somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.

Love Always Remains

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Today’s post is one that is truly difficult to put out there in words…in black and white…which will suddenly make it all real.  My oldest sister, Patti, of whom I have written about on a few occasions, passed away on December 6, 2021, at the age of 79.  

For those of you who do not know her story, Patti was stricken with polio when she was 12.  She experienced a severe case, and almost died.  Her prognosis was not good at that time, and she was given only about 10 years to live in her condition, even after treatment in an iron lung and then physical therapy.  God had another plan in mind…she lived a full life, touching  countless hearts of all that came into her life.  Patti lived the remainder of her life as a quadriplegic, with only the use of her left hand and neck…and a brain filled with intelligence, love, trust in God, and an incredibly feisty and grateful spirit.

It’s hard to describe what Patti meant to me, and to my family.  “Back in the day,” there were no government programs in place for her or for any families that were caregivers for their loved ones.  There was no financial help, and no respite help.  Come to think of it, as far as I know, there were never any offers to help our family back then.  I am sure that most friends and family members were intimidated by the scope of what was needed for her care.

With that said, from a very young age, my other two sisters and I learned how to help care for all of Patti’s needs.  Bathing, hair washing, skin care, bedpans, turning her and changing her position so she would not get bedsores.  We also were “on call” for anything that she needed or help with the things she desired to do. We assisted her, and made sure that she had her writing tools and papers, books to read, the telephone to visit with friends and family, cups of cozy coffee, among many other things.

Patti was the center of our existence, and her role in our lives is so intricate that it is impossible to explain to others, even to other family members and friends. We grew up in a volatile, abusive, confusing and uncertain home. The kind of home where you never knew what was going to happen hour to hour, or even minute to minute.  There were wonderful times, that felt loving, lighthearted and fun.  However, those comforting times could change in a fleeting instant…and we lived in a home that the “spirit” of the day ahead of us could be felt in a palpable way. Our life was confusing, filled with the stark contrast of darkness and light.

That is one of the ways that Patti was a grounding for us.  She was a constant source of light, love, nurturing, connection, and positivity.  We spent a lot of our time as babies, toddlers, and teenagers, in her room.  She was there for us when we came home from school, to listen to whatever needed to be shared or discussed.  We watched special movies together, in her room.  (remember…there were no dvds or streaming back then so it was “a big deal”) We listened to record albums in her room, as a family.  This would include Shakespeare plays and most of the musicals.  I especially remember listening to Macbeth, all together in the dark.  Very memorable and scary!

My most precious memories spent with Patti, when I was a child, was laying next to her, listening to my favorite stories and poems that she would read to me for hours.  She most probably is the reason for my love of reading and writing.  As a little one, I experienced the stories of Poppy, Heidi, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Happy Prince, and The Selfish Giant.  I also learned about the love of Jesus and His Precious Mother…and countless stories of the lives of the saints.  She read me beautiful story poems and also whimsical, silly ones.  She was the one who helped me with homework, and also helped with special projects for school.  She offered much encouragement when I practiced for a speech or presentation…which absolutely terrified me.

Somehow, Patti knew how to touch my soul. Or shall I say that she was an open vessel for The Holy Spirit to work through.  This was evident in our family, and each person that she came in contact with.

Although she lived her life with a disability most of us can’t even fathom, she never complained or cried about her condition.  She chose a different way…the way of gratitude, love, and trust in God.  As I have said before, she was the least handicapped person I have ever known.  She forged through life, and viewed it as an adventure.  There was not much that she wouldn’t be open to, if there was a way for her to do it.  I remember the time in her life when she painted miniatures using a mouth stick.  That amazed me!  I also remember when she was strapped to the back of a motorcycle for an exhilarating ride. Yikes! (remember…she could not hold on or sit up on her own)

Actually, everything about Patti will always amaze me.

Patti, I know that you are in heaven, and are part of a world that I can not see.  But I know you are here.

You are here in my heart.  You are here when I enjoy the newness of each day and what it will bring.  You are here when my heart explodes with love for those that God has blessed me with…for your heart exploded with love into me when I was a confused little girl.  My fears and anxieties have kept me from many experiences throughout my life…everytime I am able to break through those fears and try something new or creative, you are right here with me.  You always encouraged me and loved me where I was at.  I am learning to do the same with myself and others.

Thank you for all that you have given to me and to the world. Thank you for showing me what a blessing it is to open myself to the love, forgiveness, peace and mercy, that only God can give.

Thank you for teaching me what it means to be truly grateful for all that God has blessed me with in this life.  You always focused on the beauty around you and that meant that your focus was always outside of yourself.  That is where your secret of happiness resided...it lived in the beauty of God’s creations and blessings, and especially in the hearts of those that He placed in your life.

Thank you for the love that you share(d) with me…I feel you so strong right now, that my heart is overflowing.  Thank you for being there for me throughout my life.  Your love and spirit  will be carried in my heart until my life has ended…and hopefully, will then be passed on to my loved ones and those souls that God places in my life.

God is love, and we will be connected in His love forever.  Thank you for teaching me that.

Your physical presence here on Earth is missed in so many ways.  It is not the same place without you.  However, the light that you shared will always be here to comfort us. Love always remains. I love you.

Patti’s Obit https://www.dispatch.com/obituaries/b0057891

Past Post about Patti  https://somebodylovesmeblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/patti-your-life-is-a-prayer/

 

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53 thoughts on “Love Always Remains

  1. Love you. I know Patti is smiling down on you with love and pride.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What an emotional story. Thank you for sharing it. In the “weak” we find incredible strength. Patti was an amazing teacher and inspiration to you, and to us, by you sharing her story. Christ’s peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing this. As I read I do not know who is more lucky you or her😍

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:

    God bless Sister Patti; and great thanks from us to her for the great sacrifice and life of humility she lived in order that others eyes may be opened and her example did and still does serve as an instrument of God’s!

    “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Phil. 3:8.

    Those are the words of Apostle Paul who in his former life was a very well to do highly respected Pharisee who had authority by the powers of man to punish and lock up Christians who at that point he hated and actually wanted to persecute! But, on the road to Damascus God knocked him from this position of stature and importance blinding him, and revealed Himself to Paul! When in that instant he met and knew God as a chosen one, all his pride, hostility and foolishness was gone, and he only wanted to account to and serve God out of genuine heartfelt love. Then his suffering began, which continually tested him with fire shaping his character and soul, I believe making him a “true unequivocal and unshakable servant of God’s;” thus he became one of the “Great Blessed Apostles” who went on to save souls and still is through the fulfillment of the Scriptures which he had a “direct hand in establishing.”

    Suffering as I’ve learned and had to experience does bring us close to God or put this way, I know it does open a door to his mercy and love like few things can. But we must be willing and offer it up to him; “To Let Go and Let God!”

    In 2 Corinthians 11 we find the proof of just how much Paul suffered to serve God’s purposes and though all humans are eclipsed by the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ in what His suffering entailed to take all sin upon Himself that obviously only God could do, I must say some of the Saints and Paul as we refer to here suffered unbelievably long lasting torments and miseries, but, rose to the occasion out of pure love and trust in God Almighty being who He has revealed Himself to be; which is all that matters in the final analysis!

    Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle

    2 Corinthians 11 “16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would[a] but as a fool. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! 20 For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!”

    “But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,[b] in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?”

    “30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.”

    We can look to the Saints for encouragement to know they too walked upon this earth as mere fallen children of God’s but through their personal trials and tribulations were elevated among us to become saints and resist sin cleansing their hearts as an offering to God in their service to him to save souls. We can and should all strive to be saints, and many unsung heroes have done great acts of self-sacrifice for others and also many lesser known or unsung saints have served God’s plan and purposes while living among us!

    And I do believe your sister Patti was one of these, being the “Rock of Your Family” and the one you can all still turn to with great love and admiration for her personal sacrifice to God while only seeking to do His will and loving Him for all of it, suffering especially; which actually made her a much better person than many of us, so she served a greater purpose while here on earth and still is, having been a truly humbled servant and saintly one, who is still effectuating God’s plan and purposes which always comes down to saving souls by bringing others closer to God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! Amen,

    “I had to pass through many trials before reaching the haven of peace, before tasting the delicious fruits of perfect love and of complete abandonment to God’s will.”
    ~ St. Thérèse of Lisieux

    God doesn’t want us to suffer just for the sake of suffering, but through these sufferings or trials we can actually come to better know Him. The saints all of them knew this. Many of them actually not only welcomed suffering, but desired it. That does make the average or uninformed by the Holy Spirit sort of person think that’s crazy, but it makes total sense once any of us are able to see suffering as an opportunity rather than a burden or a curse as some think it to be! We’re here for only a short time so think about that in the context of eternity awaits us all and we don’t want to mess this up so bad that God finds us unworthy of His Love, Mercy and Forgiveness!

    Matthew 20:16 “So the last will be first and the first last, for the called are many and the chosen ones are few.”

    If we are following Christ and truly Love Him as our Lord and Savior, when we suffer we should immediately ask; “How might God be providing me an opportunity to grow through this suffering?”

    Let us give thanks to God and Patti for her sacrifice.
    In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    God Bless you and yours!

    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence Morra III

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your thoughtful and loving message. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome Dear Sister! ❤️
        I need God more each day and I see how the world is tearing apart because of the raging spiritual battle! We all need God’s truth and Mercy severely in my humble opinion! For this I do pray! Amen.
        Brother in Christ Jesus, ❤️
        Lawrence
        Thank You!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Amen❤️ I feel exactly the same as you. God is our hope and our salvation.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you again but I see too much lip service and backstabbing in society and on this internet game which I can’t stomach anymore! I’ve had to stretch my patience with people to unreal lengths over the last 15 or so years and then to fight for my life in a corrupted system on my own and to now have people still be so fake and selfish turns me totally away! People are not to be trusted anymore for the most part; and what trust can be extended has to be earned and even then nothing is a given; not nowadays! I’ve found a few people on this platform who start trouble and can be so strange; and painfully it isn’t necessary, so I won’t put up with it from anyone for a minute! Even family stab each in the back today, and I should trust virtual strangers who don’t give a rat’s you know what?
            We have to be in the End; people are so screwed up and sick in their hearts now more than ever in my lifetime! So sorry to be as candid as that! ❤️
            Thank you for the understanding and couth!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful and touching tribute. I’m sorry for your loss and feel the love and faith of a future reunion. God bless you and yours. ❤️🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. I firmly believe we cannot know our departed one went to Heaven, so prayers are necessary … but in this case, I must say, it surely sounds like Patti has VIP access. Still, I will pray for the repose of her soul and ask for her to pray for us. My condolences to you on the passing of your awesome sister.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A Wonderful life for what she was given. My wife and I are full time caregivers of our bed-ridden (can do a wheelchair) daughter. I relate to so much of what you talked about. This morning our daughter is singing in her sleep. She will deny it when she wakes up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • May I ask how old your daughter is?
      Singing in her sleep…so sweet. May God continue to bless your family❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      • Our Tania is 40. A Spina Bifida child. When young she could walk with crutches and braces. Born with a centimeter of brain around the edge and the rest water. Her brain filled in (somewhat oddly) 37 surgeries and many life flights and ambulance rides have taken their toll. She is very intelligent but not many parts of her body work well. God has used her in many many ways. Lot’s of stories.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sounds like Tania is a blessing to you and you are a blessing to her❤️ I would love to hear the stories of how God has worked in her life to touch your family and others. She seems like a strong and beautiful soul who has gone through much suffering.

          Life with my sister, Patti, was very different from all my friends growing up. Our life was more intentional.. every family plan needed to be worked around her care. We weren’t as carefree. However, the deep love and sense of integrity, responsibility, intuition regarding what might be needed, gratitude, humility and many other life lessons were learned.

          Thank you for reading…I look forward to getting to know you through your posts😊

          Liked by 2 people

    • I have to add here that your daughter is a shining example of pure human humility that few people on earth can light a candle to let alone truly know what it is! Angels and Saints among us! Both your families are so specially blessed by these gifts to the world that God placed in your loving care! I tear up realizing how unworthy I really am when I read about these special souls you have in your families!
      God bless you!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. i am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this story of her life. What a beautiful soul and what a difference she made here upon the earth, sharing her faith and her love.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious sister. She had such a beautiful spirit. Sending love and light your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What beautiful memories you have of your dear Sister! I’m sure she loved you too, and I’m sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your Love letter to your sister is absolutely beautiful – you were blessed to have her in your life. May Patti’s Memory be a blessing

    Liked by 1 person

  12. One can’t help but notice Patti’s sparkling blue eyes and that beautiful smile in her photo. Such a radiant face–you’d never know she was bedridden for over sixty years. What an example of perseverance, selflessness, joy, and more–in spite of cruel handicap. Thank you for sharing her story, Bernadette. I too am very sorry for your great loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hello! You recently commented on my blog requesting to be a member of my Catholic ladies’ group, Roses for Mary. Here is the link:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2470073806609884

    I would love to have you! We are currently starting a discussion of the Bible and the Eucharist. I would also appreciate if you’d invite your female Catholic friends and Catechumens to join so that our sisterhood can grow!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. May your sister Rest In Peace, and perpetual light shine upon her.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your description of her is like a beautiful painting! I am sorry for your deep loss, but grateful you are spreading her light! Thank you for sharing 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a blessing you and your sisters were to Patty ! How amazing is it that you and your sisters recognize that she was such a blessing to YOU AND YOUR SISTERS ! So just hang in there. You and your sisters have beautiful spirits and may God Bless you all !
    Deo Volente Love always remains, and so does Patti ! She lives in the hearts of those that remember her and loved her !
    marc

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This puts a different slant on the day ahead thank you and Patti and thanks for stopping by Walts page and giving my comment a like.

    Like

  18. You both are beautiful souls Thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I reach out to you with a giant hug that I hope you can feel! This is such a beautiful tribute to an amazing person. I understand when you talked about the ever-changing environment you grew up in…for you to have such a wonderful sister that gave you an anchor of love and hope is just amazing…I am so happy you had her!! Much love and many blessings your way ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, and may her family be comforted. Amen.<3

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Touching story sounds like Patti was wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Pingback: Missing my Mom | somebodylovesmeblog

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