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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Come to Me...

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

I am weary Lord.  My heart is heavy and yet I find comfort in Your word and Your promise.

I look for Your blessings and find them in little things.  Laughing on Christmas Day with family.  Enjoying a sunrise or sunset.  Completing the tasks that are numerous before me.

I especially want to Thank You for the feeling I had yesterday as I hugged Michael's urn.  For just a moment he was back in my arms.  I wanted to hold him forever.

Lord, help me to lay my burdens down and lay in Your arms.

~Cindy

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas


Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength;
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary;
They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31



It is Christmas morning and the dawn is upon us. The sounds of celebration are all around.


It is also one week since Michael passed into eternity and I am struggling Lord.  I want to be happy, but find that I am not.  I do feel the Joy of your birth and hold on to it with a vengeance.  I look for him and he is not here.  I turn to him in the night and he is not there.  I thought I heard him call me, but no...it was only an echo of my heart.

I know that you have him in your arms and that he is celebrating with all the Heavenly Hosts.  So I will try not to be too sad this Christmas.  There is reason to REJOICE!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Fourth Sunday of Advent Arrives

Sound the trumpet in Zion; the day of the Lord is near; he comes to save us, alleluia.

Open to me the gates of holiness;
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord's own gate
where just men may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered 
and you are my Savior.





Here we are days away from Christmas, all our preparation almost complete.  I finally put up a small simple tree that my sister lent me.  I only put on small white lights.  It sits in the window like a small beacon in the darkness.

It is barely four days since Michael passed into eternity.  Our preparations to tie up his earthly life are just beginning.  The preparation for my new life without his physical presence is upon me.

I feel like the night that we were crossing to the Bay Islands on Dragonheart and the seas were confused and large.  We were tossed about and felt lost, lonely and afraid.  Yet, as dawn broke even though the ocean was steel gray dolphins came to swim beside us and remind us that this night was ending and the new day was dawning full of promise and land.

Psalm 30:5 reminds me:

Weeping may last through the night, but JOY comes with the dawn!

My joy will come....I love you Michael...

~Cindy

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Called Home

Psalmody 19 December

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
come and rescue me, for you are my
refuge and my strength.



Michael's battle with pancreatic cancer ended yesterday.  He went surrounded by family praying the rosary and playing chant music from the Benedictine Nuns.   We all talked to him even though he could not answer.  He was too busy passing from this life of pain to the life of eternal joy.

We made a promise to each other that I would pray for his soul in purgatory and he would pray for mine.  I am going to hold him to that promise.  He was able to come back to the Church and be embraced by the loving arms of Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord and Saviour.

Michael would not want us to stop living.  No this was a man who loved life and lived it to the fullest.  So as we continue to prepare for Christmas I am comforted that Michael will be there to truly celebrate.

We have loved him during life. Let us not abandon him, until we have conducted him by our prayers into the house of the Lord.  St. Ambrose

~Cindy






Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gaudete Sunday of Advent


The third week of Advent.  The time when we briefly move from the purple of suffering to the Rose of Joy.

It reminds us that the time is near for the coming of Our Lord.  He comes quietly in the night as a babe in a manger.  He is not the warrior King that was hoped for by the Jewish people so long ago.  No, He comes as the Prince of Peace.

For today I am reminded that in my grieving that there is space for Joy.  There is time to play Christmas music in the background as Michael rests in his new hospital bed.  There is time to bake biscotti with Cynthia while he slumbers. 

The words of today's first reading resounded in me:

Isaiah 35:1-6,10

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.
The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it,
the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the splendour of our God.
Strengthen all weary hands,
steady all trembling knees
and say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.
‘Look, your God is coming,
vengeance is coming,
the retribution of God;
he is coming to save you.’
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
the ears of the deaf unsealed,
then the lame shall leap like a deer
and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy
for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.
They will come to Zion shouting for joy,
everlasting joy on their faces;
joy and gladness will go with them
and sorrow and lament be ended.
 
So as I sit in my wasteland I am reminded that my God is coming!  There will be an end to sorrow and lamenting.  There will be everlasting Joy!
Let us pause in our grieving and Lamentations to lift our hearts with joy to God.  For truly He is our Hope and our Salvation.

~Cindy

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Not Even One Hour

Lord, I feel like the apostles when you were in the garden.  You asked them to keep watch and they fell asleep.

I wanted to sleep last night.  My head hurt, my stomach was upset and I was impatient.  Michael for his part was up and down, confused and a little miffed at me.  I didn't understand what he wanted and he didn't understand that I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep.

How small of me not to be able to keep vigil with him with joy in my heart.  Why was it difficult for me to remember that these are precious, sacred moments that we have together?

I was drawn to the concluding prayer at Midday in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Almighty God, who command us to prepare the way for Christ the Lord,
Grant in your kindness, we pray,
that no infirmity may weary us
as we long for the comforting presence
of our heavenly physician.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
-Amen

Help me Lord, to be a good caregiver.

~Cindy

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Second Week of Advent Calls

Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on for ever the beauty of the glory from God. Put on the robe of the righteousness from God; put on your head the diadem of the glory of the Everlasting.
(Bar5:1-2)

From the Liturgy of the Hours.






I laid in bed this morning Lord and watched my husband breathe with  assistance of the oxygen tank.  The steady hum was our accompaniment all night. It's tubing was gathered up several times as we made our trek to the bathroom.  Careful not to get tangled up in our feet as we made our way from one room to the next.  A reminder that we were connected to that tank that eased his breathing and my mind.

I could not help laying my hand on his this morning and wondering when they had gotten so small and frail.  I have seen those hands do many things.  They have changed diapers, put worms on hooks, buttoned coats, smoothed a charts, written a letter, raised an anchor and steered a boat.  Those hands have held my hand for a little more than 23 years.  They have fixed cars and built things.  Now they hold a Rosary at night and seem to flutter over his chest as he sleeps.

He seems restless and anxious and I try to calm him.  We are moving forward in this season of preparation.  Calm our fears, hold us in Your Hands, keep us safe.

~Cindy

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Miracles Abound

Dawn finds me ready to welcome you, my God.



Even in the darkness of our struggle I am amazed at the miracles that You give us Lord.  Last night I saw forgiveness and love in a simple hug and the words, "I love you."

They were spoken by two people who have struggled to come to terms with each other for a long time and now as one faces then end of his earthly life You have provided a path for them to connect.

I have prayed to Your Mother and mine to help in this request and once again She has answered.  You have answered us a hundred fold.  Even in the darkness you bring light!

Thank you Lord for each and every blessing that you give us.

~Cindy

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Walking in Preparation



Oh Lord, my heart is heavy.  Yesterday was hard.  We had to admit that we were entering a new chapter in Michael's care.

We are so grateful that you continue to put in our path the people to help us with this walk of preparation.

I remember all the times that you have carried me and my troubles and made me whole.  I place my trust in you again that once again you will lift me up!

~Cindy

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent

Advent is a time of preparation.  A time to focus on the coming of the Christ Child.  A time of waiting.  I find myself in a different type of preparation.  I am preparing for the death of my husband.

Both are a time of clearing your mind and your life of distractions.  A time to focus on what is important.  There is foreshadowing in the readings and the traditions of the Advent season.  The wreath, the candles and the prayers all draw us to the cradle; the promise of the infant that will be the Redeemer of the World.

My waiting is also full of promise.  A promise of eternal life.  We keep our focus on what is important.  Telling each other that we love one another.  We remember times that are special in our life and we mourn the loss of our future.  But in the mourning is also the belief that the Redeemer of the World will be there in his justice and his mercy.  We have the promise of life eternal.

~Cindy