Many times during this life I have felt myself blessed. I have many loved ones, friends, and close family members. My spouse is one committed and Christ-like. I have life and health.
Despite this knowledge and gratefulness, I find myself once again reflecting on just how wonderfully I have been supported over the last months since the death of my precious Francis Edward, age 11 months. The little man had a heart defect that was inoperable and as our pediatric cardiologists described, “a complex heart.” Alas, he is no more on this earth.
Particularly this day I think about and am grateful for a mothering community that surrounds my family and how their giftedness blesses us time and again, in joy and sorrow, in fun and times of great strain, and, now, in grief.
There is my Mom who is a whiz at thinking logically and rationally but is a sensitive soul who trusts God about everything. She is generous and practical. I rely on her good sense, wit and wisdom so she was the person I called to meet us at hospital after Francis had died at home and attempts to revive him by myself and professionals were unsuccessful. She brought a backpack with prayer book, water, energy bars, a rosary, etc. She dubbed herself our witness. Many times since Oct. 10 I have asked her to describe a particular aspect of that morning or perhaps some nature of the events surrounding it.
There is another Mom whose phone number I’ve had committed to memory for many years. This Neighborhood Mom has made herself available whenever I may have had the need to call for backup during a number of pregnancies. And now it was of essential use during a different kind of deliverance. She was the Mom we called to come and be with our children at home while Lynden and I accompanied Francis to hospital. This Mom brought the children to her home, fed them, read to the little ones and offered solace as needed in an unknown and scary situation for our family.
Who knew that a new friend in Mothering had worked as a professional in a palliative care unit? This Mom understood and accepted before I did. She has made herself available to e-mail, talk, lunch and cry. She has good resources to share and is a valuable person to discuss medical and logistical matters about the reality we face and are working through.
Of course, there are my “Team Moms”… a small band of women who meet regularly to study, pray and celebrate life. We attempt to commit to Christ and to each other in authentic ways that reflect the belief that it is through our vocation of marriage and motherhood that God calls each to live His message in the world. I thank one of my Team Moms for a daily mainstay lately… the inspiration to loan me the book, “Healing the Greatest Hurt” by Matthew Linn, Dennis Linn and Sheila Fabricant. This book gives me hope when thinking of continuing my journey in life without my beloved Francis. It reminds me of the rich heritage of our Church and the communion of Saints and how loving my little guy was real and continues to be real in the Love of Christ.
And, of course, Moms are practical. Food provision for my family was instant and abundant. My Highly Organized and Resourceful Mom made a schedule that provided for a hot, fresh meal on our evening table for at least six weeks. This comfort food truly lived up to its name. More than once I felt a Eucharistic connection when experiencing the loving nature of these gifts of time and talent.
Yes, my reflection includes a Mom who perseveres in dropping in once a week or so to chat or because she is “in the neighbourhood.” We share a cup and a treat she may have brought and catch up. I know she is present to me and listening and when the tears began she was also there.
I feel cared for and watched over by my Walking Mom. “How is my mother’s heart these days?” she asks as we meander through the neighbourhood. Her steps become a prayer for me.
My Online Mom friend prayed for Francis long before he saw the light of this world. She consoles when I reach out and I trust her insights. I have never heard her voice and yet she speaks loudly to my heart.
And it is to all those Moms who have thought about, prayed for and supported myself and my family in many hidden ways over the last months who I am most grateful for as I end this day. To all of you, many of whom are part of the catholicmom.com community, I offer my humble gratitude and love in return.
Copyright 2013 Cathy Craig
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