I started on CM in July 2011 and didn't post much in the fora at first, but once I started posting I often found myself citing the joy, wisdom, gratitude, and the example of my Mom. Her name was Colette.
She was a stay at home mom, stay at home meaning truly stay at home, as my Dad would take our only car to work. They were Catholic. They accepted and welcomed life, and with it all the challenges, work and blessings that came with being open to life. As kids, we took for granted all they did. We assumed they must have liked to do all that work for us. Mom did it all: nurse, cook, laundry, dishwasher (we didn't have one, mom was the dishwasher), house cleaner, you name it. Mom and Dad had eight kids, thirteen including the miscarried children, who Mom included. When the youngest was at school age, Mom convinced Dad to let her get a job. It took some convincing, but Dad gave into the idea. It wouldn't be long before Dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, which would lead to his death in at age fifty seven.
Somehow, God gave her the strength to get through the trials and sorrows, and there were many. She supported the family with the help of God, and other people. She held the family together. It was the Catholic Church that sustained her. She went to a bereavement ministry to help her get through the loss of her spouse. Later she would serve others in that ministry. She attended Cursillo at the behest of my Dad while he was living. Later, after he died, she would lead a Cursillo weekend, and make lifelong friends in that arena. Her home would be a place for her prayer groups.
She looked to Our Lady all the time for her help, and always found it. She trusted in Jesus and in His Divine Mercy. Her prayers changed the lives of her children, gaining us protection from our own mistakes, and returning us to the Church.
Her life was an example of joy. She found reasons to be joyful. It was true joy.
She allowed the Holy Spirit to lead her.
I'm not sure when, but somewhere along the line, we began to realize we were in the presence of a saint. We would turn to each other and say, "She's a saint." It was said in complete seriousness. She had become the best example for us of what a saint truly is. Giving, joyful, holy, truthful. Those good words describe her accurately.
To me and others she was a best friend. She was fun to be with. Laughter was there in her home. Her grandchildren loved her.
As she began to suffer the effects of Scleroderma, she showed us how to suffer, something she'd learned from her own mother, "offer it up". Her children learned to love more through her suffering.
She didn't want to be called a saint, because she was as ordinary as you and I. But she is a saint, because she put her trust in Our Lord and Our Lady, over and over and over again, through everything. She was not a perfectionist, not at all judgmental. She simply relied on her Catholic faith, the Eucharist and the sacraments, the rosary, and the Divine Mercy.
She had a simple faith, yet she had insights that taught us to see things better than we would have otherwise. She told us that Our Lady would be a far better Mother to us than she had been. Knowing what a great mother Mom had been, this is an extraordinary and true promise.
The day she passed away, two of my sisters were at her bedside. They were praying the Divine Mercy. After the Divine Mercy chaplet they prayed the rosary. During the rosary there was some interruption in the room as the nurses had to do something, but during the interruption, Mom, who was aware, put her hands together as if to tell them (and her other children too), to continue praying. They resumed praying. She passed away during the fifth glorious mystery, the Coronation of Our Lady. Someone later said Our Lady took her to Heaven.
Days before she died, she was telling me about how she wanted to go to Heaven. I assured her she would. She said if she got there she wouldn't be happy until she helped her kids get there. So she said to me, "You get there too!"
Now all of us kids say we have to get there because we have to see her again. : )
Thanks everyone for participating in this thread. It has meant a lot to me. Tomorrow is my last day on CM, and I hope this thread is filled with more and more stories of ordinary and extraordinary people blessed by God. I'm going to post a goodbye in the prayer forum, which for me is a special place in these fora. God bless.