Wednesday, February 9, 2011
the blessing of Kris
Photo by Kris-Puerto Rico
In the Fall of 2002,I was part of a team that welcomed and prepared people who wanted to join the Catholic Church.I recall walking into the first meeting and seeing about 15 new faces.Most were in their twenties.Off to the side was an older quiet couple who sat by themselves.I admit that I was drawn to the tables with the younger people,I could feel their joy,their energy.However, I sat with the older couple and introduced myself and admired the woman's reddish hair.She smiled and said,"That's what my hair used to be like,this is a wig".She told me that she was receiving chemotherapy and the prognosis was uncertain.He husband looked so unhappy but she seemed to be very peaceful.She said that she had wanted to join the church and now seemed like the right time.I was impressed with her serenity.
After Easter, when this group had been confirmed in the church,my new friend Linda volunteered to share her experience with the larger congregation one Sunday.Calmly she described her journey,including her uncertain future.With great courage she said that either outcome was O.K. because she belonged to God.
One morning in August of 2003,the phone rang and it was Linda's husband;he wanted me to come to her hospice room and pray the rosary with her.She had asked for this.He mentioned that he didn't have a rosary.I grabbed two that I had and went to be with him ,his daughters and a few friends to circle her bed and pray.I took the black rosary and pressing it in his palm said,"This is yours."Through his tears he nodded.
Linda's wig was gone and she was puffy but still seemed glad we were there.Every so
often,this gallant ,wonderful woman would apologize because she had to interrupt us to ring for pain medicine.As we prayed,her husband cried but when we were finished,he seemed very grateful for our presence.The next Sunday, Joe appeared at church and told me she had passed that morning.We held onto each other though the mass.
The second rosary mentioned has small wooden beads and after each ten, there is a small silver engraved rose.My very favorite.These two rosaries travelled from a pawn shop to the hands of a girlfriend of my son's and into mine on Easter of 2002.Kris made sure to tell me that this was not an Easter gift,she just thought I would like them.
Kris is now engaged but we pass each other in cyber space occasionally and she has a way of being that blesses me at unexpected times.The first story that I wrote was from a heart that was full of joy because of a wool scarf that she took the time to knit for me.Greenish-blue and so warm,I treasure it.
My young friend is a vibrant,energized person with many friends who she loves deeply as she does her family.She is successful in her career and is a conduit for beauty and good in the world,as I see it.
The picture attached of these colorful saints inspired me today.I thought of the goodness of Blessed Mother Teresa, the humility of St.Clair;of Lent coming up and what that will look like.
The reds,blues yellows are in sharp contrast to the February greys and browns of Georgia.Kris posted this photo she took on Facebook from where she is in Puerto Rico.
She had no idea what musings her posting would engender and perhaps not just in me.
That's what people who inspire us do.Is there someone in your life who does this for you and how do they do it?