somebodylovesmeblog

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


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Missing my Mom

Out to Dinner
Bernadette and Mom

Today is my mother’s birthday.  She passed away seven years ago, at the age of 88.

I am really missing her today.

Due to the intricacies and craziness that weaved the fabric of our family, I did not feel close with my mother growing up.  I loved her because she was my mom.  She was always there in our home, making sure that we were safe and well fed.  She had her own issues that she suffered through her whole life, that I was completely oblivious to.  All I knew was that I loved her and she loved me…however, we did not know eachother’s hearts during those years.  Due to the dynamics of our family, that revolved around the care of my quadriplegic older sister, there were no long mother/daughter talks, lunches out, shopping excursions or anything else that I imagine mothers and daughters doing together.

All of that would change when my father passed away.  My mom was unable to live on her own, so my husband and I invited her to live with us.  After a little prodding by my hubby, she decided to move from Ohio to our Virgina home, and lived with us for about 11 years.  As I get older, I am more able to understand how difficult that decision must have been for her.  She had lived in that home, (and raised four daughters in it) for decades.  We helped her to sell her home, which meant giving away and throwing away most of the material things that were attached to her heart as memories.

Now looking back, my heart is opened up to the grace that my mom exhibited through the move, growing older, and living with my husband and me.  She was a bit of a hoarder, along with my dad, as they grew older and less able.  Although it was extremely hard for her, she allowed me and my sister to clean out her house, save the things that we knew she would want to keep, and then move her into our home.

That move changed everything.  Although I was secretly hoping for that “magical” mother and daughter relationship to develop, what I was blessed with was learning the reality of who my mother was, and I also learned so much about myself in the process.

Learning about and accepting yourself is more of a struggle than I ever realized…and the serendipity in that, is that learning about yourself usually leads you to learn about others.  Both my mom and I had layers upon layers to be peeled away.  Her layers were even more stubborn than mine, and many remained tightly shut.  I learned to respect that in her…and learned to love who she was instead of who I thought she should be.

So, Happy Birthday, Mom!  I wish you were here so we could share some of your Coconut Birthday Cake that you loved so much.  And I could watch your eyes light up while opening a new Barbie Doll for your collection, or your favorite body care lotions and sprays, or some sparkly piece of jewelry.  Small things brought you joy, and you passed that trait on to me.

I am remembering simple, sweet moments that we shared together.  At the time, I had no idea of the value of those moments.  But I think you did…and I thank you for being the mother that you were to me, and for the love that you shared with me and our family, in your own unique way.

Some of the moments that bring smiles to my heart:

You always praised my cooking and baking.  When even I knew it was pretty bad, you would say, “That was different!”

When we would shop at Costo while I was pushing you in your wheelchair and you were pushing a cart ahead of the wheelchair.  You would have me pile so many items in the cart that I could hardly see to navigate your chair.

You insisted on buying  a “Grabber” for me.  I fought you on it, because I was “not old and didn’t need one.”  I think of you each time I use that thing!

You always had childlike wonder during holidays.  You loved things that reminded you of years past…and the years of raising us girls.  Some of those things that brought you joy were Jelly Beans, Easter Peeps, Candy Corn, Ribbon Candy, Flowers, Wreaths, Candles…the list goes on.  Christmas music and Christmas cards.  I miss writing our cards together, and reading the little notes you added to your cards.

You always thought of others.  Little gifts for friends/loved ones.  Many prayers each day that you offered for so many.  I am sure those prayers saved me on more than one occasion.

I miss the way you looked up at me over your cute reading glasses, to ask me how my day at work was.

I miss the way you insisted on seeing my outfit when I was leaving for work or an event, and always complimenting me. (it was nice to hear even if I did not always feel that I looked the way you said I did!)

I miss your blue eyes, and the way they teared up at Mass.

I miss the way you talked about how much you loved all of us sisters, and our growing families.

I especially miss the way you overlooked all of my weaknesses and loved me as I am.

I miss the way YOU NEVER GAVE UP.

Mom, you are loved and missed.  Hopefully, you are able to see those of us that are still living in this world, and you can feel the love we carry in our hearts for you, through the veil of heaven and earth.

Rest in the Love of The Lord. Until we meet again…

1 Peter 3:4: “You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”

Deuteronomy 4:9: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Luke 2:51: “And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reach Out Now!

Sometimes, the feelings that we keep hidden deep inside, are set free by unexpectant glimmers and moments.  For me, those feelings were released in a tangible way while I was grocery shopping a few days before Easter.

I have always especially loved Easter for what it means to me spiritually, and also for the traditions that were shared with me by my parents and family. I have attempted to pass those same traditions to my sons and their families, however, they do not hold Easter and traditions as close to their hearts as I have and still do…meaning that I was trying to celebrate Easter in a new way…without sharing Easter Mass, Easter baskets, flowers, colored eggs or a special Easter Dinner with our whole family.  It is a time of change for me, and I am working on what that truly means.

So… I needed to pick up some groceries, and when I enterd the store, I was overcome with the beauty of all the flowers that were being displayed for Easter/Spring.  Of course I LOVE flowers, and started to make my way up and down the displays…admiring the beauty.  As I was taking in the joy of all those arrangements, I was overcome with emotion.

I don’t have my mom anymore, to buy flowers for. I no longer have my mother in law  to buy flowers for.  And now I don’t have my sister, who was also like a mother to me,  to buy flowers for.  

In that one moment, such sadness welled up inside of me, that it was hard to leave that spot and keep on going.

Now, Mothers Day is on its way, and there will be no cards for me to send, and no flowers to buy.  The three women who were there for me, and who I loved immensely are just gone.  They live in my heart, however, they are no longer there for me to show love and gratitude for all the ways that they impacted my life.  

The older I get, the more I realize that the most important things in this world are love and relationships.  Actually, when I think of it, they are the ONLY important things in this world, because love and relationships are the pieces of ourelves that we leave to the world when we die.

Everything else disappears from reality when the ones you love are taken from you.

Be aware of the “loves” in your life. Share your time and your heart with them.  Take the time to bring happiness into their lives.  Flowers and love are meant to be shared during life…don’t put off and wait to bring joy to others.  Do it now.  

We never know what tomorrow will bring, or how long we will have with those that we love and that love us.

Reach out now…  

To those that are close to you, and also to all those that may need an extra little gift of love to get through their day.  We all know of or come across many through our day to day life, that are suffering inside, due to loneliness.  Reach out now…while you still have the opportunity.

May God bless all of us, and open our eyes to the needs of others.  We are all here for eachother…let’s find ways to lighten the burdens that are kept well hidden within the hearts of so many.

 

 

 


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Women’s History Month

So, I read a blogpost today that informed me that March is the official Women’s History Month.  I just so happen to be reading an amazing book regarding women…and the most  powerful woman that has ever lived.  

Have you ever wondered why most women are not happy in their lives?  They were told that they “could have it all,” (whatever that may mean) and they swallowed that lie…hook, line, and sinker.  Families are floundering, and actually torn apart. Women are attempting to find happiness where it is impossible to find, and men are confused as to what their role is.

People are confused and deceived.  There are not many who truly know their worth and understand what true happiness is.

We can see the unrest and loss of dignity in a world where everyone is led to believe that they must be selfish…that they must be happy every minute, and relationships and marriage only works when “I only do the things that I want to do,” and “I only want to do things that make me happy.”

Really? Is that truly where happiness and love reside…in a heart that only strives toward oneself?

When I look around and see the depression, numbness, anger, sadness, and bitterness all around me, in a world where we have the most material things that we could desire…homes, food, water, entertainment, online access, education…I have to wonder WHY.

I have had a book sitting on my bookshelf for awhile .  I picked it up the other day and started reading.

WOW, WOW, WOW. And WOW.

It describes all that is currently happening with women, men, families, and our country.  The author completely explains the steps that got us to this point, and the hows, whys and the whos that led us to where we are today.

Please pick up a copy of this book.  It will open your eyes to truths and facts that have been happening right in front of us…we were sucked in. Bit by bit.

It all sounded so great…having it all…until it didn’t.

We all kept trying to persevere…we must be doing it wrong!  Surely if we hang in there and do what “they” tell us to do, we will be happy.

Really?

The Anti-Mary Exposed Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Feminity by Carrie Gress  will change your perception of what “is.”  It will challenge you, and may be the perfect thing to read at the start of Lent. Or anytime that you are looking for Truth.  May God bless you in your search

https://tanbooks.com/products/books/life-family/women/the-anti-mary-exposed-rescuing-the-culture-from-toxic-femininity/?gclid=CjwKCAiApfeQBhAUEiwA7K_UH7wQxvks4DrT26Vz2jpvtmYRUDtwQmgyA0xkuxIC_sFAokwKkDYhyhoCMhYQAvD_BwE

 

 


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Real Love and Valentine’s Day

From My Heart to Yours   From My Heart to Yours

Valentine’s Day is a sweet reminder in our daily lives of the love that we are blessed with.  For me personally, the day touches my heart in a special way with gratitude for all the people that have touched my life… my family and friends, and especially my husband, Joe.

The special love I speak of is not the kind that requires red roses, diamonds, or chocolates.  Those things are nice and always appreciated, however, this is much deeper than any of those types of gifts can convey.

So Joe…this is my Valentine thank you for the real love you show me each and every day; the way that you help me to see the beauty in myself.  That true love can only be inspired and sourced in the Holy Spirit…thank you for your faith and openness to be a vessel of His love.

Some of the ways you show me that I am loved:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not  proud.

You have a quiet confidence that allows you to be happy and supportive toward others.  Even when I am off track or floundering…you are my “even keel”. 

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Your deep, thoughtful desire to help, honor and respect all the ones God places in your daily life amazes and inspires me.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

When I get overwhelmed with the negative of an event or situation, you always help me to see past it and focus on the good.  Many times you help me see past my own flaws and weaknesses, and help me to see the goodness within myself.

 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

You are my safe haven in this life, and we are united in hope and perseverance to become the people the Lord intends us to be for his divine plan.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Lord has blessed us with Himself, and through his love, mercy and grace, the love we share will never fail.  You will always be in my heart… in this life and the next.

I love you, Joe!  And by the way, Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Beloved Daughter

Over the last few days, I have been reading the stories of women that were actually told that they were ugly when they were young.  It is so evil and sad that any person would spew those lies to a child or young woman.  It is devastating.

I feel compelled to share this post from a few years ago with you:

Today I am especially feeling the loving touch of the Holy Spirit through my whole being.  And through that Spirit, I am being led to share some loving words from our Heavenly Father.  This is a love letter to you, His precious daughter. 

Beautiful one, this is for you:

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  Do you pick apart each facet of your physical body, and compare yourself to other women?  Do you feel inadequate or inferior; sometimes even feeling as though you are hideous in one way or another?  Do you sometimes feel ugly inside, like if people really knew you, they would realize how ugly you truly are?

The next time you look into the mirror, I want you to try something different.

I want you to see yourself through MY Eyes.

You were loved long before you were formed in your mother’s womb.  Each detail of what makes you “you” is like a brushstroke on the canvas of a great masterpiece. You were bathed in my loving light as you developed and grew in exactly the way you were meant to.  You are my special and lovely jewel.

You are beloved.

When you were born, heaven rejoiced!  Such a beautiful, sweet baby you were, my daughter.  Did you know the angels held you, and you were comforted by the tender love of Jesus?  In your helplessness and vulnerability, you were being loved and carried by a power so loving and beautiful, that sometimes you couldn’t help but smile or sigh.  Such an exquisitely beautiful baby you were!

As a little girl, you grew and brought me such joy.  Your zest for life, and your amusing antics.  The way your hair caught the light when you were playing gleefully, or the way it matted up after your nap.  Your beautiful innocence was shown through your bright, clear eyes.  Those eyes that touched me deeply because they showed the honesty of what was inside your heart.

Then you grew, and ready or not, you were a teenager!  I know those were difficult and confusing years for you.  I was right there with you, through everything.  When you were trying to fit in, and not seeing or feeling your true worth, you sometimes wondered where I was.  There were times when you were hurting, confused and lonely. I was there, holding you in my arms, and loving you, even when you did not feel me with you.  You were a beautiful bouquet of so many special characteristics that are yours and yours alone.

You didn’t see it at the time, however, all of what you were then was evidence of the beauty that was already a part of you, deeply rooted in your heart and the love I have always had for you.   That beauty was about to spill over, illuminating your physical being…laying the foundation  of the woman you are now.

What do I see when I look at you?

I see a beautiful woman of strength and character.  You have enjoyed many happy moments in your life, and also suffered through deep pain and anguish.  You have felt so weak and powerless at times…that is exactly when I carried you through.  If only you can fully realize that every single detail of you is beautiful and deeply loved.  You were not meant to be anything else.  You were created simply to be YOU.

Do not look to the world to see your true beauty, for the world’s view is veiled and tainted.

Look to Me.

Let go, and allow yourself to rest in my peace and love.  Submit yourself to me…all of who you are.  All of your strengths and weaknesses.  Your joys, your sorrows.  Your accomplishments, your failures.  Trust me – I will work all of the brush strokes of your life into the great masterpiece of my Divine Plan.

You are my beloved daughter, sparkling with a beauty more dazzling than the most precious gem imaginable.

You are loved.

Always,

Your Heavenly Father

 

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.   Psalm 139:14

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  Jeremiah 1:5

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.   1 Peter 3:3-4


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Love Always Remains

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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What a Father Should Be

Since our move to the area, my husband and I have found a new church here in Fort Collins, CO at St. Joseph Parish.  It is a beautiful, traditional Catholic Church, and the reverence of the Holy Mass pulled me right in, including beautiful bells being rung during the Eucharistic Prayer, and an altar rail.  (which I have greatly missed)

I felt completely at home from our first visit, and realized that many things at this Parish remind me of my childhood Church.  (St. John the Baptist in Campbell, OH) Even though we are new members, I feel community, connection, and most importantly…I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

One of the first things that I learned, was that we are in the midst of The Year of St. Joseph...December 8, 2020 – 2021.

After Mass, we offer this prayer:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To you God entrusted his only Son;

in you Mary placed her trust;

with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,

show yourself a father

and guide us in the path of life.

Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil. 

Amen.

I  never heard of this prayer before, and being perfectly honest, I never even thought of St. Joseph and his so very important, blessed role in the Holy Family.

The first time I attempted to read the prayer outloud, my eyes and heart filled with tears, and the words could not be formed out of my mouth.

It took my breath away.

This prayer conveys the perfect example of manhood and fatherhood.  What a father should be to his family.

A concept that I was never able to fully grasp with my own father.

St. Joseph took on the will of God with submission to The Father, total love, and humility. He was worthy in God’s eyes to be entrusted with the care and guardianship of The Blessed Virgin, and her son, Jesus, Our Savior.   

The words touch my heart because the prayer describes what a true Catholic father should be for his children and wife. What an important and blessed calling it is!

“To you God entrusted his only son”  To you, God entrusted his child (children.)

“in you Mary placed her trust;”  In you, your wife placed her trust.

“with you Christ became man.”  With you, your daughter or son becomes a woman or man.

“Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life.”  Show yourself a father and guide your children in the path of life.

“Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil.”  Pray and Live in a way that your children will be blessed with grace, mercy and courage and defend them from the evils of the world.  

Be sure that you, as a father, are never the source of evil in their lives…but the protection from it!

May we always be open and willing to follow the perfect examples of Jesus, and the role models of parenthood that God the Father blessed us with.  

May God bless you and your family on your journey to Him!

 

St. John the Baptist Church

 

 

 

 

 


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The Monsters We Create

The other night, I happened to see a discussion of the movie “The Bride of Frankenstein.” Upfront, I need to let you know I have never seen a Frankenstein movie and have never read the book. It just did not interest me. Although I usually do not put any credence in what “stars” say, Drew Barrymore’s  words interested me. She said it was a beautiful movie, with lots of symbolism. She also inferred there was a strong ethical and moral theme throughout the story, and a person could not help feeling sadness and compassion for the “monster”.

My curiosity was aroused, so I watched the movie.

Then I had to watch it again with my husband. This movie was filmed in 1935. There are many scenes that modern movie enthusiasts might laugh at, because of the acting and low technology, according to today’s standards. However, what I saw was a truly beautiful film, with much symbolism and reference to God, good, and evil. That kind of shocked me…I was not expecting that. Here was a monster that was created from dead bodies, and given “life” by crazed scientists. When the monster acted like a monster, the people were horrified, terrified, so of course they turned against him. They did not understand him, and were too afraid to even be in his presence. The monster stumbled his way around, because he simply knew no other way. He killed a few people indiscriminately, some of them by accident.

One truly beautiful scene, was when a lonely blind man was playing his violin in his little shack. The monster heard the music, and was drawn in by the beauty. He opened the door to the shack, and expected the man to scream and run. Since the man was blind, he did not do that. He literally prayed to God in thanksgiving…thanking God for sending him a friend in his loneliness. The man nursed the wounds of the monster, provided him with food and drink, and even tucked him into a comfortable bed, so he could rest. He accepted the monster as he was, without preconceived judgment. Not only did the man minister to his new “friend’s” needs, he also taught him to talk, and shared some finer things of life with him…namely wine and cigars. They became friends to each other. Because of the man’s blindness, he was able to show love without fear; he did not see the monster in his friend.

At that time, some men who were lost, happened to come into the man’s shack and saw the monster. They tried to kill him, and pulled the man out. The shack was left burning, and you see the monster escaping out of the flames, sadly calling out for his friend.

I won’t tell you the ending of the story, because I don’t want to completely ruin it for you. But let’s just say, the monster ended up having more humanity than the humans that created him had. I know it sounds weird, but that movie truly touched my heart. How many times do we create “monsters” and then turn our backs on them?

We allow the removal of God from our schools, and then are shocked when throngs of young adults turn their backs on God and the Church. And then, because of political correctness, we allow them to continue on their Godless path without a word, because we do not want to “offend” anyone.

We allow and condone the killing of unborn babies, the “innocents”, and then we wonder why there is so much violence and murder…and such disrespect for life in general. Again, we remain silent, after all, isn’t killing a baby in the womb a woman’s right? Really???

We allow our children to play violent, gory, evil games for hours on end, and then wonder why they cannot relate to people in a normal, healthy, loving way. In extreme cases, they play out their killing games in real life. Again, we make excuses. It’s only a game, it’s only a movie, it’s only music. Again I say…Really???

We allow the infiltration of our society’s minds, including our children’s innocent minds, with immodesty, promiscuity, and disgusting behavior. Then we cringe and back away when we see the results. Physical disease and debilitating emotional and spiritual sickness, unwanted pregnancies, suicide. But we often just want to turn away from what we have created. We judge and point our fingers at the “sinners.”  After all they chose that lifestyle, and need to repent. Right???

Because of busy work schedules and lifestyle choices, we spend less and less time together as families. Family meals are far and few between. Because of “smartphones” and other technologies, we have lost the art of personal communication and relationships. Families communicate through pithy and clever phrases, and don’t take the time to truly discuss feelings, dreams and beliefs. Our children are floundering…they are hungry for unconditional love and attention. But we are doing as much as we can; our family needs our two jobs, and we all need to be “active” and involved in community and recreational activities. We are exhausted…no time for anything else. Right???

Maybe we should all step back, and breathe in the love of God. Maybe then we will realize all the monsters we are creating on a daily basis…once created, the monsters we would like to ignore. The monsters we would like to destroy.

However, those “monsters” are our children, our friends, our family, our community, our country. The monsters are us. Instead of going with our first instinct of turning away in fear and disgust, we need to  look toward God for the grace to love His children in blindness to their circumstance and guilt, and love them for the beauty that  He sees inside their hearts.

Jesus sees the hurt, pain, sin, and darkness that we all have in our hearts. He is waiting for us to open ourselves in faith, submission and humility.

That is how our world will be converted to a much more beautiful place. With less monsters.


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Patti, Your Life is a Prayer

Today I am reblogging a post that I wrote about a very special lady. Patti is my sister, and I have been extremely blessed to have her in my life. Her life was never easy, however, that did not stop her from accomplishing great things. Through all her struggles, she has never lost her zest for life or her faith in God. Please read about her life as a quadriplegic, and how she touched so many lives.

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Patti at 12 years of age Patti at 12 years of age

This last weekend, I was blessed with some ‘one on one’ time with my oldest sister, Patti.  We usually get to visit only once or twice a year, being that she lives in Ohio, and I am in Virginia.  My mom has been living with my husband and me for over ten years now, so naturally all our visits with Patti are always together, as a family.

For some reason, I felt compelled to see my sister, and spend time with her alone.  There was no question in my mind…I needed her.  Just like I did throughout my childhood, and then as I grew to adulthood.

So, let me tell you a little about Patti.  She was a beautiful and feisty young girl, who now describes herself as a tomboy who loved climbing trees and neighborhood roofs.  To be honest, she was a little mischievous.

That very sweet and…

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Thanksgiving Memories

This post was shared a few years back…hope you enjoy my memories, as you are creating memories of your own.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Memories

This is the first year we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day without our sons.  They are living across the country with their wives, in Colorado and California.  It’s a weird feeling, because we miss them and wish we could spend this special holiday with them, but at the same time we are really looking forward to having a cozy and wonderful day.  It will be the three of us…my husband Joe, my mother and me.

Sometimes I wonder if my sons savor the memories of Thanksgiving Day in the same way I do.  Just thinking of Thanksgiving brings up all kinds of memories and feelings.

I remember waking up to the sounds of my parents preparing the turkey for roasting.  That would always include a lot of arguing for some reason, but in our house, that was normal.  I loved to watch them stuff the bird, and then pop it in the oven.

Back when I was a little girl, it seemed as though the turkey cooked all day.  I’ve always loved turkey and stuffing, and the smell throughout the house was intoxicating.  I’ve come to realize how my feelings and memories are intensely attached to the aromas and tastes of traditional holiday foods.

To me, traditions convey warmth and family.

The next thing my three sisters and I would do is turn on the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  How we loved to check out all the awesome floats and characters! We would gather together and enjoy the music and wonder of the parade.  Such simple pleasures!

As the morning headed toward noontime, my mom would pass around some appetizers to keep our bellies from rumbling.  This would always include celery stuffed with cream cheese and pineapple, and cream cheese with olives.  (I loved both) There would also be cheese and crackers, and sometimes shrimp cocktail.  And there was always a bowl of whole nuts to keep us busy.  I don’t know what I loved more – eating the nuts or cracking them open with the cool nutcracker!

Thanksgiving would usually include my Grandfather, my Aunt Lillian, and my Great Uncle John.  It was a special day, so we would pull out the tablecloth, and set the table with cloth napkins and silver.  We would light candles.  We didn’t have fancy or expensive china, but I can tell you, I loved those dinners.  It felt so special to me.

After all these years, I finally understand the true gift my mom and dad were giving us through our holiday traditions.  They were planting memories of home and family…little bits and pieces of love that will always be in my heart.

You see, it didn’t matter that the glasses and dishes might not have matched.  It didn’t matter that we lived in a little house, and our “dining room table” was actually in our living room.  To tell you the truth, I never even thought about any of that.

Our family was very far from perfect.  In fact, there were things that happened in our house that should never have been – things that were hurtful and confusing.

But looking back, I see that my parents were always trying to find ways to instill family and stability into our lives.  They gifted us with many wonderful memories, and I never want to forget any of them.

Through our own family traditions, my husband and I have attempted to gift our sons with memories that they will carry with them forever, to share with their families.

It was way more than the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole,  cranberry sauce and pumpkin and apple pies.

 It was the blessing and miracle of family.

And I hope that when my sons smell their holiday meal cooking, and they are enjoying time with their own families, they will always feel us in their hearts, as they are always in ours.

May we always remember to treasure our family and friends that God has blessed us with. Have a joyous Thanksgiving!