Today is my Mom’s 15th birthday in heaven. As often happens around anniversaries, she’s been on my heart and mind a bit of late.
I am grateful to her for so many things, not the least of which is the gift of life! She taught me so much by her love and example.
My mom was a true contemplative in action. She could stop and stare for hours … at the forest, at the ocean, at her own backyard. She saw the love of God reflected in creation and knew instinctively how to soak it all in.
I used to love just watching her as she stared at the embodiment of God’s love all around us. My Dad took this picture in West Virginia. It’s classic mom. She’s probably a little older than I am now in this picture. She’s got her book on her lap, but she’s contemplating the book of creation instead.
Nourished and fed by the love of God, be it at Sunday mass or all around her, my mom put it into action. Dust did not settle under her feet.
Over the years in her work, helping prisoners at the local jail learn decision making skills or as a congressional aide helping citizens navigate our system, she found herself on the right side of justice and helped to build the kindom.
In our community, she was a leader in ways we never even knew until her wake, when person after person came up to us to tell us how she helped them with x, y and z. So unassuming, she just did what needed to be done.
At home, journeying with her own parents through chronic illness and death, welcoming them into her own home, raising five kids, supporting her husband’s call to serve the wider world, she was most always grounded and exuding love.
Even when she herself was very ill, she would sit and ponder and teach us how to love and be loved.
I still miss you mom, and always will, but I will also always be grateful for your lessons in contemplation, action, and love.