Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Thanks God... and Thanks Mom"

On this third anniversary of his Mom's passing -- and with Mother's Day close at hand here in the States -- the "Chaplain to the Senate" Fr Milt Jordan recalls her last day here below:
The day my mother died I was a little more than upset that I had not been called ahead of time when there were clear signs that something unusual would happen. As I drove to the nursing home where she was, I kept saying to myself, "Why, why didn't she answer the phone calls the night before as I drove home from burying my closest priest friend in Philadelphia. I called her fifteen times as I drove south on I95. I just wanted to talk with her about the funeral of my friend.

When I arrived at the nursing center, I met with the nurse who told me the most incredible events that happened that day. Throughout the day my Mom went about the ladies on her floor "thanking them for being such wonderful people" and telling them "I won't be here tomorrow." She knew the nurse told me. It was so clear that she knew it would be her day to meet the Lord -- to tell him what she had been waiting to do for some years.

When I went to Mom's room where she was lying on her bed, I encountered nothing but peace. All I could do was thank God for the moment. I couldn't be sad. She had already met her God. All I could do was praise the Lord that Mom had such a wonderful day. The nurse told me that in mid-day they were talking and as she was leaving my Mom's room, with all the elegance in the world, my mother stood up -- not a usual event without help near the end -- and "hugged me so hard" as the nurse said and the said to the lady, "You have been so caring. I love you intensely. You made my life so much better. And what has happened to your face?" The nurse responded "Nothing Mrs. Jordan, just not wearing my glasses at the moment." Then Mom said to her: "Oh, that's not what I mean. You face is radiating beams of light and sparkle especially from your eyes." The nurse told me at that she had to run from the room, she knew what was happening. God was speaking to Mom through her.

I can never thank God enough that my Mom's last day on this earth was like that. Every time I pass flowers like that pictured above, I think of the gifts that God gave Mom and me. We used to leave the nursing home just to ride around the city to see the flowers. She loved blooming flowers. And how she loved to ride on 16th Street at this time of the year because it is abloom with praise to the Lord in the beauty of his creation.

And you? Do you stop and consider the many ways that you can thank God, that you can praise God? Just be simple and ordinary. There are so many ordinary moments each day that could be reasons for thanking and praising God.

With every flower, with every garden ... Thanks God ... and thanks Mom.
A couple days' in advance, here's to our Moms -- both those still among us and beyond.

To each and all, no words can say enough thanks for everything you do....

You might not always know it, but we really do appreciate it.

* * *
...and just as every mother is a blessing, so Mother Church provides the following text for liturgical use this weekend:
Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.