Usually we say some prayers after dinner. The prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes is done almost nightly along with a decade of the rosary. There are others we pray depending upon the season and the happenings that day. However, because I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, I laid down immediately after dinner and the prayers were missed, even though that was an occasion when prayers should not have been missed. Some time during the night, my dad woke up my mom to say the prayers. They prayed a decade of the rosary. It must have been in my dad’s subconscious. I felt much better when I got up this morning, so perhaps he was praying for me. However, I felt guilty for missing those prayers and realized how meaningful they are. I vowed not to skip them again.
I Found God today in my dad’s mid-night prayers.
I had my 2nd COVID-19 vaccine yesterday. I was grateful that I felt pretty good during the day to celebrate with my parents. However, last night was another story. I started running a fever and my body ached. I didn’t sleep much, even though I tried everything I could think of. I prayed a rosary, a chaplet of Divine Mercy, and any other prayer I knew from memory. I had put lavender lotion on my hands and feet. I turned my electric blanket on low to keep me warm. I took Tylenol along the way. I even listened to a guided meditation. I was able to catch a few winks here and there, but real sleep was elusive. This morning didn’t bring much relief, So, I hunkered down with a super comfy sweatshirt that my brother sent me a while back, and my super soft Grammy blanket that I got for Christmas. I was so grateful that we thought ahead so my sister was here to care for the household. Even while I’m feeling pretty bad, I’m happy that this vaccine is available to keep my parents and I protected. There is still much to be grateful for.
I Found God today in needed help and comfort.
Today my parent’s celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary. And flower season at the house has begun. The other day they received a bouquet from my mom’s sister. The next day my sister came and brought a bouquet that ironically matched the first one. Today my parent’s received a large bouquet of red roses and irises from my brother. He enjoys splurging on them. Yesterday I took my dad shopping to get something for my mom. He perused the bouquets, potted plants, and orchids. Then he came across some corsages. He remembered how he would get my mom a corsage sometimes a couple times a month as they went to high school dances, then college dances, and then military formals and parties. He picked out a lovely orchid corsage and wrote on the box, “Remember the Saturday evening dances at high school and college in Oshkosh, and the formal parties.” My mom wore her corsage all day. They got out their photo albums that had pictures of some of the events. This day kicks off 3 weeks of celebrations and the house will be full of flowers for the whole period of time.
I Found God today in the joy and memories that flowers bring.
Today, we listened to the homily of our favorite priest. He always has a way of sharing his humanity while leading through the explanation of the Scriptures. Today he told about when he was a child and role played, as all children do. He would pretend he was a fireman and load up his wagon with all the necessary firefighting equipment. Then he would hitch it to his tricycle and ride around the neighborhood making the sound of a siren. He also pretended to be a farmer and fed his pretend animals. And he role played being a priest. He said that he never had any fear when he was pretending to be fireman or a farmer. But, when he was playing as a priest, he would occasionally think about what if Jesus were to appear to him right then and there? What would he do or say? And he would become frightened. As I pondered this, I thought it was likely that there was reality in playing a priest. Even as a child, he knew that Jesus was real and could in fact appear at any time – unlike his pretend farm animals. He likened this fear to that of the apostles in today’s Gospel. But, just like the apostles, as time went on and they knew Jesus more intimately, they became less afraid. Their faith grew as their fear diminished.
I Found God today in a reminder of the peace that Jesus offers to quell my fear.
My mom called and talked with her sister this evening. Her sister told us of how she went to church this evening. The small country church had been closed for a year due to COVID, but opened after Easter. She said she was so happy to go to church, she couldn’t even fully explain how wonderful it was. It felt normal. They talked about how going to church is such a huge part of their lives – especially when there is so little going on for them right now. But it was more than just the “going” to church, it was “being” in church. While it was was difficult for my aunt to express what she meant, we understood. And I am sure there are millions of others who understand as well.
I Found God today in a reminder of the blessing of going to church.
My mom’s 2 pianos haven’t been tuned for a couple of years now. She had been using the same gentleman for many years, but the last couple of times he came, my mother wasn’t happy with the sound. He was getting old and we thought it was probably time to find someone new. But that is hard. My mom has perfect pitch and doesn’t want just anyone touching her instruments. After research and talking with some of her musician friends, I made a phone call and an appointment. The young tuner came over today. He walked in, looked at the grand piano, and exclaimed, “Is this a C-7? I love them!” Yes, it was in fact a C-7. He sat down and played beautifully, then got to work. My mom and I sat in the other room to give him his space. As he was tuning, my mom said that she could feel the reverberations in her stomach. Then when it hit the correct pitch it would settle down. She asked if I could feel that. I said absolutely not. God gave her this gift of music from the beginning and it is literally a part of who she is. She even got teary eyed explaining what it felt like to her. The new piano tuner did a great job. My mom sat down and played for a long time, enjoying the beautiful tones.
I Found God today realizing the depth of my mom’s connection to music.
I got together with my prayer group last night. We read and talked about this Sunday’s upcoming Gospel. In this reading, Jesus Christ appeared to His apostles after He was resurrected. The first thing He said to them was, “Peace be with you.” In our meeting, we talked a lot about that elusive peace that we seem to have for a short while, then it’s gone. We need to keep going back to Jesus over and over again asking for His peace. Today, one of the participants shared a video that reflected on the same reading and the same topic. It supported and expanded our thoughts. I particularly appreciated the reminder to pray the prayer of St. Francis – Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
I Found God today in a reminder of the peace He has to offer.
I took my parents to visit their primary care doctor today. They have been seeing him for about 30 years now and he is retiring. It will be impossible to find another doctor who will know them so well. We always had faith in his opinion and guidance over all these years. He gave them one last lookover and gave us all some last words of wisdom before saying his final good-bye. As he exited, we were all teary-eyed and heard him sniffling outside the door. To us, he was more than just a doctor, he was a confidant and trusted friend. We were very grateful to have him serving us for such a long time.
I Found God today being grateful for a trusted doctor.
We talked to my brother on Facetime tonight. He showed us a recent photo of the M95 galaxy that he took with his fancy new equipment. Unexpectedly, he also caught a moving object. Through the incredible technology that we have and much research, he discovered that it was an asteroid located in the asteroid belt and found the name of it. We talked about the seemingly endless amount of planets contained in just one galaxy. It is mind boggling to think about the vastness of space. We can’t even really comprehend it. My dad was amazed at the things my brother can see, photograph, and research. Those were things that he dreamed about doing when he was teaching astronomy. So, now he can live vicariously through my brother.
I Found God today in the amazing astronomical things my brother does.
My mother read an article in the magazine “Brain and Life”. It talked about the importance of music in the health of your brain. A band named the Fifth Dementia, is made up of people with different backgrounds and music abilities. But what they have in common is that each person either has a neurodegenerative disease or is a caregiver for somebody with one. We thought that was courageous and clever. The article explained how the people get together on Zoom to “practice” and the benefit it has on their mind and mood. My mom’s friend came over today and they played the piano together. We certainly all benefit from that time together.
I Found God today learning more about how beneficial music is.