Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy 18th, DQ!!!!!

To my beautiful daughter -

Happy 18th birthday, sweetie! You have brought so much joy and laughter into my life. You were so tiny when I brought you home, and you have blossomed into a gorgeous and intelligent young lady. I am SO proud of you, and I am looking forward to watching your dreams come true over the next few years as you work hard towards your writing/teaching degrees. Thank you for all of your love and concern and support, especially these past few months. You have touched my heart and soul so tenderly and captured them forever and ever. I love you, babe!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

12-year-old speaks out on the issue of abortion

Very poised and eloquent! And the message is very clear and logical.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Miracle

This post was first published on November 16, 2005, and is being reprised by request for the "Mary Moments Carnival." For more information about this carnival, please visit http://beholdyourmotherbook.blogspot.com/2009/02/mary-moments-carnivals-thanks-sarah.html .

Most of you are aware that I am a Catholic. I was born of Catholic parents - my mom was a "cradle" Catholic, meaning that she was baptized soon after her birth; and my dad converted to Catholicism out of love for my mom (she wouldn't marry him unless he became a Catholic). My mother was a very devout woman - I remember seeing her often times in prayer. When money was tight (as it was frequently), the rosary beads would come out. When a storm would be on the horizon, she would make all of us go to the basement (in case there was a tornado) and pray the rosary out loud. Every night during the Lenten season, the family would gather around and say the rosary. We would say prayers before and after meals, before bedtime, and any time there was a need within our family or friends. We went to Mass every Sunday, and most school days began with a Mass - and my mom was always present for it. My mom had a very strong devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus. She would often remark how much she strove to be the kind of mother that Mary probably was - patient, understanding, kind, accepting, wise, and loving at all times. She thought she fell far short of that model of motherhood, but I thought she was a wonderful mom. Yes, she had a temper at times, and she was very overprotective - but never for a moment did I ever doubt how much she loved me. My dad, even though a convert, didn't really participate much in the family prayers, and he rarely went to Mass. He was a gruff yet kind man, and probably a little wild at times, much to my mother's consternation. I think that after mom died, dad became quite bitter for many years. Ultimately, he began to truly believe in God when he had a "near-death" experience a couple of years before he died - but that is another story.

I went through my years of rebellion after my mom died - and ultimately, I left the Church for a long time. It wasn't so much that I lost my faith in God, but I was very angry with Him for a lot of reasons. It wasn't until I was in my early thirties that I began a slow and painful process of turning my life over to Him - but again, that is yet another story.

Since I becam a mom almost 18 years ago, I have taught my kids about faith, about love, and about God. I smile when I think of how similar I have become to my mom's ways of professing her faith - praying out loud with the kids, Mass attendance, "preaching" to the kids, etc. I am sure she's quite proud of me! I didn't follow her footsteps, however, in a strong devotion to Mary. I've been giving it a great deal of thought over the past few days as to why I didn't do that - and I still haven't come up with a true answer. I know that some Christians question the Catholic's devotion to Mary, thinking that it is wrong to "worship" somebody other than God - but truly, that is not what we Catholics do. We pray TO her, to ask her for help with things we are struggling with, to ask her to go to her Son with our requests and on our behalf.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, last Wednesday evening, TP took a huge turn for the worse at the hospital. Her temperature just wouldn't go down - it was at 104.8*. She was listless, almost comatose. Her blood pressure kept on dropping, dangerously low (the lowest I remember seeing it was 98/22). She had sepsis, and they didn't know the cause. The doctors decided to transfer her to the PICU unit where she could be monitored at all times by her very own nurse. I remember looking at her attending physician, and bluntly asking if TP was going to make it. His reply was vague, which didn't calm my nerves any.

I stood by the window, looking out into the distance where the sun's glow was diminishing into an autumn sunset. For the first time in almost 18 years, I was terrified of losing my daughter. We had been through so much, what with the lupus diagnosis 18 months ago, but even with that, I just knew she was going to be all right. This time, I had a very sick feeling in my stomach, and I was sobbing.

I was able to compose myself enough to follow TP down to the PICU unit. When we arrived, they told me I had to wait in the waiting room for about 20 minutes until they could get her situated in her bed. I kissed her hot forehead, and her eyelids fluttered in response. I went into the waiting room, and just dropped into a chair. I was aware of other people looking at me, but it didn't matter. It was at that point in time that I began to pray feverishly. I found myself talking to Mary, realizing she KNEW what I was going through, because she had watched her Son suffer so much as well. I don't remember all that I said to her or what I prayed to God, but in a matter of a few minutes, I found myself saying the Rosary. It's a beautiful prayer. I asked Mary to take my prayers to her Son, and to intercede on my behalf, for TP to be healed. I called upon my own mother to pray for TP. I also called on TP's great-grandmother (whom TP was named after) to pray for TP's recovery. All of these prayers were mixed in with saying the Rosary.

Those twenty minutes seemed like twenty hours. They finally called me back to her area, and I opened the curtains up - and there she was, sitting up and alert and talking to the doctors and nurses!!!! I must have looked extremely shocked, because TP looked at me and said, "Mom, are you okay?". I said I was just fine, but I asked what had just happened here. The doctors went on to say that a few minutes after they had wheeled Sara back to her area, she "woke up" and starting talking. They had no explanation for it whatsoever. Dare I say that this was a miracle?

After awhile, TP decided to take a rest. Her blood pressure was still out of whack but no longer dangerously low, and her temperature was still elevated but nowhere near the high of 104.8*. I had called a priest earlier (he happens to be a close family friend) to ask him to come and visit TP, and to give her the Sacrament of the Sick, and he showed up at this point in time. He asked TP if she wanted to receive this Sacrament, and she nodded her head. While administering this rite, and then when we were praying the Our Father, TP had the most serene look on her face - very peaceful and calm. This sacrament is given to heal the body and soul when a person is gravely ill, and she understood the significance of it and didn't hesitate to embrace all of the graces given as a result of receiving it. I honestly believe that this Sacrament helped TP's body in the healing process, and it certainly calmed her soul.

So, in essence, I am so grateful for the miracles bestowed about my daughter last week. I shall never forget how close to heaven she got - and how heaven reached down and gave TP enough strength to continue on with her earthly journey.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

It's. Been Awhile

Yes, it's been awhile since I've posted. I'm still here!

There has been a lot going on in my life, some of it's good, some not so good - but isn't that what life is usually like?

I have kind of taken a "breather" from blogging and reading other peoples' blogs for many reasons. But, I'm planning to return to a regular schedule soon.

A few milestones are coming up - DQ turns 18 in a couple of weeks, goes on her senior trip in March, and graduates in May. TP turns 21 in about 6 weeks, and will begin the search for her birth mom. I am in the midst of an exciting venture into a new ministry, which I will share with you as things fall into place. What I can tell you, though, is that this ministry is one which is near and dear to my heart, and has been a Godsend to me. It's amazing how this all fell into place - and how God placed these people into my life just at the right time. I don't believe in coincidences!

I hear from TP about once a week. I still miss her. I still pray for her constantly. There is a huge void in my life. I am functioning, but still grieving. There are times when I am overwhelmed with pain, and other times when I can laugh again and forget the tears. I still am in some disbelief/denial as I never, ever, expected our relationship to turn out this way. But, I trust in God's divine wisdom, as there is a purpose to all of this. I take comfort knowing that He is watching over her, whispering to her, and waiting patiently for her return to Him and to us.

Hope all of you have a great week! God bless you!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Update on the Video I Posted Below

A blogging buddy posted the video below, too, with the note that NBC has refused to air this ad during the Super Bowl, deeming it to be "too political".

I have sent an email to NBC, and I'm not holding my breath anticipating that they will even respond. However, since the only reason we watch the Super Bowl is because of the great commercials, we are going to boycott it and not watch it at all this year. If NBC can find it within its' power to quelch the voice of the most vulnerable of our species, then I refuse to ever watch their station again. So much for "freedom of speech" - I guess it only applies to the liberals and the liberal media/agenda.