As I write this blog, my Mom is in hospice care at my oldest sister’s place in Texas. Since I can’t be there, I have pictures of my Mom on my computer screen to keep her close. One of the pictures is a poignant one of Mom with my sister’s dog, Oreo, resting on her lap and her hand resting gently on his head. Whenever my Mom visited my sister, Oreo served as a source of comfort to her. How fitting that he lovingly provides comfort to her now.
I am mindful that in this Advent season of waiting, my Mom eagerly awaits being reunited with her Creator, with my Dad, and with all her loved ones who are with God already. She has expressed her acceptance of these final days with us and her readiness to be with God. She is a woman of great faith and trust in the Lord. Her daily devotion of prayer for her family is something we will all miss and now becomes our gift to each other. As the light goes out on my Mom’s earthly existence, I can feel God’s presence, knowing that this is a sacred time for our family of seven children.
Since writing the above two paragraphs, my Mom is now in heaven. She joined the choir of angels on December 26 and her waiting fittingly came after the Advent season. I can only imagine her joy at seeing my Dad and being in the loving embrace of her Creator.
The night before my Mom died, my oldest sister asked how I wanted to be informed of Mom’s passing—if I wanted to know as the time appeared closer or after she ascended into heaven. I told her I wanted to be notified when the time was close so I could light a candle for Mom. Of course, when I received the call to light the candle, it was both a sacred and sorrowful moment. Moments after the first phone call came my sister called again to tell me “Your Mom is in heaven now.” With my husband at my side, we wept for our loss and yet felt a happiness for Mom that her prayers for a peaceful death happened.
Mom lived for 92 years, the same age that her mother passed away. Us seven siblings and some of her grandchildren will be celebrating her life at her funeral Mass in Plano, Texas on January 25. Mom was devoted to saying the rosary daily and to praying for the needs of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I had a ritual of having Sunday evening chats with Mom for many years and will miss having these chats and to hearing her voice, but she will always be in my heart. So, it is with gratitude and love that I remember my Mom’s life. We will laugh and we will cry during our celebration of her life, a life that we are memorializing in a video that all my siblings have contributed to from their collection of photos.
We pray for those who minister to the sick and dying in hospitals, in nursing homes, in private homes, and for those who are in hospice care. As a community of believers in the resurrection of the body and in everlasting life, we offer our love and prayers to all who have lost loved ones, recently and some time ago. May God’s mercy, love, and compassion bring us peace.
If you feel called to be a beacon of light, of peace, and of joy in a hurting world, maybe God is calling you to become a religious sister to minister to the needs of God’s people. We are eager to hear your story and to help you discern God’s call in your life. You can contact one of our Vocation Ministers by calling, texting, or emailing us. We also have a Come and See retreat we will be hosting at our motherhouse in Akron, Ohio from March 15-17, 2019, where you can experience and explore community life, and so much more.