Each year the Feast of All Souls brings with it, the familiar and personal–tangible, yet spiritual remembrances of those dear to me who have passed on. It is both a lonely feeling as well as a comforting one to remember those who influenced me since my early youth.
I think often of my parents–home life could be tumultuous and yet, warm and loving. When I was young and stupid, I focused on their faults and how they caused me great pain. Thankfully, now as I age, I see the sacrifices they made to feed, clothe and love their five children the best they could. Each could be my confident, my best friend and yet make me so angry that I wanted to explode. Imperfect yes, but we all are imperfect and they were the best parents they knew how to be.
How I miss them.
Despite the tragic loss of their passing at such young ages, the only advantage to this, is that I no longer have to call them to catch up on the day, to ask for advice or seek their companionship–they are with me always and I feel their comfort and sorrow as I mourn my own disappointments and hardships. They are also with me as I celebrate our joyful moments. I try to thank them often for all they have done for me, but today in particular, I remember and know how much I am blessed.
My mind wanders to my wonderful grandparents who treated me as if I was the most special little girl in the world. From treats in Grandpa’s lunchbox after a hard day working in the automobile factory, to Grandma baking cookies for me, taking walks together to see the latest travelogue at the area high school, to helping me make doll clothes for my Barbie look-alike–I remember and treasure each day with them, with great fondness. I often pray to them that they give me the ability to be as wonderful to my grandchildren as they were to me.
I remember my friend Jeanne who I was blessed to care for as she died of cancer–how much she taught me about life, faith, forgiveness and compassion. She suffered greatly throughout her life, but was always cheerful and filled with God’s grace. Though she has been gone about 15 years, we remain close in spirit-for a part of her lives within me.
Then there was Ruth-the mother of my best friend. When my own mother was unable to be a mother to me, she stepped in and filled the void. I cry when I think of her and her selflessness. How she scooped me up with her daughter and treated me as if I were a member of the family. Always welcoming, always supportive–she too suffered greatly with chronic pain, but was there for me. Thank you Ruth.
There are so many souls from my past who have passed on, but yet their passing gives hope of new life in our next world. For if they were all so wonderful in this world, I can only imagine what they are like in our heavenly one. I pray for each of them and know they pray for me–thank you all.