Monday was a day of contrasts for me. Well, now that I think about it, maybe not so much.
My friend's mother died a week ago Monday. This week was her burial. Her mother was not Catholic. My friend is a convert. She was an only child. As we stood there, with my other dear friends as she buried her mother, I was overcome with with a a new understanding of what it means to be Catholic. Though my friend had no biological sisters, there we were, her sisters in faith. She was not alone. I felt selfish for a moment, relishing in this comforting thought, knowing too the amazing family I have been blessed with. And then my mind turned to my own dear children and I was overcome with emotion as I thought that one day they would bury me and Dave. And I was comforted again knowing they would not be alone.
In the evening I went to a baby shower for my friend Theresa. In November of last year her darling Betsy, age 5, went home to heaven. Betsy's life was remarkable. What she is accomplishing from heaven is miraculous. I wrote about her funeral. It still is one of the most beautiful days I have ever experienced. I saw some old friends. I had many good laughs. We celebrated the new life Theresa would be welcoming, a baby conceived from Betsy's persistent wish for a baby. It was one of Betsy's last gifts to her family while she was still alive. I have no doubt this little saint will shower many more blessings on her family from heaven.
The beginning of life and the end. What makes them not so different is the opportunity for grace both these events can bring to all of us. I can only pray that whenever I am blessed to share in these moments, I am open to that grace and that God, in His mercy can use the moment to draw me ever closer to Him. So that one day, in my own physical death I may joyfully enter into eternal life.