somebodylovesmeblog

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


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What Are You Giving Up?

Some thoughts about Lent…

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For me, the Lenten Season has always been a little intimidating.  It seemed as though I could not absorb the true poverty of spirit needed to open hearts (including my own) to the fullness of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.  There were times when it felt like I was just “going through the motions”, giving up this, saying this prayer, going to Lenten Services.  In other words, to be perfectly honest, many times I was trying to worship with my “head” instead of my heart and soul.

This year I feel the Lord physically drawing me toward Him.  What ways can I deny myself in order to depend more fully on Jesus?  How can I open my heart in faith and trust, to help those in need around me?  In what ways can I throw myself at the feet of my Lord and worship Him more fully?

On…

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The Sorrowful Mysteries

This is the second in the series of  “How Praying the Rosary Changed my Life.”  Please click here for the background of how I was led to The Rosary, and also to learn about The Rosary and The Joyful Mysteries.

Today I will cover the Sorrowful Mysteries, which are prayed on Tuesday and Friday.

My prayer is that The Holy Spirit will open your heart to these great mysteries, and fill you with the love, joy, and peace of Our Lord, Jesus.

There are five meditations associated with the Sorrowful Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1. Agony in the Garden   Mark 14:32-46  Luke 22:41-44  (For true repentance of my sins)   Dear Lord, how can I even begin to understand the agony that you endured, as you prayed to your Father in the garden?  You knew exactly what was going to happen to you…that you were offering yourself as a perfect sacrifice in atonement for the sins that I have committed, am committing, and will commit in the future.  You took my place.  You also knew that you would be betrayed by some of those who were closest to you, and knew  you would be hated, spat upon, tortured, blasphemed, humiliated, and ultimately crucified by those who did not understand The Truth.  I am so much like your disciples, who could not even stay awake for one hour to keep watch.  Judas betrayed you with a kiss.  How many times do I declare my love for you, and then close my heart to your love, and to your presence in my life?  How many times do I “fall asleep” when there is work to be done and people to love?  How many times do I betray you by allowing my weakness and selfishness to come between us?  Help me to understand that even you prayed that your Father would take the cup away…and the angels actually came to strengthen you in your suffering.  Help me to remember that you are always with me…I am never alone.  Help me to always come to you in prayer, with praise, thanksgiving and petitions, and always  submitting myself to the Father’s will…not my own.
  2. Scourging at the Pillar   Mark 15:1-15  (For a Spirit of Mortification)  Lord, help me to face the hardships and suffering in my life as you did.  You accepted your scourging with love and humility.  You did not even utter one harsh word toward your tormenters.  Please help me to understand and always remember…You suffered in my place, Lord. Thank you for the perfect love that you offered me through your sacrifice, and the love that you are still offering to me now. Help me to find you through the difficulties, pain and suffering that I experience day to day.  Help me to accept them with joy…knowing that through the suffering I am closer to you.
  3. Crowning With Thorns  Mark 15:16-19  (For Moral Courage)   Lord it wasn’t enough that you were scourged; you were also mocked and blasphemed.  Through it all, love and humility radiated from you.  Help me to always be ready to stand for what is right in God’s eyes. When I am mocked or persecuted because of my love of you, I ask that you shower me with your mercy and grace so I can respond with love and humility.
  4. Carrying of the Cross  Mt 27:31-32  (For the Virtue of Patience)  Lord, the first thing that pops into my heard after reading this verse…is that Simon was forced to carry the cross.  Am I so different from him?  When I am sent crosses to bear, I am always looking for ways to alleviate my struggle, pain, and difficulty.  It seems that I am sometimes forced to carry my crosses…and in the process I become closer to you, and my cross becomes a blessing.  Help me to not only carry my own burdens willingly and lovingly, but also open my eyes to ways I can carry some of the burdens of those around me…lightening the pain and suffering of others so it is bearable for them.  Help me to be a blessing to all those in need, that you place on my path.
  5. The Crucifixion  Luke 23:34  Luke 23:45-46  (For the Grace of Final Perseverance)  My dear Lord, You suffered and died in my place.  Thank you for the love and mercy that stream from you.  Thank you for loving me.  When I am hurt or when evil surrounds me, help me to always ask God to forgive them, for they know not what they do.  And please fill me with your grace, that I may say, in total faith, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

May your day be blessed in the love and light of Jesus, Our Lord. May your heart be touched through these Sorrowful Mysteries.
Please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts.

Pray the Rosary A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful little pamphlet.

 


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How Praying The Rosary Changed My Life

My relationship with Jesus became  much more intimate, and my faith life, and life in general, was changed because of my relationship with His Mother. You can read a little of how that change was inspired here.

Praying and meditating on the Rosary transformed my life, and could transform yours, too.

Many people ask me about the Rosary, and do not understand why someone would pray to Mary, and not just directly to Jesus.  Although I am a cradle Catholic, I had the same questions for many years.

Until I was personally led by the Holy Spirit to meditate and pray the Rosary.

By opening my heart to Our Lord’s Blessed Mother, I was enveloped in her motherly love for me, and in and through that  love, was drawn closer and closer to her Son.  Once I realized in my soul that Mary is actually the Mother of God, the mother of Jesus, my heart was then opened to the knowledge that she is also my mother.  (think about it…if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God the Father and Mary, and God is also your Father (thus Jesus is your brother) …then it is logical to know that Mary is your Mother.  As our Mother, wouldn’t it be true that she would want what is best for us?  That she would want to guide us toward Jesus…our Savior?  That she would intercede for us to her Son, as she did at the wedding in Cana?

While praying the Rosary, there are four sets of Mysteries that are reflected on.  With prayerful meditation, these mysteries are life changing.  For information and instruction on how to pray the rosary click here.

In the chance that my meditations may be a blessing to you, I thought I would share some of my personal reflections associated with each one.  I certainly do not wish to insinuate that these thoughts are doctrines or formal teachings of the Catholic Church.  These thoughts are personal revelations or enlightenments to me, through the Holy Spirit.

The Lord will reveal Himself to you, personally, as you pray the Holy Rosary.

There are four sets of mysteries that are used for meditation on certain days of the week.  The Joyful Mysteries are said on Monday and Saturday.  Today is Monday, so I will start there.

There are five meditations associated with the Joyful Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1.  The Annunciation  Luke 1:26-38   (For the love of humility)  Dear Lord, please help me to live my life with perfect trust in You, just as Mary did.  Help me to be your vessel…to have the openness to God’s will and the humility of Mary.  Help me to trust in you completely, even when not understanding the situation or where it may take me.   Allow me to say and have faith in Mary’s  words, “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
  2.   The Visitation  Luke 1:39-56  (For charity toward my neighbor)  Dear Lord, please help me to be a vessel, allowing your light and love to flow from me to the ones you place in my life.  Guide me to be understanding of the needs of my loved ones, and also any person that you place on my path.  You are perfect love.  I can never be enough myself to love your children the way that you do.  I can never fill the holes in their hearts or heal all that troubles them.  I ask that you fill my heart with You, and pour your love through me, even when I am unaware of the miracle taking place.  Help me to learn to love as you love, to see as you see, to hear as you hear.  Help me to have the spirit and faith of Mary, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.”
  3. The Nativity  Luke 2:8-14  (For love of God)  Dear Lord, please help me to remember that You were born  into our world in poverty…placed in a manger, lovingly and with full trust in your providence, by Joseph and Mary.  Help me to understand the importance of family, and that the strength of the family is dependent on the foundation of God and His Truth, Love, and Mercy.  Help me to be open to your Love, so that I can be a reflection of You, to my family and friends.  And as I fall short, please work through me.
  4. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple  Luke 2:22-35  Luke 2:39-40   (For a Spirit of Sacrifice)  Dear Lord, help me to always offer my life, my marriage, and my family to you, that you will use our lives to further your kingdom.  When I was a young mother, I did not understand the beauty of sacrifice, and I selfishly wanted to keep  my children for my own, only seeking their happiness in this world, and holding back from presenting them and myself to you…for your purpose.  I ask that you fill in for my ignorance and selfishness, and ask that you infuse us all with your presence, while guiding us in your light, and in your purpose.  Help us to use the difficulties in this life to bring us closer to you, and help me to remember to present myself to you each and every day, for you to work through.
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple  Luke 2:41-52  (For zeal for the Glory of God)  Dear Lord, help me to always desire to be in your presence.  You knew that you belonged in your Father’s house.  Help me to have trust and faith that I too belong in my Father’s house.  Help me to always invite you into my heart, to fill me with your love, mercy, wisdom, joy, and understanding, to help me and my life glorify the Father.

May your day be blessed in the love and light of Jesus, Our Lord.  May your heart be touched through these Joyful Mysteries.

Please feel free to comment with any questions.

Pray the Rosary  A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful little pamphlet.


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The True Women’s March

unknownToday, as the 2017 March for Life is in progress, as it has been since the first march in 1974, I come to you humbled and contrite.

You see, since the so called women’s march that occurred last Saturday, I have been trying to stand for life in the wrong way.  I have allowed the anger and hopelessness to overtake me, allowing it to permeate into my own heart.  I actually could FEEL the presence of Satan…darkness, anger, cynicism, hopelessness, sadness, pride, hate, and confusion.

I made two grave mistakes.  The first is that I did not pray ernestly for the Lord to work through me and to cover me with His armor.  And the second mistake was allowing myself to get into a conversation…an argument…with the devil online.

With the Lord’s help and protection, I will not make those mistakes again.

How do I know that my standing in support of the voiceless unborn is the right choice, and that it is from God?  How do I know that a baby growing in her mother’s womb, that should be the safest place in the world, should always be given the right to life…to be born?  How do I know that the mother, that chooses to kill her unborn baby, will suffer from emptiness and darkness for her whole life, until she allows her broken or stone hard heart to be opened to God’s love, mercy and forgiveness?

How do I know these things?

The evidence is in the women themselves.

The evidence is in the mockery of feminism, that was shown in its full light at the so called women’s march last weekend.  It was in the disgustingly vile signs, costumes and spewed hatred coming from the mouths of these women.  It was the ignorance and confusion of those women professing to be more than their sexuality…and then wearing vagina costumes framing their faces.  It was seen in the rabid joy of women (and also seen on children and some men ) “celebrating” their cause by crocheting and wearing “pussy hats” in solidarity.  It was seen and heard in vile speeches given by celebrities, who portray themselves in disgustingly perverted ways on  screen or  through their music, screaming hate filled messages.

Is that what womanhood and feminism means to you???

Or could it be that true feminism is rooted in a quiet love and respect for God, family, country, and the empowering knowledge that our bodies were created with the ability to conceive, carry, and give birth to the greatest gift that God can give us…the gift of life.  The gift of being a vessel of His love…and saying yes, as Our Blessed Mother, Mary,  did, to His will for us.  For in bringing another baby into this world, we are expanding Our Lord’s Kingdom.  It is so much more than us…it is greater than we can ever fathom.

The march last weekend, and the many reasons mothers seek out and kill their babies while growing in the womb, are rooted in confusion, fear, hatred, sadness, selfishness, isolation, pride, arrogance, and despair.  This was easily seen and heard while viewing the march, and listening to the protesters and speakers. The body language and the eyes to their souls sadly spoke volumes to me.

The March for Life that is occurring right now, features speakers and protesters that are rooted in love, mercy, humbleness, inner joy, faith, hope, selflessness, and the desire to reach out, with their hearts, hands and resources…to be of support to hurting  women, through the whole process of pregnancy and beyond.  To be there for them in friendship and love, helping to ensure that they, and their babies, have the support, love and necessities for as long as they need it.

Which woman are you?  What is the root of your beliefs?

Much to think about…

I ask God for forgiveness for allowing Satan to enter my heart through this past week.  I ask that He forgive me for not seeing past the actions and the vulgar, hateful  words spewed…for not looking for Him in their hearts and souls.  For not seeing the hurt and pain that reside deep within them.

For, instead of judging them, I should have been praying for love, mercy and joy to enter their hearts and lives.

Always knowing that I am too weak to always extend love and mercy on my own.  It is only when I am protected by the Armor of God…and willing to be His vessel… that HIS love may shine from my heart.

May God bless all of us and our country!

rachelsvineyard.org 

www.abbyjohnson.org

 

 


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Yes, Jesus loves you. Do you love Him?

Lately I have been really noticing a pattern among many Christians who remain in darkness.

The darkness may lie in depression, family or relationship issues, finances, addictions, and/or emotional, spiritual, mental or physical ailments.

Over and over, in their suffering, I hear them profess how much Jesus loves them.   And then I see the same people  post on their social media sites, that they love Jesus, and trust Him to heal them and answer their prayers. Years go by, and they remain in their same anguish.

When I see and hear the pain they are experiencing, my heart aches for them, and I pray for total healing in their lives.

The troubling pattern is this…many of these same people do not understand that believing that Jesus loves them is only the start.

Even Satan and his demons know that Jesus is God.

Relationship with Jesus is the open, acceptance of His gift of salvation to all of us.

The gift sits there, unopened, until we make the free choice to accept it, and open it. Once opened, do we choose to just let it sit there, or do we interact with Jesus in thanksgiving?

In other words, do we choose to have a relationship with Jesus, or do we just lean on the knowledge that Jesus loves us no matter what?

In a loving, happy relationship, do we just sit back and bask in the love offered to us, selfishly saying “he/she will always love me no matter what I do?”

Do we intentionally dishonor our loved one, by publicly announcing honor and support for another…that is in total opposition or disrespect to our beloved?

Or do we interact with that love…making sure to spend time with our loved one, forsaking others due to our commitment, sacrificing our wants and needs in order to please our loved one, making changes in our behaviors that may hurt our relationship. Thinking of “we” instead of “me.”

Do we do these things in a loving human relationship, however, not so much when it concerns our relationship with Christ?

As Christians, each day brings us opportunities to align ourselves more closely with Jesus.   Many things we are doing that keep us at arm’s length from His total love and mercy. For some reason, we hold back, and look to the world for the answers. We keep looking toward other sources for our happiness, love and “warm fuzzies”.

This is a grave mistake that keeps us from full relationship with Jesus. “Warm fuzzies” do not offer us love, mercy and salvation.

First, let me make perfectly clear, I know that I personally struggle or have struggled with many of these, or other, things. These observations are meant to shine a light on possible ways that we are damaging our relationship with Jesus, thus remaining in “the muck and darkness” year after year.

Little or big doors that we crack open that allow Satan or his demons to enter into our souls, and lives.

Many times we even forget these doors were once opened, or we are unaware at all. I can tell you, that Satan has not forgotten. He uses any point of entry that he can find…he uses our weaknesses, our curiosity, our pride, and our ignorance to infiltrate our lives and souls.

 

Some of the dangerous things I am noticing that are being shared on social media, by Christians, that jump out at me:

Interaction with or sharing of horoscope info

Belief or interest in mediums

Posting memes and/or belief in New Age philosophies

Dabbling in “cute” witchcraft or spells

Claiming to be a Christian, while promoting other World Religions. I am not talking about being tolerant of other religions, which we are called to do. I am talking about treating all religions as though they are one of many truths. In fact, in many cases, sharing quotes from secular sources, and other religions with more ardor than Christianity. As though it is almost an embarrassment to proclaim Christian values, customs, beliefs, and truths.

Worshiping “Mother Earth” instead of The Creator

Taking part and promoting entertainment…movies, books, magazine, games…that are in opposition to God

Spewing hatred, as in labeling and name-calling, toward specific people that we disagree with, instead of simply professing our stand, and praying for and with them.

Professing love for God with words only…and not by showing day to day loving actions and change in our lives

Any of these things, or something I haven’t mentioned, could be part of the darkness you are living in. Confession, and repentance in any area that is in opposition to Our Lord, will allow the light of the Holy Spirit to heal you, inside and out. This total healing may happen in an instant, or may happen gradually, as you grow in faith.  The key is to invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate you and fill your soul with His Holy Presence…and then place your trust in God.

Sometimes, the Lord will allow certain things to remain in your life to help you on your journey to Him, or for His glory. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will live with a deep joy that will help you through any struggle in this life, and you will learn to look to Him in confidence and trust.

Remember, Jesus will always love you! Are you showing your love for Jesus?

 

19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
 John 14:6

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.  Romans 1:25

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Become Like Children

And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4

 

This bible passage has been on my mind a lot lately. Probably because the Lord is using my time with my  grandson, Brayden, to teach me a few things that I need to learn.

Brayden Being Brayden

Brayden Being Brayden

Spending time with Brayden, and observing him, is one of the biggest blessings I have ever received. As any grandparent knows, this special bond is like no other…there is really no way to describe the love I feel for him. Everything he does amazes me, and when he feels any discomfort or pain, it literally hurts my heart.

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

 That verse got me to thinking… what does it mean to “become like children?”

Led me to think of the attributes I am noticing in Brayden:

Totally dependent in every way…Lord, help me to open my heart and mind to depend on you to provide for me and to carry me through all that life brings.

 Always learning and growing…Lord, as the years go by, help me to stay open to learning through Holy Scripture and the teachings of The Church, so that I am constantly growing closer to you, and more like you.

Authentic…Lord, help me to become more of who I was meant to be, by allowing me to be transparent. Whether that means sharing my joys and happiness with you, or being honest when I am unhappy, hurt, angry, hungry, thirsty, prideful, frustrated, sinful, confused or weak. For being authentic with you is the way to true relationship.

Filled with wonder…Lord, help me to always have childlike wonder, for you have created most amazing and beautiful things, so that we will know that YOU ARE GOD. Let me never lose the ability to look with wonder at the everyday beauty all around me, especially the beauty of the people in my life.

Intuitive…Lord, as a child has the natural instinct of feeling/knowing when “something is not right”, help me to trust the voice you have placed in my heart, that alerts me to danger and evil. Help me to always stay close to you, so that discernment becomes natural, and I can look to your truth to always guide me.

Learning to trust…Lord, just as a child learns to trust in his own abilities as he learns and grows, help me to trust that I am getting stronger with each step you help me make. Also, just as a child learns to trust those who love him, help me to trust you more and more, as you always love me, and are always there with me.

Persistent…Lord, when experiencing or learning something new, it is sometimes difficult and frustrating. As a child remains persistent in communicating his needs, and also is persistent in trying to overcome an obstacle or perfect a skill, please help me to never give up, and to remain persistent in reaching for you, and the divine purpose you have designed for me.

Seeking comfort…Lord, as a child seeks comfort when lonely, tired, or in distress, please help me to look for comfort in you, and to know that I am safe when nestled safely in your love and mercy.

 

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:10

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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One Year of Life Since…

Mom with Baby Bernadette

Mom with Baby Bernadette

Today is the one year anniversary of my mother’s death.

Much has happened in that year’s time, including the birth of our first grandchild, and our move across country to be near him. There has been pain, suffering, fatigue, intense stress, confusion, and grief. However, there has also been a deepening of faith, excitement, joy, and a closeness with my mother that I never experienced before. I feel like her spirit, her heart, is one with mine. I can feel her presence all around me and feel her love for me, my sisters, and our whole family every day.

A few years ago, a friend of mine who lost her mom, told me that when you lose your mother, she is just “gone.” This friend did not have a close relationship with her mom before her death, however, when she shared those words with me, she had tears in her eyes. She was communicating her feeling of emptiness, and the reality that there would be no more stories, no more chances to ask her mom questions about her life and her experiences, no more chances to physically feel her mom’s love or to have the opportunity to show her mother how much she appreciated and loved her.

Sometimes we focus so much on ourselves and our own needs and pain, that we forget that our parents are human beings. They had a life before we were born, and had struggles and weaknesses to overcome just as we do. As we lived our lives and became more mature and “educated”, it was sometimes easy to overlook the lives of those closest to us, the ones who brought us into this world, and who loved us the most.  Many “eye-rolling” and “here we go again” moments…and many times, for legitimate reasons.

The love our parents showed us was the best they had to offer. Just as the love we showed them and to our own children, family and friends, was the best we had to offer at the time.

For we are all flawed. We are sinners.

I believe that when our loved ones die and are united with Jesus in heaven, and when our hearts are also open to Jesus, a connection is forged. The Communion of Saints.

That is what I am feeling very strongly from my mother. Especially today.   I know that sin and weakness no longer affects our relationship. We are joined in perfect love now, and nothing can take that truth away.

During this past year, many truths about my mom have been revealed to me. I would like to share some of them with you, in the chance that they may be of help to you. Such simple things that help to keep my heart filled with love and a smile.

 

How would I know:

That when you repeated the same stories over and over, you were sharing with us that these were some of your most treasured memories. At the time, it was frustrating to actively listen to those repeated stories over and over. In fact, I could repeat them word for word. However, now I feel so close to you when I remember those same stories, and imagine the scenes you described to me over the years of my life. You are helping me to know you and myself more and more each day, by understanding your life experiences.

That when you called me into your room each morning, or for special occasions, when I was rushing out the door, just to look at what I was wearing and how I looked for the day, that you were missing those “good old days” for yourself, and that it brought you much joy to see me “dressing up”, wearing make up, getting my hair done, wearing jewelry…and going out into the world.   You were living your memories through me and my life, and were sincerely happy for me…always telling me that I looked beautiful. Even when I didn’t feel beautiful, I saw my beauty through your eyes.

That when you requested certain foods or things during holidays or seasons, and they sat uneaten or unused, that you were reliving a time and season way past…from your growing up years, to your times with dad and our family life. It wasn’t the things themselves that were important to you; it was the connection, the memories associated with those things. Many things come to mind. Ribbon candy, Easter peeps, filled chocolate Easter eggs, jelly beans, candy corn, embroidery kits, Barbies, baby dolls, beanie babies. Also jewelry, red lipstick and nail polish, and your favorite fragrance, “White Shoulders.”

I have been wearing “White Shoulders” all week in memory of your last week here on earth. The connection between us, and the beauty during that painful and precious time will always astound me and fill my heart. I never thought that death could be beautiful, however, your passing from this world to the arms of Jesus was inspiring to me. You grew older gracefully with humility; and with a trusting heart, let go of us and the world to reach out to your next adventure.

Thank you for trusting me with your life during the time you lived with Joe and me, and thank you for loving and trusting me with your very life at the end.

It is an honor and privilege to be your daughter. I will always feel you with me, and will always strive to have your faith, humility, love and forgiving spirit.

Rest in the peace and light of the Lord, Mom! I love you.

https://somebodylovesmeblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/spiritnot-personality/

https://somebodylovesmeblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/remembering-my-mother-mary/