March - I had to put my two kitties ages 14 and 15 down within 11 days of each other.
April - My maternal Grandmother passed away. A long failing heart finally gave in.
August - My Father-in-Law passed away. Rather sudden, he hadn't been feeling well, went into the hospital, was sent home 3 weeks later on hospice and passed away the night they brought him home.
September - I underwent major upper and lower jaw surgery to relieve me of years of sleep apnea.
October - My sweet Mama passed away after a long and painful battle with a body that just wouldn't cooperate and ovarian cancer.
I was tired from lack of sleep, crushed by the onslaught of death in my family.
About a week after Mama passed away, I went to church with my family. At the Catholic Church, in the middle of the mass the deacon and or priest will offer up Prayers of the Faithful. To which the parish will reply "Lord, hear our prayer" after each offer. Wait, let me back up... reminder, my mom lived and died in Arizona, only a scant handful of people here in Texas knew her. I was standing with my husband when I heard the words "For those who have passed before us.... Barbara (leaving her last name out)". I was surprised her name had been said. Later I remembered that our sweet Deacon Chuck who had married us and baptized one of our daughters had been following it all through my friend Chris and on Facebook. I had to bury my face in my husband's chest so that I didn't cry out. But still, those around me heard. As we sat back down, I saw the woman next to me dab her eyes with a tissue.
As I sat in the church that day, I looked around at all the different people. Our church is big, like several masses a weekend, several thousand parishioners BIG. I thought to myself, everyone has a story. Miscarriage, divorce, infidelity, death, terminal illness and the list goes on and on. We don't know what those stories of other people are, but God does and when we ask for His comfort, peace and healing He is there, even when we feel like he isn't. I have also learned through hindsight, He is there even when we don't cry out to Him and acknowledge it.... He is there.
Yesterday, I watched my little girls play at the neighborhood pool. At the beginning of this summer, Nikki dared not get her face wet. I watched as she jumped off the side holding my fingers and came up out of the water, hair wet and water streaming down her face with a big ole grin of excitement and then as she swam two feet to the steps, face in the water, unassisted and popped up with a big celebratory, "YES, I DID IT!"
I watched my girls spread their towels on lounge chairs and lay pointing at the sky, chattering in their little girl voices about the clouds and how quickly they were moving.
My heart was overcome with joy. Just months ago, I was overcome with grief and my body was so tired, I didn't even want to leave the comfort of my house. With time and God's love, my spirit is on the mend now and I have the energy to keep up with my sweet babies.
I ran across this video this morning. I have seen ones like it before. I was just reminded about my day at mass and how I looked around. Everyone has a story...