He is risen! Alleluia, Alleluia!!
My husband and I got up before dawn and joined a thousand others in our community at a sunrise service in our Catholic Cemetery. Calvary. This is the cemetery that holds the remains of my parents and grands. I don't go there often. I believe the spirit is released and only the empty vessel remains. And yet today it felt a bit like going to church WITH my parents, partly because this was their final resting place but mostly because my parents had gone to this service for years before their death. I had never been, but I'm feeling restless in my Catholic skin these days and wanted a way to worship that was different.
My pastor was one of the presiders. Ok, so it wasn't THAT different. But it felt that way. No building, no major trappings. We sat in lawn chairs or stood, we prayed together, and I'd say most in the crowd have loved ones whose remains are at Calvary. It was family in a good way. It was moving to be at the tomb on Easter!
My thoughts this morning touched a couple of times on Easter of 2011. That Sunday morning we went to church, we played with the grandchildren, kissed them and sent back home to Mississippi, and then my oldest and hubby helped me shave my head. Nothing BUT cancer was on my mind last Easter. Luckily this year cancer was simply a moment of tears, partly sad partly joyful... and then I was able to return to prayer.
We returned to the house refreshed...
I returned a missed call and minutes later was visiting with one of my fosters.
His mom has been slowly leaving him for years... by repeatedly discarding him in his early teen years, reconciling recently and now he is losing her to death. She is only 39 ... he is 19 with a 12 year old sister. She has less than a week according to the hospice nurses. He cannot do this he tells me. I understand. His sister cannot do this... he has a plan that takes them away for a few days ... and he would rather have left it unspoken that he is trying to avoid being there when she goes. But, I spoke it. It sounds as though she is already deep in a pre-death coma, sleeping all the time he calls it. I know I would not want to be left at that time... and yet I tried to be careful in sharing My fears, My guilt... and I tell him he will be making decisions that he might regret. He is leaving the cross. He cannot bear it any longer. I get it. I was an adult when I lost each of my parents... and it was the worst time of my life. I don't know how you do this as a child....watching, waiting, impotent to help.
He is a child... in so many ways. And yet in watching his sister suffer... he remembers to be the adult for her. He cannot fix Mom. He can help his sister... and I don't know that he is making a decision HE will regret. They will leave on Wednesday. Mom may go before that. And there is nothing either of us can do to fix anything.
These are the times that I need my faith. These are the days that I need to believe in all I've been taught... these are the times that I have to remember... the mission is to love. And to love totally, without reservation without fear. Sharing the pain of others is part of that love, part of that faith.
I am so grateful that I had the chance to worship in a way that was meaningful this morning... to know He is Risen!