A Glimpse Ahead

“…the hour is coming
and is now here when the dead will hear
the voice of…God.”

From John 5:25

This past weekend, we gathered to celebrate our granddaughter’s First Reconciliation. Claire will receive her First Communion in May. This prequel allowed her to take stock of her little heart and to acknowledge that perhaps she isn’t as perfect as Grandma and Grandpa think she is. I admit to being amazed that our youngest granddaughter has reached this milestone. In the midst of this musing, I realized that I’ve become my mom. Now I’m Grandma who shows up with Grandpa in tow for these special occasions. The truth is that I believe my mom was with us as well. It was her passing more than a dozen years ago which convinced me…

My mom had undergone surgery which ended with the discovery of a rare cancer which was irreparably advanced. Her only treatment option was hospice care. While this news devastated us, our mother took it extremely well. “I’ve had a good long life,” she said. “I just hope I can do what I want for as long as I can.” My mom went on to fulfill the doctor’s prognosis to the day. She remained miraculously pain-free and medication-free, except for her insulin, for the duration. She was up and about until three days before she left us.

During those final days, my mom mentioned the beautiful voices. She added that her sisters were waiting for her. The morning of the day she passed, I asked if she was afraid. My mom’s face glowed as she answered, “Oh no, Mary. It’s beautiful over there!” Though I’d read much of what has been written by those who’ve been to heaven and back, it was my mother’s testimony which put it all into perspective. Yes, Mom had made it home. She was also with Claire and the rest of us as we celebrated the other day.

Loving God, thank you for the glimpses of heaven which ease us home to you.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Just A Peek

“…the hour is coming
and is now here when the dead will hear
the voice of…God.”

From John 5:25

We gathered the other day for our little grandson’ christening. I couldn’t help thinking of my mom as I watched. Family gatherings filled her with great joy and Little Daniel’s baptism would have been no exception. How I longed to see her hold this great-grandson! In the midst of my yearning, I realized that my mom was certainly among us. It was her passing not so long ago which convinced me…

My mom underwent surgery. Afterward, the surgeon remarked that while she had endured the surgery well, he discovered a rare cancer which was irreparably advanced. Her only treatment option was hospice care. While this news devastated us, our mother took it extremely well. “I’ve had a good long life,” she said. “I just hope I can do what I want for as long as I can.” With that, she announced that she intended to make good use of the facility where she had planned to recuperate. The only change in her plans was that this would be her last home.

My mother fulfilled the doctor’s prognosis of four months. She remained miraculously pain-free and medication-free, except for her insulin, for the duration. She was up and about until three days before she left us. During those final days, she mentioned the beautiful voices. Later, she remarked that her sisters were waiting for her. The morning of the day she passed, I asked if she was afraid. My mom’s face glowed when she answered, “Oh no, Mary. It’s beautiful over there!” Though I had read much of what has been written by those who have been to heaven and back, it was my mother’s testimony which put it all into perspective. Yes, Mom watched with me as Danny was baptized.

Loving God, thank you for the glimpses of heaven which ease us all home to you.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Love Matters

“Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?”

From Matthew 9:15

A few weeks ago, our four grandchildren visited with their parents in tow. We all enjoyed a wonderful time together. When I closed the door after the last of them left that evening, I realized that I have indeed turned into my mother. Though I normally make this observation during a moment of forgetfulness, that day it was made during a moment of great love. My mother’s favorite times were those spent with all of her children and grandchildren gathered around her. My mom found everything that she needed in the people she had been given to love.

When Jesus walked among us, he shared this appreciation of being among loved ones. This happened often since Jesus loved all of God’s people. Still, some complained that Jesus and his followers failed to fast and to follow other rituals set down in The Law. These observers felt that nothing trumped The Law, not even one of God’s children. Jesus replied that there would be plenty of time for fasting and ritual cleansing later. At the moment, walking with Jesus and absorbing all that he had to offer was the current priority. Jesus invites us to enjoy his company and one another’s as well. Though we will encounter many rules and regulations along the way, the most important of these is to love God and one another through it all.

Loving God, help us to see one another with your eyes and to love one another as you do. When in doubt, help us always to choose love first.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved