding the lance and gallop of Christ’s Passion.  On the right is the Greek initial for St. Gabriel, the Archangel.  He hold the nails and the Cross.

Mary is silent, but speaks volumes.  She is wearing a red tunic; which was worn by virgins at the time of Christ.  The dark blue mantle was worn by mothers at that time.  She is virgin, but also a mother.  Her eyes are large and turned toward us.  She seems to be pleading to us to avoid sin and love Her Son.  Mary’s left hand is supporting Christ possessively; she is His mother.  She comforts Her Son, but also everyone who calls on Her for help.

“Behold your mother.”  John 19:27

She was the mother of God.  She comforted Him and nurtured Him.  She knew of His fate; but she knew it was God’s Will.  She was full of faith and love even as He was dying on the Cross.  Her Son’s last gift to His faithful followers was His Mother.

Every part of Jesus that was human was from His mother – our mother – Mary.  She still sees Him suffer.  There are many more sins in the world today.  She is still trying to comfort and mother His followers.

Happy Mother’s Day to Mary, the Mother of God and of us all!

May mankind finally learn to follow the examples of your Holy Family.  It is not about making you and Jesus happy – You are radiant and in God’s Kingdom.  Following the ways of Jesus and His family will lead to OUR HAPPINESS!

C’est Bon,

Love Your Daughter,

Sherry

 

 

A mother’s prayer

weddingTwenty-seven years ago this day, my eldest son was born.  He came into the world on the feast day of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus.  He was given a middle name after my father, Christopher.  He was our first son and both our parents’ first grandson.  He rose to the occasion!

He was a curious and talkative child with a kind heart and big personality.  He made friends with everyone.  I watched him grow and mature into a handsome (no, I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother), confident and faith-filled young man.  He was taught values according to our Catholic faith and he lives that faith.

He has always been a hard worker and has exceled at just about every endeavor he has put his mind to.  From the teenage band to elocution contest to football and powerlifting… he went on to graduate from college and begin a successful career.  Sounds like he has it all…but as a mother, you know when something is missing.  That something turned out to be a young lady named Megan.

A year ago my husband and I took a pilgrimage to Caritas Birmingham, Alabama.  My focus for this pilgrimage was to consecrate my family, especially my children to Mary.  Nine days prior to arriving at Caritas Birmingham, I began a novena, saying a special consecration prayer for my children.  I had not told my husband of the novena.  When we arrived on the ninth day, we visited the chapel, which had a beautiful Mary room.  There was a life size statue of Mary with a sand box in front, in which candles could be lit and placed.  I grabbed a candle to light.  My husband quickly told me that I should light three candles, one for each of our children.  After lighting the candles and placing them at the feet of Mary, my husband stated, “you just gave your children to Mary”.

I was overjoyed!  I excitedly told my husband, “That is my novena!”  I took out my prayer booklet and opened it up to the prayer I had prayed for the last eight days and we stood there together in front of our mother and said the ninth prayer together.  I instantly felt a connection and peace in my heart.  Mary would be praying and interceding for the intentions in my heart concerning my children.

About a month after our return, my son called to inform me that he had met someone special.  They became engaged last month and will marry in the Catholic church in January, 2015.

Her name, Megan, means pearl.  And like a pearl she is a rare and valuable treasure.  She is gorgeous on the inside as well as the outside.  She was raised with the same morals and values as my son and loves her Catholic faith.

Christopher means “he who holds Christ in his heart”.  My son who has Christ in his heart has made room for a precious pearl.  May God bless them during their engagement and bless their marriage.

I gave my children to Mary…and she gave me a precious daughter.

Happy Birthday son!

C’est Bon!

Love,

Mom

Regrets…..Rebirth

20130406_123205Last week I stopped by and visited a friend I have had for years.  She lives in another state, so we do not get to see each other often.  We had a very nice visit which included sharing with each other our Christian faiths.  That day my friend shared a very personal experience from her past with me that I have found to be one of the most profound and dramatic narratives of God’s Love and Mercy.  She has given me permission to now share her story with you.

My friend, about forty years ago, was nineteen, married, and pregnant with her first child.  The pregnancy left her extremely ill.  She did not eat much for two months, and when she did she became very nauseous.  There were further complications of bleeding.

Her doctor met with her and her husband and advised an abortion.  The doctor claimed that the pregnancy was making her too sick; and he insisted that the loss of blood would create a brain-damaged baby.  My friend’s husband at the time, a preacher, was extremely pro-child.  He wanted a wife and family as soon as possible; however, he did not want any “damaged” children.  The preacher insisted upon the abortion.  My friend was heartbroken and was unconvinced that the pregnancy would not turn out a viable child.  She asked her husband that they take one night to reflect.  All agreed.

Upon leaving the doctor’s office, my friend became hungry.  Her husband took her to a restaurant, and she had a hearty meal without becoming sick for the first time in two months.  She took this as a sign.  She begged her husband to reconsider and let the pregnancy progress.  He adamantly refused.  The preacher said his mind was made up, the procedure would happen the next day.

She cried all night.  She climbed onto the hospital gurney the next day crying and cried up until they put her to sleep for the procedure.  When she awoke, her doctor told her matter-of-factly, “It’s a good thing we terminated; you had triplets in there!”  Well, those words finished her off!  Not only did she end one child’s life, she ended the lives of three.  The pain in her heart was greater than she thought could be possible without the heart just tearing in two.  It seemed as if the life had been ripped out of her body; that she was a shell, broken.

She cried for a year.  The grief of the loss of her dear triplets was compounded by the fact that her mother had lost triplets in a miscarriage.  After a year with no conception and little relief from the pain in her heart, her husband informed her that she had two years to conceive his child or there would be a divorce.  No child came and the husband was true to his word.  The marriage ended.

Turning to her faith and her God, my friend prayed for healing and the grace to one day bring another life into this world.  She received an answer.  After a Sunday service, a fellow church member told her that the Lord had spoken and told them that she would one day conceive and have a child.  The messenger told her God had promised.

She married again, and for 12 years they lived a married life with no protection against pregnancy.  One day at age 38, my friend was feeling ill and for fun took a pregnancy test.  The test was positive.  Her husband was in disbelief and accompanied her to a doctor visit.  The doctor confirmed – she was seven weeks pregnant.  She knew this was the promised child.  Her husband was still in shock, but she was on top of the world.

Until the phone rang the very next day.  She had to return to the doctor.  She and husband were again handed news.  This time the news was bad, cervical cancer.  Once again she was told by a doctor to terminate her pregnancy.  The words stung like a knife in her heart.

Immediately she asked the doctor two questions: 1 – Do you believe in Jesus Christ? and 2-Do you believe cancer can go into remission or be cured?  Her doctor said yes to believing in Jesus and said in “most cases cancer.”.  She stopped him. She asked him again and warned him that the wrong answer would prevent him from continuing as her doctor.  He finally said yes, cancer can go into remission.  Her husband by this point had found his voice and was asking for termination of the pregnancy.  She told the doctor, “congratulations, you have a patient”… and come hell or high water she informed both the doctor and the husband that she would be carrying the child to term.  She did not care about what would be happening to her body; she knew this was God’s promise and it would be fulfilled.

She called her prayer warriors, starting with mama, and told everyone “pray for this baby, do not pray for me.  I accept God’s will for me, but I want this baby to live.”

That baby and his mother survived.  She now has a son who has given her two beautiful granddaughters.

I sat stunned at her story.  I was in awe that God saw fit to put her in the same situation nearly twenty years later.  She not only got a second chance at giving life, but she also received the chance to make the right choice.  Most facing her decision, would have said it just wasn’t in the cards and would have put themselves first.  She chose life and self-sacrifice and God’s Mercy rained down upon her!

Her three little babies in heaven must have been so proud!  Their mother was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice to save a loved one’s life.  One day in heaven, she will be surrounded by her children; her family will at last be reunited in Christ.

God always has a plan.  It is up to us to follow, although the road may be treacherous and hard, He is with us and helping us.

Thank you my friend!  You have lifted me up!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

What are little boys made of?

brayden

I was the oldest of four girls.  I had no brothers.  My two youngest sisters are 10 and 15 years younger than me.  Needless to say, I did an awful lot of babysitting for my mom.  By the time I was a teenager, I could feed, burp, change, and soothe a little one.  There was nothing about being a mother that I was uncomfortable with….until the day my husband and I were expecting our second child and the doctor told us during the ultrasound that he was 100% sure the baby was a boy!

Boy!…  I knew girls…I had three younger sisters, and one daughter.  My daughter was two at the time and very girly.  She liked bows in her hair, dresses, playing with dolls….  What did I know about raising a boy?

My husband assured me that having been a boy himself;  he had this.  But, my husband was in the Navy.  For the first year of our son’s life, my husband was mostly away on deployments.  I thought, OK, a little boy can not be that different from a little girl.  That was so not true!

My daughter was very quiet and independent.  My son was loud and dependent.  My little girl was neat and clean.  My little boy was dirty and busy.  It amazed me how at such a young age, I could see such a huge difference between the girl and the boy.

Once my husband had served his time in the Navy, he was very true to his word.  We had another son and my husband was very active in teaching both boys sports and helping out with coaching their teams.  Football was the main sport at our house.

Once, I picked up my oldest son after a pee-wee football practice, and was shocked to find the entire team covered in mud.   It had rained that day and the practice field was a muddy mess.  My husband was still at work.  I got the child into my vehicle and some how  managed to get him home.  Just then, his dad drove up.  I was standing in the yard with our son, who was only recognizable by his green eyes, and said to my husband, “I don’t know what to do with him!”  My husband laughed and said, “get me the hose.”  He hosed off our son and the two of them had a great time talking about the muddy practice.  My husband shared his old muddy football stories with his son.  It was a great father – son moment!

Boys and girls are just different.  That is how God intended it to be.  It pains me to hear about the gender identity crisis occurring in our society.  There are parents who think their tomboy little girls should dress like the boys, go to the boys’ rest room and call themselves “David” if they want. The parents are no longing guiding, teaching, serving as role models.   There are many children today who are growing up within a philosophy that gender does not matter.  You can be whatever, whomever you want to be.  I find that to be a slap in the face of our Creator.

It is also a matter of science.  Men and women have different chromosomes.  Men have 2 different sex chromosomes (XY).  Women have 2 of the same kind of sex chromosomes (XX).  Men and women can change the outside appearance of their bodies all they want.  They can have surgeries, take hormones…but the fact remains that the sex chromosomes will remain the same.  That person will always be what God intended them to be.

God’s intention is nothing but beautiful!

Genesis 2:21 “Then the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the flesh.  He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him.  Then the man said, “At last here is one of my own kind – Bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh. Woman is her name because she was taken out of man. ” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.”

I now have a granddaughter who is seven and a grandson who is four.  They are extremely different characters.  And everything is just as it should be.

What are little granddaughters made of? Bows, fingernail polish, My Little Ponies, American Girl Dolls, Princesses, and Ballet shoes.

What are little grandsons made of?  Pirates, Ninja Turtles, football, wrestling, cowboy boots, puppy dogs, trucks, and Spider Man.

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry

 

God, the Author of Life

20121016_135645

January 22, 1973, Roe vs Wade was decided by the United States Supreme Court.  January 22, 1973, Life in the United States drastically changed.  In a country that was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness”, LIFE was taken out of that Declaration which was signed July 4, 1776 by our founding fathers.

If God is the sole Author of Life, man is the author of death.  And so the deaths began…

A February 2008 issue of Scientific American, posted an article entitled, “Your cells are my cells“.  The article revealed that research has proven that women carry cells from every child we have ever conceived for the rest of our lives.  Surviving children also carry our cells and any subsequent children who follow the loss of a sibling carries cells from that sibling.  We are all connected because we all have one Creator.  The moment we are formed in our mother’s womb we have been created.  The moment we are formed in our mother’s womb, we are a human being, and as such, we should have the same rights and protections as all humanity deserves.

There are millions of babies who have never had a choice; never had protection under the law.  It is time that society stands up for these babies and the countless more who have yet to be created.

I met a remarkable woman this past week.  Her name is Brenda DesOrmeaux and she founded the DesOrmeaux Foundation.  After the tragedy of 1973, Brenda felt a calling and decided to act.  She became an active member of the Acadiana Right to Life, working for the Pro-Life cause.  Her years of participation in this Fight for Life led to her running the Women’s Center of Lafayette.  After forming the DesOrmeaux Foundation, Brenda gave up her role in the Acadiana Right to Life and devoted herself to defending Human Life, the sanctity of marriage, and promoting chaste relationships.  Through her efforts, Lafayette, Louisiana now has a Pregnancy Center which offers free pregnancy test, family planning counseling, free ultrasound and financial assistance; the St. Marguerite d’Youville home which provides women with a peaceful, secure setting to help them process their needs, emotions, and choices; and the Baby and Me Boutique which specializes in selling maternity and baby items at give-away prices. Brenda heard God’s calling and she responded.

These are urgent times.  The more we advance with technology, the more technology points to the fact that a pregnant woman does not hold a blob of tissue. Each person is created unique and in the image of God.

Jesus said it best to Nancy Fowler in Conyers, Georgia, January 6, 1991: “Oh what a terrible, grave sin abortion is.  Man does not know the destiny of each child conceived, does not know the destiny of any child conceived.  So popes are murdered, priests are murdered, nuns are murdered, and on and on. Does this grave sin not bring about the wrath of God?

And again to Nancy on February 6, 1993: “You must know that abortion is murder. I am the Creator, you are not.  I am the Author of Life, you are not. Do not kill who I have created.  The commandment of God is “Thou shall not kill”. You will battle with each other over laws that you create apart from Me.”

We are all called.

Romans 11:32 “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.  Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is proper.”

September 29, 1992; Our Blessed Mother’s message to Nancy Fowler for America: “America pick up your Rosary, kneel down and pray.

This week marks the 41st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  Do something.  Go to a March for Life; attend a prayer service or mass; contact your state representatives…. Together we can give hope to all the children of God who are yet to be.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

Grandmothers’ Gifts

mom

I was young when my mother’s mother passed away.  We called her Maw-Maw.  My only memories of her are of a very sick woman. My mother became her nurse in those days.   I do not remember any conversation I ever had with Maw-Maw.  My mother has told me that she enjoyed life. She loved dancing and visiting her friends.  It must have been very hard on her to have a disabling disease at the end of her life.

My father’s mother, we called Mom.  I was married with children when Mom passed away; but, I still never had a conversation with her.  Mom spoke only Cajun French and what little we said to each other was translated by my parents when we visited Mom and Pop every Sunday.  What I remember about Mom was her reverence to our Lord.  She was a very devout Catholic, always attending mass, saying her rosary and getting down on her knees at night to say her nightly prayers.  It made quite an impression on me as a young kid to see my two elderly and arthritis-riddled grandparents, who could hardly walk, on their knees beside their bed at night.

You might think I suffered in the grandmother-granddaughter relationship department.  You would be mistaken.  The Lord blessed me with two wonderful women in my life who were very much a “grandmother” to me.

The first of these wonderful women was a neighbor.  Mrs. Anita Larson, “Larson”, was a lonely widow whose only child and grandchild lived across the country.  My sisters and I latched onto Larson and we just adored her.  She called us her adopted grandchildren.  Some of my favorite childhood memories are sitting on Larson’s porch, in one of her big white wooden rockers, listening to her stories.  She was always full of compliments for us; the best shot of self-esteem a kid could have!  It was a true grandmother-granddaughter relationship. I never felt judged or unwanted.  I felt unconditional love.  Before Larson passed away, I was able to sit and visit on her porch with my own children.  She treated them the same; they too adored her.

The other grandmother in my life was my husband’s grandmother, Mama-Nu.  Words cannot describe the beauty of this woman!  I first met Mama Nu when my husband and I were engaged to be married.  She hugged me tight and said, “If my grandson loves you, then I love you – you are now my granddaughter!”  What a gift!  True to her word, Mama Nu always treated me as her granddaughter.  She had a twinkle in her eye and joy in her heart.  Everyone loved her and wanted to be around her.  What a special person.  It is 15 years today that she passed away, and she is sorely missed by all of her children and grandchildren.  It is impossible to think of her and not smile at some funny saying or antic she had come up with!

One day years ago, Mom was visiting us and she was able to walk next door with us and sit on Larson’s porch.  She and Larson spoke in French together.  Later on, Larson told me that my grandmother said her only regret in life was that she never learned English and could not speak to her grandchildren.

I consider myself very lucky in the grandmother department.  I know that I will see them all again one day.  When that day comes, I will get to know Maw-Maw and ask her to show me some of her dance moves.  I will thank her for the gift of my mother, who she raised to be the most excellent nurse, mother, and grandmother.

I will sit on Larson’s porch in heaven and finally have a conversation with Mom that we both understand.  I will thank her for the gift of her reverent and devoted acts; which spoke more loudly than any words could have.

And finally, I will greet my adopted grandmothers, Larson and Mama Nu and thank them for making me their granddaughter!  Their love and kindness is what guides me today in my role as a grandmother.

God Bless Grandmothers!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

Father knows best

God the Father, Cima da Conegliano, Circa 1510-17.

God the Father, Cima da Conegliano, Circa 1510-17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones.  My parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year!  I never knew the pains of divorce.  I never even thought about it until I married my husband, who came from a divorced home.

As children, we take parents for granted.  They are just always there.  They feed us, clothe us, comfort us… A person never fully realizes the amount of self-sacrifice a parent goes through for their children until that person has a child of his or her own.

My father began practicing self-sacrifice as a child.  He was the youngest in a large family.  His parents were sharecroppers in the deep South. It was a hard life that was made even more difficult by the fact that my grandparents spoke only Cajun French.  When my Dad was in the eighth grade, his father suffered from a disabling stroke.  Because he was the only child left at home, my Dad quit school and went to work to support his parents who had aged prematurely due to their poverty and labor.

By eighteen, my Dad had bought his first house.  At twenty-five, he married my mom.  Together they raised four daughters and started a plumbing business.  My grandparents lived nearby and were always watched over by their youngest child.

Life was pretty routine.  Dad worked Monday through Friday.  Mom gave up a nursing career to stay at home and raise the children.  She cooked and cleaned during the work week.  Saturdays, Dad was fixing things, working in a garden; still not relaxing.  Sundays were different.  We all went to 10:00 am mass.  After mass, we visited Mom and Pop.  After the visit, Dad took us out for lunch.  When we returned home, Dad relaxed.  He took the seventh day off.

My Dad was the man of the house.  He expected his girls to be respectful of all adults and he made the final decisions of the household.  Of course his decisions were based upon my mother’s influence.  He was the disciplinarian.  We knew our place.  Our parents were the parents; we were the children.  If we were spanked or punished, it was with love and out of love for us.  In those days you just did not question your father!

I know my parents had times when they must have struggled.   I am sure my parents’ marriage had good moments and some not so good moments.  But they kept us oblivious to any stresses or concerns.  When times were really tough, we girls were unaware of any problems.  We were allowed to be children; care-free, filled with wonder and  faith. What a gift.

I can thank my earthly father for my relationship with my heavenly Father.  My Dad taught me to honor my Father and follow His guidelines and His good book.  I know that He created me.  He actually formed my soul and He has a plan for just me.  I know that all I have to do is surrender myself to His will.  There will be suffering and bad times in my life.  I have faith that these times only draw me closer to my Father, who only sends what I need out of love.  Loving my Dad made loving my heavenly Father so easy!

There are many children who are not as lucky.  For many different reasons, they are growing up with little time spent with their earthly father, or have no father at all.  These kids long for that father figure in their lives.  It is so important they find that connection with God the Father.  They need to understand His love and mercy for them.

1 John 3:10 “This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.” 

People very often take their heavenly Father for granted.  Worship can become routine.  We go church, say our prayers, call upon the Lord when we are in need.  Take a moment to really ponder the greatness of our God.  If one really understands all the wonderful things the heavenly Father does for each of us, then worship becomes true worship.  We can be care-free children, full of faith and awe.  We can face each day and each struggle with confidence and strength, because we know that our FATHER KNOWS BEST!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

A fish named Starlight

English: An image of a Common goldfish

English: An image of a Common goldfish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My grandkids are a six-year-old girl and a four year-old boy.  They live a little over an hour away.  About once a month they get to spend the weekend at Grams and Pop’s house.  There is usually a whirlwind of activity as the girl is very dramatic and the boy is perpetual motion.

Recently, my granddaughter has discovered that we as humans have a limited time on this earth.  That has made her very sensitive to the subject of death.  I tried to talk to her about the lives of the Saints and how they are in Heaven.  She covered her ears and wanted none of it.

Imagine my horror when Saturday, my daughter arrives with the grandkids who are proudly showing off two goldfish they have won at the local fair.  My daughter whispers to me that we will just put the fish in a tank of water and they “will probably die anyway”!  So began our weekend with the grandkids.

My granddaughter named her fish Starlight.  I tell her that is a beautiful name for a beautiful fish!  Five hours later all of us are watching Starlight  struggle and then the poor thing loses her life.  I watched my granddaughter grab the little fish net and ask her mother to fish out Starlight so that she could flush her down the toilet.  I thought she was acting very brave and that  she must not have the same sensitivity with death of an animal or fish as with a human.

Later on she brings a picture that she has drawn.  I look down at her art tablet and see a gold fish floating in a toilet!  I could not contain my laughter.  It was such a surprise!  Well, immediately my granddaughter began bawling and ran to the back of the house.  Oh no!  I looked at my daughter and said, “time for a fish prayer service”.

The four of us (myself, my daughter and two grandkids) gathered around a Crucifix.  My granddaughter said we should say a “Hail Mary”.  My grandson reminded everyone to make the Sign of the Cross.  He prayed for God to Bless him, his sister, and his whole family.  We all said the Hail Mary prayer.  Then my granddaughter picked out several prayers from a prayer book, which I read while she held the book.  My daughter said some nice words about Starlight.  We ended with the Guardian Angel prayer.  It was quit lovely.  My granddaughter and I actually had a talk about dying.  I was able to share with her that people never die.  Our bodies do die; but we have a soul that lives forever thanks to Jesus.

All of this reminded me that Jesus often taught using fish.  Matthew 14:17  “All we have are five loaves and two fish, they replied. ..then He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God.  He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left over. The number of men who ate was about five thousand, not counting the women and children.”

Mark 1:17 “Jesus said to them, Come with Me, and I will teach you to catch men. At once they left their nets and went with Him.”

God works in mysterious ways.  A fish named Starlight won at a local fair has helped my granddaughter get over her super sensitivity to death and all topics related to death.  Thank you God!

In case you are wondering…the boy’s fish made it through the weekend.  Raphael is swimming safe and sound back at my daughter’s home.  When it is Raphael’s time to go, we know exactly how to handle it!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry