Blessed By Sadness

July 2018

A little over a month ago, my 90 year-old mother passed away after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.  Despite the fact my family and I had been saying goodbye to Mom literally for years, I think many of us were surprised how hard it was when she died.  Being people of faith, we know that the tears are for us and not for her. We are confident that Mom is now with God and knows more joy than she ever could have known on earth. (And that’s saying something because that lady was JOYFUL!) Yet, the sadness is still there…

The same week my Mom died, an obituary made the news not because of its beauty but because of its darkness.  It was written by the children of a woman who had died. At first, just the facts of her birth and death were given but the ending talked of how she had abandoned her children and that the world was a better place without her.  The pain and bitterness of her children was obvious in the piece.

The contrast between my Mom’s live of love and joyful service and the life of the woman in the obituary got me thinking.  A long life can be either a blessing or a curse. Not to yourself, mind you, but to those you meet along the journey. You see, a long life gives you lots of opportunities.  Those opportunities can be used to give love and bring healing or they can be used to create division and cause hurt. If, at the end of your life, people are still sad that you’ve gone, you probably sowed lots of seeds of love during your time on earth.  But, if your obituary could read like this one, then….

I know, I know. Sadness sure doesn’t seem like a blessing, does it? But when the sadness comes from the loss of something beautiful it is a great blessing and a gift.  I feel so blessed to be sad that Mom is gone; so glad that I miss her. And what a testament to her life that so many people miss her and are sad that she’s gone! Of course, we know that this separation is also temporary and merely physical.  We are still in union with Mom through the communion of saints. She’s our best advocate in heaven, second only to Mother Mary, I assume. But, Mary has billions of children on earth to advocate for. My Mom only has one husband and 10 children (plus their spouses, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and her siblings, and their children…ok bad example) to keep an eye on. And just wait until our final reunion!  What a party that will be! Then the sadness will be completely gone and our joy will know no end. Until then, I will cherish the sadness as a sign of my love for her but it will never eclipse the joy of having her in my life.

2018 Here I Come!

A friend recently commented that I haven’t been blogging in a while.  The reality is, I’ve kept my hand in the writing world with a monthly column at Catholic Mom which I really enjoy.  But, other than that, nada.

So, in 2018 I hope to at least provide you with some news that at least helps you find my monthly column.  It’s not much, I admit but it’s a start. Who knows, if I get more ambitious, I might get crazy and post some other thoughts or share some tips?

So, to kick the year off right (or should I say “write”?), here’s a link to my latest Catholic Mom column on New Year’s resolutions.  

Oh, and since I’m focusing on minimal living these days, one fun thing I’ve been working on is the capsule wardrobe concept.  Basically, it’s like grown-up Garanimals for those of you who remember that reference.  For those of you that don’t, a capsule wardrobe is about having just a few high-quality items of clothing that all work together (like Garanimals...).  My virtual mentor on this journey has been Leanne over at Classy Yet Trendy.  I highly recommend that you check out her site especially if you have no idea where to start. (like me!)