My mother worries about many things.
And she possesses deep faith in God.
It’s an odd dichotomy.
Her concerns are driven by her deep need to keep safe those she loves. In fact, it’s her primary motivation in life.
Her need to keep us safe from the dangers of this troubling world, are often met with our shared frustration.
But in this net of protection she casts across our family, amid her fears of us falling prey to some awful fate, is the thread of grace connecting us all safely through her love and prayers.
Learning to pray
Prayer has always played a tremendous role in her life, to the point that my brother and I were taught our prayers before we were taught nursery rhymes!
Our first words, almost, were prayers.
Mum encouraged us, as we grew, to turn to God first for direction in any trial. And so she gave us the foundation for a faith-filled and prayerful life. (It wasn’t a difficult step for my brother and I to practise meditation; and the benefits we’ve both received from it are too many to count.)
Her faith is only matched by her generosity. She would give her last penny to someone truly in need, knowing that God provides for all of hers. I’m yet to meet another person like Mum, who lives by and absolutely believes in the principle of abundance … although she wouldn’t think of it in that way.
She is the consummate alchemist when it comes to creating something out of nothing. Her determination to achieve any outcome to better the situation of someone she loves, is met with grace from ‘the other side’.
She is well and truly looked after by God.
Her boundless capacity for giving
At 77, my mother looks and acts younger than anyone else I know at this age. Her faith and healthy lifestyle (never smoked, ‘never touched a drop of alcohol’, eats healthily, exercises and still dances regularly) have graced her with a youthful attitude and complexion which people often notice and comment on.
Over the course of my life, I can’t remember ever seeing her defeated by anything.
And we’ve had a very interesting life. Not only did her mother live with us growing up, but also her brother, who was a little simple. They relied on her totally for everything, and she met their needs with tireless support at every step, up to and including their deaths.
Fortunately, my father stood by her side, supporting her with his miraculous patience and, by doing so, uniting them together in their shared faith and service to others in need.
It’s not surprising that her extended family would visit regularly to see Nana, who had given birth to 6 sons, 4 daughters, and miscarried 3 sets of twins. It was a very large family. And by the time I was at an age to remember, there were many additions through marriages and births — now familiar faces in our family’s landscape.
Trips were made here and there to deliver food to needy families. She was always involved at my brother’s and my schools. And no one ever leaves my mother’s presence unfed (cooking is her forte), or feeling left out. She includes everyone, down to the most antisocial outcast, in whatever she’s involved in.
And many sick people received the benefits of her care and concern, too.
With her driven need to watch over the frail and infirm, Mum would often step in to ensure they received the best of her focused attention. And with Mum, family always comes first.
By insisting we rest and preparing any healthy meal we felt like eating, Mum created a space for healing through her commonsense, love and selflessness.
My brother Mark remembers that when he was sick as a child, the touch of Mum’s hands on his forehead always made him feel better. An amazing amount of energy flows through those hands! And both Mark and I now delight in the thought that our Mum was practicing Reiki before we had ever heard of it.
She’s also a clairaudient intuitive.
These gifts are enhanced by her daily prayer, surrender to God and pure intentions to live a modest, wholesome life. But, when it comes to her spiritual gifts, she’s dismissive when I attempt to name them as anything other than love.
Her humility (a true sense of equality) is yet another strength she possesses in abundance.
Through her selflessness and love for those in her care, Mum set the tone for surrender and healing throughout our lives. And, for those of us who followed her example, she created a natural and solid foundation for us to evolve spiritually and develop those gifts fully.
It was prayer and God, however, which Mum consistently acknowledged as being responsible for all the healing and good that came our family’s way.
The heart of the family
Without fail, every night, the family would say the rosary together before relaxing. Particularly in our younger years, our relaxation involved lots of laughter as we watched mostly comedies on television (we especially loved Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore and Maude). And on Sunday evenings we’d often play a game of ‘I Spy’ using the kitchen’s 70s wallpaper mural.
At these times, Mum would always open her arms to us and draw us to her for warm hugs and kisses. Still giving her warmth and affection, even then, these moments were enhanced by the comforting smell of talcum powder, which would fill me with the sense of home and family.
Blessed by Mary’s gracious presence, Mum’s gift of grace to everyone she knows is her endless generosity and her unwavering faith in God as an active, powerful force in her life.
So my blessing today is for my mother:
May your heart and mind be at peace
And may you always know how very much I love you.
With all my love
Image credit: by asenat29