Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What a day on the farm!!! O, Happy Halloween too!

I had the joy of having my two youngest farm grandkids for the morning... we went out for an adventure on a beautiful day!  We started picking up a small cute pumpkin and then to the mailbox, and out to feed the dogs...
Down the driveway to get the mail and we had to go into the ditch to let a semi come up to drop off some coiled up tiles for the field they are tiling behind our place.

6 month old Rose did not like getting up on the bale with her brother!

So had to settle for Dave and Roger the dog - O, and the cute little pumpkin to make it festive for Halloween!

Then out to see the cows in the corn stalks in the field around our house!  Rose had fallen asleep by now!

Super cute Rose in her snuggly snowsuit and some pumpkins while brother checks the feed in the bunk..."Grandma, they are out of food.  We need to tell grandpa!"

Checking out the tile...
Rosie continues with her nap.

We find Snowflake in with the heifers that grandpa is going to keep.  David wonders if he can go in the yard and pet her.  Maybe not, Dave, she used to be on a rope when you petted her at the county fair.

Still apples to eat on the tree?

Granddad and Rose share dinner... just like her mommy and auties did 30 years ago!  Some things never change on a beautiful Halloween day!

Rosie feeling her oats..."I am a big girl on grandpa's lap!  I have my bread and my paper to eat!"

Shere beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Halloween one and all, and wishing you a wonderful feastday of all Saints tomorrow!  Especially little Sister Hallel on her feastday!  Wouldn't you love to be celebrating with this crazy bunch, Hallel?  I know you would! 

Bless-bless, Barb hanging out with the two chicks!

Two beautiful chicks!!!

"The Lord lifts up all who are falling..." Psalm 145

The kids help dad unpack his first day back from Afghanistan a few weeks ago...  How joyful and surprised they were when they answered the door to find their dad standing there!  Daily mass and constant prayers were their routine in keeping their dad safe in the face of all the danger her faced on a daily basis there!  His second day there a truck that he was almost in was blown up as it passed over a roadside bomb, and 6 of the 7 inside were killed!  Maria and I were sitting in a Burger King in Manistique, Michigan to get internet so that she could see where the bombing had happened.  I will never forget the look she gave me when she realized that it was where Joe had just been deployed.  WE both were crying and praying at the same time, and within minutes she got a TEXT from Joe telling her that yes they were his men, but that he was safe!  With the knowledge of how bad it truly was there... we started to pray constantly and to ask all to join us in keeping all those safe in harms' way! 
Patrick certainly brought Joe home from Afghanistan much quicker than any of us expected it to happen - bringing together the Family was one of the powerful results of John's brain cancer too!  I am not sure if Patrick's birth and "storm" called miraculous healing touching Hallel, while she continues to live in France with her Community of the Lamb, was somewhat responsible for little Sister Marie to ask her to come with her on a 3 week trip to the U.S. - Kansas City.  It is not like her brother's cancer 3 years ago, but it is her sister and a nephew, that now thankfully she can meet and marvel at his health and healing!  Sharing with a very close friend, who had a stillborn fullterm grandson in the last year... I was reminded that there are those that have experienced the horror of loss in similar circumstances, and although we want to shout from the rooftops that God is Good... there are those, who are suffering tremendously with the pain of losing their little ones.  Nancy attends a Bible study with a NICU nurse, who at first lifted us up with telling us that the 20 minutes he had without oxygen was not unheard of, and that she has seen some come out of the cool cap absolutely normal.  Then the following week she shared that she had just worked a 4 day stretch in which 2 babies came in for the cool caps after being deprived of oxygen and in that time they had to turn off the respirator on both of them!  We must remember that there are those that are filled with grief and suffering that will walk with them for the rest of their lives!  Faith that has been tested to this extreme is truly being tried by fire!

The Hallel Psalm used in mass today - Psalm 145
"The Lord lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down."
Yes, we experienced it in a very exteme way in the last month with our Patrick and bringing Joseph home safely and unharmed inside and out.  But what about those who are dealing with the loss of their loved ones - whether it be a mother without her child or those families that have lost their military family member?  They are down for the count, and they are struggling with such intense grief!  The pain I felt at the thought that I had watched Patrick die before my eyes in Maria's womb... was lessened to know that he had been resusitated, and was on a respirator, and the glimmer of hope that gave, and then to be able to baptize him, and watch all the tubes go in... but as Maria reminded me the next morning - "Mom, we both made it!"  And now, looking back, I can see that the miracle proceeded to go on before us day by day!  Yet, there are those that were hopeful, and had the opposite answer - "your baby is brain dead and we must not continue on"...  These are the true sufferers, and the pain throbs, and torments, and tortures in ways I only got a brief taste of!  How I pray for them, and ask that they too can be lifted up from the heavy weight of grief and loss that is bowing them down!  I don't even want to entertain the least notion of how I would be walking through life right now - like a zombie - if I had lost one or the other back on October 9th!  But there are many people all around us that are experiencing that exact PAIN, and what do we do about it?  For me the first thing is PRAYER!  I know that it sounds lame and weak, but I have discovered that it is REAL and POWERFUL!  Yes, I have had losses over the years, and I would say that time and prayer/faith is the healer.

Lord, we are reminded that along with the joyful times in life there are those, who are filled with grief and pain.  It takes away some of our celebration as we fall on our knees for them - our brothers and sisters in need!  You are there for all of us, and may our prayers join with the army in heaven and earth to lift up all those who are in need of comfort.  You are the most Merciful and all-loving and forgiving God!  We can lay all our burdens at your feet and find peace within your arms.  You lift us up when we are weak and carry us forth down the narrow path to LIFE and LOVE carrying our Most Cherished Cross!  There is no worry that we will go astray as you are saving us from the wolf and the brambles there to catch us and destroy us... we are in your loving and forgiving arms!  May we leave all false pride and desire for our own needs behind and give our all to YOU!  We are nothing without you and the PAIN is too much for us to bear on our own!  We need you and cannot make it alone.  Jesus, the gate is narrow ahead, but you are the one set of footprints in the sand at this difficult time in our lives. Jesus, it is in the times of weakness and pain that we turn to YOU... the great physician!  Heal us, and fill us with the same compassion and mercy which you show us whenever we turn to YOU!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Bless-bless, Barb
The Fifth Station:

Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross - Mother Angelica's reflections on the stations of the Cross -

"My Jesus, Your tormentors enlisted a Simon of Cyrene to help You carry Your cross. Your humility is beyond my comprehension. Your power upheld the whole universe and yet You permit one of Your creatures to help You carry a cross. I imagine Simon was reluctant to take part in Your shame. He had no idea that all who watched and jeered at him would pass into oblivion while his name would go down in history and eternity as the one who helped his God in need. Is it not so with me, dear Jesus? Even when I reluctantly carry my cross as Simon did, it benefits my soul.

If I keep my eyes on You and watch how You suffered, I will be able to bear my cross with greater fortitude. Were you trying to tell all those who suffer from prejudice to have courage? Was Simon a symbol of all those who are hated because of race, color and creed?

Simon wondered as he took those beams upon his shoulders, why he was chosen for such a heavy burden and now he knows. Help me Jesus, to trust your loving Providence as you permit suffering to weave itself in and out of my life. Make me understand that You looked at it and held it fondly before You passed it on to me. You watch me and give me strength just as You did Simon. When I enter Your Kingdom, I shall know as he knows, what marvels Your Cross has wrought in my soul.

Thank you, Lord, may we remember to help others in need!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sleeping in the playroom on familiar beds

I had the restful time for the last month sleeping in the toyroom on the first floor of Joseph's large new home in the officer area of base.  There was a huge memory connected with it as the beds were the same ones that I used for the month and a half of John's full brain radiation in Rochester!  We would spend the night there with Maria in her home, that she and her family shared with Nancy and 3 law students!  There was still room for John and I in a small office/room at the back of the first floor with these same two beds in it.  Many days we would leave for our hour and 1/2 trip to Mayo, have John's 15 minutes of radiation as he was screwed to a table in the mask molded to fit his head.  He had to be in the exact same place each day, so he was screwed to a table and saw multicolored lights as the radiation was focused on the area of his tumors.  Then we would head back from our haven at Maria and Nancy's home.  We would share family time of meals and visiting and I would often spend some hours at mass and Adoration at the 24 hour Adoration chapel close by at Nativity parish!  I found so much support there, and left a few tears and supplications there too!
I was at the time reading the large volumn of St Faustina's dairy - shortly before this when John's cancer had come back through the chemo and I pleaded for prayers in the midst of our terror... Bishop LeVoir wrote to us on caringbridge - that at times of total desperation we should repeat "Jesus, I trust in you."  The divine Mercy prayer that has been left us by St Faustina!  I cling to that now at all times in all places of my life! 

Yes, that is Hallel standing in Ruth and Paul's kitchen 3 years ago!  She was here for a week and drove John for radiation for a week.  I took the week off to be home with Pat, and do some work for hospice and try to live my life as normally as possible.  But it was killing me not to be with the kids as they gathered night after night up in the Cities!  Even Ruth took the kids up there to be with Hallel on one of her rare visits home.  Now to know that Hallel will be in Kansas City for 3 weeks arriving on November 12... it will be so hard not to drive there to be with her as much as possible!  They have limited us to just a 3 day weekend, and I am praying so hard for our entire family to be able to gather with her.  That is being complicated by the 2 brand new babies - most especially Nancy's that is due around the 17th!  I am praying so hard that her little girl can be here and at least a week old by the weekend, and for things to fall into place for little Patrick and his family to travel there too!  How I am praying that we can all be together!  As I told Paul, my son-in-law today... " I want a real family picture with all of us in there...not a fake one!"  It will take a major work for that to happen, but we hope and pray.  That only costs me time, and time well spent.... PRAYING for a family gathering MIRACLE!

I want all 19 of us together in a HUGE loving touching Family picture, Lord!!!! Is that too much to ask?   Time will tell and constant prayers til then!  Lord,I know you can do this little thing for me.  I love it when you spoil me with Faith, Family and Farm!  Bless-bless, Barb

Praying and Trusting!

Rosie Toesy loves her mommy so much!!!  She gets such a feeling of calm when she is sitting on her mommy's lap!  I know that Ruth feels so blessed to have her little girl/gift from God, Rose Ida!  She has mentioned to me many times that her last two children are so special to her after she was told no more children after rupturing with her second, Mary!  "Others would not have David and Rose, but thankfully that surgeon, who saved my uterus, gave me hope and promised that they would keep a close eye on me and the baby and get them here safely as soon as possible.  They only told me that I had to give my uterus at least a year to heal."  Now to have another daughter facing the same Cross that they have been given in their childbearing years... I guess, you might know that I have asked the Lord - "Why?"  When I get to heaven that childbearing years of my daughters and I is going to be a huge topic of conversation and the answers are certainly mysterious and hard to understand!  "Why, Lord, did you want so many of mine to be there with you and not here with me?"  I kind of think that it is because I am in need of a lot of heavenly help and prayers to make it through this world and to reach heaven!  It was so sweet at Sunday dinner with Ruth's family... Little 8 year old Simon is in 2nd grade - his year of his first reconcilliation and first Communion- Ruth and Paul asked him what he is striving for here on earth..."To get to Heaven!"  he pipes up in his beautiful voice of clarity and Truth!  I think that they are doing a good job getting the kids ready here in Marshall at the Catholic School!  Ruth said that he drew a picture of the earth and then heaven up in the sky and a stairway between..."Simon put himself on the stairs climbing up!"  I love it!
There were conversations with the other grandma in Texas about the beautiful natural ability to see, and understand, and live, and breath the Truth, we see in children that have been raised with Faith in their domestic church/family/home!  I know that my daughters have different styles in discipline in their homes, but they all pray and worship their Catholic faith together with their children and it shows!  So often, when in Texas with my grandchildren, they would be speaking easily about Jesus and his love for them or singing about their faith!  It was so heart warming and encouraging and many times I would burst out laughing to follow their clear and honest and gentle reasoning as they sometimes could understand better than those of us that have got all the influences of the world constantly crowding in on us!  Especially Maria,who has noTV in her home!  Such a powerful lesson to us and truly brings to reality the lesson Christ teaches us about the simplicity of the little ones and how that is not to be messed with!  We, on the other hand, are to become more and more like them!  Lord, help us!  And thank you for the reminder of sweet Simon - "I want to get to heaven!"  How this rings within me when it comes to our amazing True Catholic Church... All the Church, the Bride of Christ, is trying to do is help us to get to heaven!! 

To me that is all I need to know to embrace all that they hold out to me as Truth, yet in that I can always see the deep thought and prayer and spiritual insight that is part of every little thing we are to embrace!  We are not to pick and choose - we are to Trust and follow the narrow path carrying our Most Cherished Cross!  Yes, there are some Crosses that have been set upon our shoulders that I do not understand, yet I know that they are there to lead us to Life and LOVE and to bring our lives more fully into the LIGHT and out of the encroaching darkness that is filling the world with the culture of death!  How I question how much help I am to my daughter, Maria, with all the hardships we face together in these last years connected to having family... yet, Nancy pointed out to me that "she needs me" and I should look at it that way rather than that I bring upon her this Cross that we share in many ways.  "Mom, you have been through loss, and the Lord is placing you there to support her as only you can!"  I know that with Patrick... I needed to be there to pray with inexpressible groanings in the midst of the horrible storm!  How the Lord answered us by reaching out his hand to lift us as we were sinking! 

Lord, thank you for the domestic church/family that is the base of your Church!  Today in the first reading from Ephesians... St Paul reminds us of the LOVE that is called for to make marriage work.  There is such a attack against the beauty and power of the uniting of a man and a woman in the sacrament of marriage... Fr reminded us today that 60% of marriages end in divorce today... Bless marriages and give them the shared Faith they need to face the hardhsips and carry our Most Cherished Cross forward as we climb the stairway to our Goal - Heaven!  Yes, Lord, you know that I call my wonderful Patrick, my Most Cherished Cross and Hallel reminded us that this is what Marriage is for us.  We embrace our Cross and through that death we find LIFE and LOVE!  May we base our homes on the prayers of the children - knowing that they are clearly and without hesitation or distraction coming to know Jesus, his loving Mother of Heaven and Earth,the Angels and the Saints!  May we too leave more and more of "me" behind and come to become humble and trusting followers of the Truth set forward by your Word, Sacraments, and Traditions of our Church!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"Live in love, as Christ loved us.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."  Ephesians 5: 25-32

Monday, October 29, 2012

Good to be home and working outside on a nice day!

Ruth was very kind to come over and help me clean out my garden... I even found some tomatoes that we can still eat!  Little Rose came along too!  She is very much loving having her mommy close by, and is at that age where she sits in your lap so nice.  The woodstove is taking the coolness out of the air in the house.  But it was a breezy warm (60degree) day today here... I was able to put my clothes on the line, and dig carrots and potatoes.  It is so nice to have a daughter close by to help me now that I am older and not as spry as I used to be.  It is kind of backwards that the kids are gone when you need the help more.  Ruth was describing how her kids were helping her clear off her garden, and I remember those days too when I had the kids all out there with me too!  I am just happy that I have Ruth here to call on, and she is a wonderful agreeable worker to help her old mom! 
Kind of funny looking rainbow carrots this year.  I wonder how they will taste?!?

"Live as children of LIGHT." Ephesians 5:8

This morning I was overwhelmed by the thoughts of the last month and the touch of God upon us!  The fact that Joseph was there, in such normal ways, with his family after being gone since the end of June to Afghanistan!  Just as with John's cancer and how it brought all of us together to stand and face the battle for John's life shoulder and shoulder... so with Patrick the miracles of healing as a family can be together facing with the armor of Faith all that comes to attack our HOPE and TRUST!  I just googled the armor of God and discovered that it should be the first reading at mass this week!  It is in the next chapter of Ephesians, which has been the first reading for the last week or so... today such amazing words to take to heart in this year of FAITH!  First I would like to share the words from St Paul about the armor of God, which we all need to arm ourselves with so that we can stand firm as children of LIGHT!
Ephesians 6:10-18 New International Version (NIV)
The Armor of God

10 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
Today St Paul tells us to be "imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God... For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of LIGHT."  There are so many unexpected "stroms" in life that come and swamp the boat we are in, we can easily fear and doubt that we can be safely on the shore or safe in the midst of the storm as the waves come crashing over the sides and the sail is torn from our hands!  Yes, that is what it takes to show us that Jesus is in control!  He comes walking to us across the water and the sea is calmed or the sail is guided by HIM!  I thought with John that I had felt the most desperate of prayers, and probably when he was in surgery for his biopsy to discover what the tumor was in his brain... I felt the storm to be raging out of control!   But when they pushed Maria, on her hands and knees to give Patrick as much chance to get some oxygen as they possibly could, and I knew that they could not find his heartbeat... when they pushed her out of the room to OR... I was terrified as if I had been tossed into the churning sea and a huge 20 foot wave was about to cover me!  Yes, the Lord was with me and our Lady was bedside me at the foot of the Cross as we looked up to him and tried to have Faith and Trust in HIM!  Trust that He can change the world through the Cross, and to see Him helpless as a Lamb and submitting to the torture and death on the Cross... that is so hard to believe!  But once again I have been able to see the LIFE and LOVE that floods the world as the result of the Cross! 

So many well-wishes and faces to all the prayers that surrounded us over the last month at mass yesterday!  Maria and Joseph experienced that yesterday, as they too carried with JOY their gift from God, Patty Joe- Patrick Joseph, into mass shared with their fellow members of the body of Christ!  Sitting in our beautifully remodeled Church, after being away a month for the battle for healing/life, I felt so powerfully the touch of God upon me and my family!  There were those that came up to us and just shook their heads that we should face such huge battles in the last 3 years.  Yet, there is something very special about being called upon to shoulder these two crosses... a lot like when Simon was called upon to help Jesus for a short ways carry his Cross.  Christ was the one, who was without sin, and had humbly accepted the torture of being scourged relentlessly and mocked with cruel thorns pushed into his head... upon his bleeding and torn shoulders that heavy Cross was placed!  He had walked carrying it... falling over and over under the weight and so weak after the blood loss and pain... seeing the agony of his dear Mother as she longed to take the suffering and death from him.  Yet Simon was asked to help a short ways... he wasn't the most agreeable to this either, but did it grudgingly and fearfully.  The fear was definitely there for me, and yes... I questioned - WHY?  But to see how He answered all the prayers with such wondrous results fills me with humble thanksgiving and JOY!  Just as the woman in the Gospel today, who felt the mercy of Jesus upon her after carrying the bondage of Satan upon her for 18 years!  He is merciful and loving and forgiving - of that we need never doubt!

Dear Lord, we are filled with so much gratitude to you.  You told us that to truly follow after you, that we must take up our Cross and follow after YOU!  When the Crosses that come with our journey happen to us, we see that you are truly with us and teaching us in a very real way the lessons of LIFE and LOVE!  We look at little Gift from God, Patrick, and he truly has taught us once again that we are yours and we need to Trust in you being in control of all that comes to us - revealing your Mercy to us!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia!
Bless-bless, Barb

"Behave like God as his dear children."  Ephesians 5:1

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A parting gift - Family and Faith!!!

Just before I left for the airport yesterday, Maria and her beautiful family gave me the gift of a wonderful family photo shoot!  Precious little Patrick was wide awake and cute in his little bibs as was his older brother!  I just talked to Maria and day 3 is going well after sharing mass for the first time!  I can only imagine the joyful hugs and exclamations of JOY to see the family all together at 8a mass on base this morning!  My prayers of last Sunday were answered, only I was here at mass with Pat and his mom and  not in Texas with Maria's family united at worship at last!  I was calling Maria to give her the thrilling news that little Sister Hallel just called today to tell us that she will be coming to Kansas City for 3 weeks in November and we are allowed to come as a family and see her the weekend after Thanksgiving!  We are all shouting for JOY!  Well, I am very tired after a early morning arrival and a family Sunday dinner with Ruth and the family after being gone for a month! 
I just wanted to share a few more of these wonderful joyful shots, and the news that I have returned to my husband and the farm, and the little family in Texas is together - united rejoicing in the healing as Bartemeus today in the Gospel..."your faith has saved you."  Christ says to us, and we "go your way."  Mark 10
Bright and beautiful is the family filled with LOVE, LIFE and LIGHT!

Jesus, we are filled with the miracles that fill our lives to bursting with wonder.  In Church today and all the greetings and sharing in the praise at the answer to prayer... it brought the last month into the fullness of how amazing it truly was!  We are so grateful and humble to know that we are truly unworthy of your great LOVE and Forgiveness!  Jesus, now to know that Hallel will be here just 7 hours away in Kansas City and we will be able to be with her and she can meet the new little ones!  How we know and depend upon the prayers of her Community of the Lamb!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia

Little black eyed, Rose Ida, a month older and such a sweet little bundle of LOVE and LIFE... Bless-bless, Barb

A work of art!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Patty saying... "I love you grandma! I promise to be a light for the world!"

Patrick gave his grandma a parting gift... a photo shoot in front of the light of the window!  I had shared  in my post this morning that I had one last hope for a photo shoot with Patty Joe, and I was leaving with it undone.  But Patty decided to give me a GIFT along with the gift of him being home safe and sound!  Maria had just fed him and she had to undress him to get him awake enough to nurse... she called me over with camera in hand to see how precious lamblike he looked laying on her chest in only his diaper.  That carried over to the glowing light of the window, and for me to realize that to get my pictures at church in front of their yellow tinted windows... I don't think that mom would have allowed me to undress him at church.  Patty knew best, and he answered my wish for this special picture of him!  Thank you, my sweet little Lamb!  You have taught us so much in these 2 1/2 weeks of LIFE and LOVE!  
Tears coming as the goodbyes start here... Jesus, thank you for the gift of Faith and Family!

In our arms at last- a month of waiting!

The two brothers getting to know each other for the first time after a family supper celebrating Patrick's first night home.  Therese and I were talking this morning that when I arrived on Sept 27th... we have been waiting for him to come ever since.  Maria's due date was the 29th, so until I arrived we were hoping that she would wait until I arrived.  Well, day after day moved into weeks and we waited for him to come.  Then the fateful night of October 9th and the Cross was set on Patrick's shoulders 20 minutes before he was born!  Now the past 2 1/2 weeks of constant prayers as we have gone through the stages of "the sickest in the NICU" to now home with a few meds but nothing else!  He shocked the nurses most by how wonderfully totally and without any hesitation he took to eating.  They have shared with Maria that many babies that have faced his issues have come home with a feeding tube in his stomach.  He has sailed along with that huge part of him coming home.   "Momma, last night I prayed that Patrick can never get sick."  said little Therese in her sweet voice just now at the breakfast table.  He is such a quiet baby with just little sounds and not all out crying... last night when he was given his medicine, however, he did cry!
Nestled close to mom's heart not only physically but in every other way!  A child is a part of us and our prayers never end for them!  Today, as is every Saturday, is devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary - our Spiritual Mother!  "The Holy Name of Mary is powerful.  By keeping the name of Mary on our lips we show our devotion to her.  Mary's mantle is always present to protect those who are her own.  The Blessed Virgin Mary is the pinnacle of God's creation.  She is the most perfect, the greatest, the holiest human being ever to live.  When we repeat her name we greatly honor God her Creator.  Mary never keeps any glory for herself.  Her soul magnifies the Lord."  (Luke 1:46)  see
As a mother.... I am totally blessed and touched and assured that Our Lady is truly there for me!  Why? Because as a mother... I know that I am in the constant state of prayers for my children and am blessed by all 11 I have been blessed with - the 5 with me here on earth and the 6 that are praying for me in heaven!  
It will be hard in many ways for me to leave and head back to Marshall this afternoon.  I am leaving undone one photo project that I wanted to do with the family at Church, but life wouldn't be normal without undone photos in my head.  The family will be able to take Patrick to mass this weekend as I had prayed for a week ago.  The fact that they will be able to introduce him to his Faith family will be a huge thing for them!  There have been so many blessings pouring over us!  They arrived home with Patrick to a wonderful/gift letter from Marge and Ron... a couple that they have never met, but now through the experience sharing empty arms for the first two weeks... Marge shared that 28 years ago she had a daughter, who she had to leave in the hospital for close to two weeks too! Now her daughter is a teacher of 5th graders, and surprises her mother with catching her with a rosary in her hand.  I should say that what we share is love of Christ and his Bride, the Church!  That truly is the tie that binds us.  So wonderful to hear the testimony of Faith and Trust in Him!  Thank you to all that have supported us so powerfully throughout all of this time!  
Our celebration ceremony to welcome Patrick home last night... he was awake and taking it all in!  It is very wonderful and joyful and peaceful here in this faith filled home.  Jesus, we are filled with such gratitude this day as we celebrate our first day full day of his peaceful presence here in his domestic church/family home!  From the first reading today..."living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole Body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the Body's growth and builds itself up in love."  Ephesians 4:7-16  Followed by the Gospel of the fig tree that bore no fruit, but they gave it one more chance before it was cast into the fire... Luke 13.  Lord, may we take to heart the call to be fruitful in our lives whether it be a call to being open to family and sharing the Faith with them, or sharing our Faith in the Truth by word or deed.  Jesus, thank you for the miracle of Patrick and his health and ability to show us how to be Lambs of yours - totally leave self behind and follow YOU carrying our Most Cherished Cross.  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Halleluia
Bless-bless, Barb
"Mary began where others end, whether in knowledge or in love.  Mary was the first clothed in sanctity, destined for perseverance, luminous and glorious in God's sight, and incessantly employed in meritorious acts, which continued till her last breath.  Hers was emphatically 'the path of the just, which, as the shining light, goes forward and increases even to the perfect day'..."
Blessed John Henry Newman (1890)
They are so loving and gentle with their long awaited little brother, Patty Joe!!!