Monday, September 16, 2019

A Story of Remembrance: Honoring My Motherline

Amarillo and Nazareth, Texas
November 21, 2018

The morning before Thanksgiving was sunny and chilly and, as is so typical of the Texas panhandle, windy. Wanting to get flowers but not wanting to get caught up in all of the holiday grocery shoppers, Tadd and I made one stop at a nearby supermarket. Hoping for a variety of colors and flowers, I was disappointed to find that all that was available were small, same-color bunches of 7 roses each. Longing for things to be just right it took me some time to decide. Sensing how deeply important this pilgrimage was for me, hubby stood patiently by as I weighed all of my options.

Settling on three different colors, we headed to the cash register. My plan was to leave the pink roses on Grandma's grave. From there I wasn't sure yet if I'd leave the red ones with Moma (<-- I spell her name the way she always did) and the white ones with Grammy T (<-- as I've taken to fondly call her) or vice versa. All I knew was that I liked the idea of the "ombre" color effect through the generations. And I really liked the idea that while each was a different color, they were all in the same family. Just like the three lovelies we were fixing to visit.

Driving the short trip over to Memory Gardens Cemetery, I intended on starting with Moma, the youngest, and work my way up through the generations. Turns out we located Grandma's grave first, and as I sat with her, a lovely idea began to blossom. What if I left 2 roses of each color on each woman's grave? I adored this idea! And then the delightful discovery dawned that this would leave a rose of each color for me, the next generation. It felt very right somehow and inspired.

Isn't it remarkable how it really is true that necessity is the mother of invention? When we leave room for the Holy Spirit as we feel our way through, amazing (Grace!) in the form of things even better than we had considered on our own can (and often do) come forth.

Another thing just "arose" as I sat with Grandma. I remembered when Tadd's dad or another minister would visit a church and how they oftentimes began their sermon with "I bring you greetings from the congregations of Loganville and Snellville (where they'd just come from)." I've always loved that sense of continuity and connection. I'm grinning... I guess just like St. Paul would do in his epistles to his various flocks/churches, yes?

And so, as I sat with Grandma, tears rose (and are again right now) as I told her "I bring you warm greetings and great love from your daughter, Judy, and your mama, Theresa." Even though I hadn't visited the other two yet, I knew that in kairos time, this was/is possible. As I sat with her, I also said a warm hello to Grandpa.

After 20 minutes or so I went to find Moma and it warmed my heart so much to realize that I knew exactly where she was. After taking a photo of Bill's headstone and sending it to Jen, I sat down with my precious mother.  Giving her her flowers and extending fond greetings on behalf of her mother and grandmother, I settled in for a nice, long visit with her. As I have so many times since, I found myself so incredibly thankful on that Thanksgiving Eve for the peace we found together before she passed beyond the veil. I am deeply grateful to add that the peace between us continues to deepen. Blessed be.

And I'm not sure who picked her headstone out but I *adore* that it says "And the angels shall lead her home." Yes.

As an aside, I still treasure the image my Moma's sister and dear friend had of Moma happily joining the wise men and dancing behind them when she passed on Epiphany. That inspired visual has brought so much comfort to me over the years. ️

After a quick lunch in Canyon, the 45-ish minute drive down to Nazareth was a pleasant one. Marveling at the changes in the landscape as we crossed over the caprock, we were also struck by all of the wind turbines.

Pulling up to the church, it brought a very big smile to see a lovely statue of Mary waiting for us so we stopped to say hello. With it being the day before Thanksgiving and not sure when the church would close, we went inside the sanctuary first. It was with great delight to discover that the prayer candle stand was at the back of the sanctuary to our immediate left so we started there. After lighting a few candles I picked up a Month of Remembrance offering envelope and slipped a little money inside. In the designated space on the outside, I wrote the names of Grammy, her girls (Loretta, Hilda, and Verna), and Moma. In a moment of kairos time this afternoon, I am adding Aunt Mary's name, too.

I love, Love, LOVE that the parish is named "Holy Family" and that our Heidergerken family helped found it. The church was empty and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring for a while, wondering if I might catch a glimpse of a memorial in honor of our Heidgerkens (I didn't). Content and ready to sit for a bit, I settled into a back pew. After whispering a few prayers I picked up a hymnal and opened it to a "random" page. Ah, yes, I smiled, the "Prayer of St. Francis'" felt exactly right. Softly singing "Make Me A Channel of Your Peace" in the church of my ancestors, tears welled (as they are again right now) as I wondered who might be gathered around and joining me. Smiling through tears I remembered Grandpa's great gift of music, too.

After a few more moments to just be, we went in search of Grammy T. The cemetery is about a half of a block's walk from the church. Just as the secretary said when I phoned a few weeks earlier, we spotted the white gazebo surrounded by graves. Stepping inside the small wooden structure, we searched the plot directory indicating where folks are buried. It took us a little bit of time to get our bearings on which section was which but once we did, we found her.

With times being so incredibly hard back in 1924, her being 38 at the time of her death, and the family having moved on, as I sat with her I wondered how long it had been since one of her own had visited her. Smiling softly as there is no blame or shame here... I didn't even realize she was buried just an hour's drive from where I was born and raised until several months before. All that to say, it was my honor and privilege to spend some time visiting with her, bringing roses and warm greetings from her girls, and so much love.

I have felt a special connection with her ever since I learned her name was Theresa as that is the name I chose for my confirmation name. With her being so sick at such a (relatively) young age, I wonder if Grammy T, knowing what it's like to be so ill, has been looking out for and watching over me for a very long time. So, she smiles fondly, while it might have felt to me like we just met, perhaps, just as a dear grandmother would do, she smiles just as fondly back while tenderly cupping my face, knowing that we've been connected for much longer than that.

*big, contented sigh*

An interesting side note? Great-Grandpa is buried several rows and several places away and we did say a quick hello to him... by then our late-November day was turning cold, windy, and dark (and this trip for me was really about the womenfolk). At first, it felt a little sad to me... that they weren't buried together. Then I remembered a good friend saying to me that she always thinks of gravesides as the very last place that the whole family was gathered in love around their dearly beloved. (Don't you love that?!) I knew then that they could reach out to one another whenever they wanted. 'sides, maybe Grammy T has come to enjoy her "neighbor," too.

Heading back up to Amarillo that late afternoon, my heart was full and I was deeply moved. 

And just as I'd hoped, my small, 3 stemmed keepsake bouquet was a lovely reminder of that very special day of remembering and honoring my cherished motherline.

Blessed be.

.     .    *    .     .    *    .     .    *  .    .

So that's my story, she smiles softly. During daily mass on the 95th anniversary of Grammy T's passing last Tuesday, I gave thanks from the bottom of my heart (again) for the inspired gift of my pilgrimage to honor all three of my (our) dearly beloveds.

Sending warm thoughts to you, too, dear reader, thankful for your witness.

Blessed be indeed.
.   .   .

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Daily Guidance - February 8

I drew the first 3 Soul Call cards (on the right) and they just weren't resonating with
with me so I drew the fourth.  Now it was starting to make sense, especially when I 
starting playing with them and read them in reverse order.  

Surrender the Wrestling and Walls both in a troubled relationship and with life in 
general, dear heart.

It was also lovely to see how they were now dovetailing with the two oracle cards
I drew today.

There is a Map leading to another way... more choices than you first realized.  You
can continue to choose to bless the space between you and another and, as best you
can in each moment, quietly, calmly let the struggle go. Follow the path that leads
to where you are fed... and loved. 

Our Lady of Creative Choice will help me to find a new choice, one that leads to
enthusiasm and Joy?


Blessed be.

.         *         .

Mornin', Mary!

.           *          .

St. Joseph, the Carpenter

Our nephew joined the army
and his first day of bootcamp was Monday.

As I sat in daily mass this morning, 
a most wonderful
(and deeply comforting)
thought came.

St. Joseph was a carpenter,
pretty close to a present day
"Horizontal Construction Engineer,"

I sure think so.


Trustin' that St. Joseph 
is watching over our boy
as we continue to hold him
in our thoughts and prayers.

St. Michael, the Archangel,
protect our troops.


.           *          .

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Today's Guidance - February 7

When Navigating by the Star,
I can trust that the 
Tender Mother,
Our Lady of New Vision,
Our Lady of Growth Assured
will be present
in the Vessel of my heart.

.             *             .

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Today's Guidance - February 6

When I answer the call,
I can trust that 
I will be supported
and comforted
with what I need.

When I intentionally 
spend time in my Egg,
my life will Flow
and that is the Jewel.

.          *          .

A Wonderful Surprise

Not long after her mother passed, a Facebook friend from across the sea reached
out to me. She said that, if I was willing, she’d like me to have some treasures that 
she had first given to her mom.

I was touched by her kind offer, especially when she told me that Chartres, where the 
items were purchased when they were visiting there together, is a church dedicated 
to Our Lady (Mary). I was deeply grateful and delighted to accept her generous Gift.

As an aside (or is it?), her daughter has been very, very sick so I had no idea when 
her package of care might arrive.

Well guess what?

It came today!! I knew to expect the labyrinth book and beautiful blue sun catcher. 
I did not expect to find Love, Peace, and Faith all tucked in as well, or the words on 
her card “unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice.” I’m so struck by the timing of 
their arrival, right a group call for an online class that I'm taking that focused on 
Love and Faith. Smiling softly because my secret wish for our earth before Freedom 
emerged was Peace.

Hmmmmm... she says playfully. 

My guardian angel stopping in
to give me the big hug I longed for?  

Yes, I believe so. 

Blessed be.

.            *            .