After Mass on Mother’s Day, our family drove over to the cemetery to bring pinwheels to Lucy and Annie’s grave. As we drove into the entrance, a man from the cemetery staff stopped us and handed us a flower. He also asked us if we would like a balloon to release – he said that people were writing the names of their loved ones on the balloons and then releasing them. “The kids really seem to enjoy this,” he said with a smile. “Sure, we would love that,” I responded enthusiastically. Without knowing anything about our family, the man handed us two pink balloons. I felt like God was winking at us. “I’ve got your back,” I could almost hear Him whispering in my ear. The kids did love releasing the balloons into the air, and we all watched as they floated up into the sky.
It is perfect that Mother’s Day fell on May 12th this year, exactly one month before the one-year anniversary of Annie Rose’s birth and death. I have decided that I will take this month as a time to reflect on the past year, on where our family has been, where we are right now, and where we are going. I will be intentional about remembering Annie and Lucy, and about all of the people who have played such an important part in our journey with them. I will give myself time to pray, time to cry, time to write, and time to recognize all of the ways that God is working in my life and in our family.
On Mother’s Day evening, at the end of a big weekend, my husband and I sat down to watch New Year’s Eve, a refreshingly light and sweet movie that weaves together several people’s lives on New Year’s Eve. Towards the end, there is a scene in a hospital where a nurse says to one of the visitors, ”Do you want to see what we do on New Year’s Eve?” The scene then moves to a nursery full of newborn babies, with the song What a Wonderful World playing in the background. Of course, my sappy self couldn’t help but cry My husband and I had chosen this song to be our first dance at our wedding almost 10 years ago, and we have done our very best to approach life with this attitude: And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. We even had the opportunity to dance to this song at an event on Saturday evening. It was as if God was reminding us of where we started our marriage, and of how we have always wanted to live our lives, with hearts full of gratitude and joy no matter what life brings. We had chosen, for the second reading at our nuptial Mass, a reading with this very message: Rejoice in the Lord always; I say it again, Rejoice! In times of joy and in times of suffering, we have abundant reason to rejoice if only we can remember to rejoice in the Lord, and to focus on His provision and promise rather than on ourselves.
I pray that each of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day filled with many blessings. Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us!