Saturday, April 26, 2014

In Heaven's Arms

Yesterday was not a good day.  It began with a small seizure early in the morning, and it got worse from there.  The day itself was a nothing day, the same old, same old tasks, the duties really required:  few.  The friends visited:  none.  The thoughts:  many, oh yes, many.
It was near the end of the day that I discovered I had been taken advantage of, robbed of hundreds of dollars.  The discovery seemed so important then; it consumed me; it made me so mad, so very angry.  I had willingly given away many thousands, but to have it taken away from me …
I was SO mad.
A friend had asked me to substitute for him at the adoration chapel late last night.  And as I approached the chapel parking lot, this tune played on the CD of my car.
And my lingering anger turned to tears, … at what had been taken away from me.
                                        In Heaven’s Arms
The most precious thought
                        Was to hold you in my arms
                        A brief moment my little child
                        The most precious thought
                        Was to kiss your tiny face
                        For just a little while
                        And now forever you’ve touched my life
                        Forever, you’ve touched my life.
                        The most wondrous thought
                        Is to see heaven’s arms descending
                        To embrace you raise you up
                        The most wondrous thought
                        Much more than I can give you
                        Angels in heaven cradle you
                        Forever, you’ve touched my life
                        Forever, you’ve touched my life.
                        And now eternally in heaven
                        And now eternally in heaven
                        And now eternally in heaven
                        You’re so blessed O in heaven’s arms
                        You’re so blessed O in heaven’s arms
                        It’s so good my child to know
                        For eternity you’re in heaven’s arms
                        It’s so good my child to know
                        Forever you’re in heaven’s arms
                                        -- by Eric Genuis

Mom would have been 96 yesterday, April 25, 2014.
Now in heaven's arms.


  1. So sorry about the loss, the taking, that angered you. I get it. I hope you're over it now. No matter. The person who did it will one day have to face what they did, if not in this world, then in the next. Let it go. Don't let it capture you. The devil has many insidious ways to attack, and loves when we feel wronged and righteous in the injustice. Give it to God. Let Him bring about justice.
    Also, saying a little prayer for you as you think about your mom. My mom turned 97 in January. I think I mentioned that I'm her caretaker (along with one of my brothers). She's been sick (incapacitating stroke) for 15 years. We've taken care of her in her home all this time. So much has happened in all that time, and now dementia is taking over. But today we heard my great-niece is pregnant (not great news, because she is not married, and very young, just 18. Very happy she wants to keep the baby, but so sad at how her life is now going.) It will make my mother a great-great grandmother. If my mom lives until August, there will be five generations of our family alive.
    Life goes on. Pray to your mom in heaven. I'm sure she is listening and looking out for you.
    He is Risen. Truly, He is Risen.
    God Bless. ~ Fran

  2. Fran, during Holy Week I sent this note to members of my caregiver's support group:

    I believe that in past years I have given away the book "The Challenge of the Cross" --- perhaps even to some of you. I was praying the prayers therein this week and read these, which I thought might be comforting to you, as caregivers --- whether you be Christian, or not.

    5TH STATION OF THE CROSS: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus.

    Simon would be the first man to carry the cross of Jesus, who had taught, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; ... For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Mt 11:29). While Simon was reluctant, he was a caregiver for Christ, a gift that could bring him to be a disciple. He would never have heard Christ's words, but he carried the burden of the Word made flesh. Simon walked in the path of Salvation.

    I have known times when I have been asked to give care to a loved one, a neighbor, a coworker, a stranger. This role of caregiver can drain me in many ways --- straining my finances, patience, time, and energy. I find sometimes that I want to say "no" when asked to give care, but soon I say "yes" and get on with doing what is needed. At these times, I try to see the image of Simon, who said "no" but then carried the cross of Jesus and was blessed by God's Son. Simon made it possible for Jesus to accomplish the final act of salvation at Calvary, and I want to have that same privilege.

    "Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Gal 6:2)

    Lord, give me the courage to be a caregiver. Jesus, show me the wisdom of the cross in being a caregiver.

    For dealing with my elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors, I pray: Lord, hear my prayer.
    For those who nurse the poor and the neglected, I pray: Lord, hear my prayer.
    For those in hospice care, I pray: Lord, hear my prayer.
    For my acceptance of Christ's yoke and burden, I pray: Lord hear my prayer.

    Lord, I pray for the graces I need to serve the poor, the hungry, the naked, the sick, the elderly, the dying. Open me to accept the challenges of the cross you wish me to carry. Forgive me for my reluctance to bear your cross. Grant me the joy that comes from loving service to you in the needs of others. Amen.

    - - - - - - - - -
    Re my loss: God showed me that losing money is no big thing, relative to the loss of my mother. I felt Him telling me: You lost money, nothing important. (Fran, if you ever want to sent me an email, you can see my email address on my blog profile. I understand the stress of caregiving --- and the blessings). Thanks for your thoughtful comments here.

  3. Tom, I sympathize with your situation and the loss. I'm glad you received such a comforting message from God. It's true that the money isn't a great loss, but probably the sense of betrayal is more bothersome along with being taken advantage of. God will heal that wound for you.

    There is a plus in there: You introduced me to a marvelous source of great music through the genius of Eric Genuis and his orchestral companions. He is marvelous beyond words. Also, I can relate so well with the meditation on Simon. I think most of us caregivers drag our feet in reluctance to the demands of that calling. I hope God has a special reward for us. I like the prayers from the reflection on Simon, caregiver for Jesus. It dawned on me that your Mom and I have another thing in common: Our April birthdays.

    1. Glad you like Mr. Genuis, Maryellen. As I wrote (I think) here, he came to my parish and gave a concert last month. The album that I heard this particular tune from was one titled: The Winds Have Changed. All the songs (and music) there were written by him, and sung by Ann Marie Boskovich --- what a beautiful and haunting voice.

  4. I'm glad God showed you about losing money being no big deal. It really isn't. It can be very hard for us living in this very materialistic world to practice that, but it really is true. You forget the money. It doesn't even matter. Unless you hold onto it in your heart. Then it holds you. But I am still sorry, because it might take a while to lose the sting.
    And so WOW that God showed you losing the money was so nothing compared to losing your mom. Yep. Yep.
    Thank you for posting and sharing the reflection on Simon of Cyrene. That is so meaningful. Sometimes I (and others I have spoken to) can feel bad because we go through times we don't want to do it (caretaking, I mean.) I never, ever thought of Simon and his just being grabbed (after a long day of work in the fields!) to help this poor bleeding man drag a heavy wooden cross to his death. So repugnant on so many levels. Yet, there Simon was, his name remembered in honor of what he did.
    Thanks so much Tom. Thanks for the invite to email. Maybe I will sometime. But the reflection on Simon will help I think.
    And your mom and your picture. She's so lovely. Such a joyful face. Thanks for sharing it.
    God Bless. ~ Fran