Friday, September 28, 2007

You Are Her Mother

A friend of mine had fresh tears in her eyes at the park this evening. A story from the news about an abused child had gotten under her skin. She said she couldn't sleep last night. Couldn't stop praying. Couldn't stop checking in for updates on the web.

I could relate. I'm sure many parents can. Every once in a while you see something in the media. Something horrific. And it just eats at you on a personal level.

As I drove home, I pondered this mother's words and her genuine heartache over the child she's never met.

She questioned, "Where's the girl's mother? How could she have allowed this to happen?"

Pondering how Our Lord constantly uses lowly humans in our works, prayers and sufferings to heal the world, I was hit with the thought that this friend's sleepless night and prayerful day were not in vain. It's a mystery too great for me but I know this much is true: Prayer and suffering are the conditions God places on many of his actions.

If the abused child's mother is not sleepless and heartbroken over her, this mother she's never met is. And in the rosary she said for the girl, in the 10,000 angels she set to flight by her petitions, perhaps my friend will be her salvation. It's a "communion of saints" thing too great for me to understand. My friend is the girl's mother.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm A Sicko: Stephanie Melber Coffered Pineapple Stuffing And I've Been Passing it Off As My Own

I am a vile, disgusting person. A lunatic some might say. I deserve to be reviled and stomped on. All 5 of you should stop reading my blog and send me hate mail.

Here's what I did. I have a friend. A true pal. We potty train together, jump in puddles and let our kids sprinkle baby powder snow on really boring days. This dear friend (you guessed right, she's Stephanie Melber, reknowned Jim Thorpe mother of 4) graced me with my first dish of pineapple stuffing not too far back.

Since then, I solicited the recipe and whipped up the dish for many a cavorting crowd ... all to gasps and rave reviews. "Oh the smell ... is that apple? no, it's more exotic? is this bread pudding? no, it is far far too good ... what is this? we need more! MORE, MORE PINEAPPLE STUFFING! WE'RE GOING CRAZY! WE COULD EAT IT FOR DAYS! STOP YOUR BLABBING, GET BACK IN THAT KITCHEN AND MAKE US MORE! WE'RE MAD! WE'RE SICK AND WE'RE NOT GOING HOME UNTIL ..." (well, you get the picture ... and those were just my inlaws ... my direct relations were not as kind).

All the while, I smiled and offered seconds. Never once did I even off handedly give credit where credit was due.

So here's my point and my problem, somehow Stephanie has discovered my fraudulence and now I think she's out to get me (she's been known to do things like toilet paper folks cars and such).

I don't expect Mrs. Melber to forgive me anytime soon. Perhaps to taunt me, she dropped off another hot dish this evening (see picture above). I pretended I wasn't home. She peaked in the window, threw her hands in the air and let out a huff. Her fingers were still bleeding from hand shredding the pineapple rind.

I ate the whole thing. It was delicious. But that's not the sick part ... since only 5 of you read my blog I may just continue passing the stuffing off as my own. Sick, I tell you, I'm sick.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Remember Granny?

Remember Granny? Well, I bumped into her again. She clearly didn't remember me or my babies that she adored once again with abandonment.

And just cause people are interesting, I'll tell you about it.

Her eyes were watery as she told me she buried a baby when he was 4 months old. "That was a long time ago," she said, "but it's like he was just in my arms when I look at his grave."

Only 2 survived. A boy and a girl. The rest died in the womb. And the other, well she already mentioned, she had to bury him. But she's so glad for the two she has. They gave her 7 grandchildren. And now the grandchildren are having children.

I told her again that I'm expecting my third and she clapped for joy and gave me a hug. She said, "That's all we should live for ... having babies ... being happy ... now I'm alone and I wish I could go back. I wish I could hear the noise. Now it's so quiet."

No talk about "being done" in this meeting. Funny. A different night. A different mood. The opposite message. In her humanity, she's a gem. If you just turn her (or anyone of us) in the light, the color is completely different but true and coexisting.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Old Friends

Here's my dear old friend Talitha and her daughter Eliana competing for largest belly circumference. They said I could share this photo with my blog world and I couldn't resist.
Just cause people are interesting, here's a ditty on Talitha:
I met Talitha at Liberty University. We became fast friends. Some even thought we were sisters. Talitha grew up mostly in third world countries. She's most comfortable eating rice with her hands.
Talitha paints brown children and sunsets and asks for things like mangos and papayas even when she's in the southern part of the United States and not merely the southern hemisphere.
Talitha and I have been friends (even if seperated by a few continents for 10 years now). One time I really ignored her to hang out with my boyfriend at the time (now my husband Pete). She was so patient. I was so rude.
Talitha is the oldest of 4 sisters. She also has an older brother and a young brother. Talitha watched all her younger sisters marry before her, patiently the bridesmaid. She spent most of her 20's in places like Haiti as a missionary even though it was always her dream to marry and have babies (and be a missionary).
Then one day, Talitha's Prince Pete dropped from the sky and snatched her up from her 3rd world mud hut. I scattered flowers at their wedding.
Today Pete and Talitha are happy and healthy. They eat things like tree bark and fennel seeds and tell people about Jesus. They are the salt of the earth.
Let's pray baby #2 has as big a belly as baby #1 and let us all ponder the question: How do bellies get that very big on such a twig and oat diet?
Be well, Talitha. Time will bring us back together soon.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

She Sees God Now

Mother Teresa surely stands face to face with her maker in a place outside of time singing the unending hymn of praise:

"Holy holy holy, Lord God of power and might. Heaven and Earth are full of your glory. Hosanna, Hosanna on high. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna, Hosanna on high."

Or something like that. Or probably something better.

But when she was here, when she lived in flesh and time, this little lady didn't see God face to face. None of us do. She saw babies eaten to death by maggots. She clasped the hands of lepers and joined them in prayer. To the most despised and rejected, she became Mother.

A single gal, she was often lonely and once wrote that "the greatest disease of our day is not AIDS or cancer but cold, human indifference."

Recently, Teresa's private letters to her confessor were made public. These letters describe a long, dark night of the soul where Teresa describes finding no comfort in her faith:

"Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear." (Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979)

Some folk, Catholics included, think this to be a scandal. They say that our Church's most prized, modern day hero was in fact an Agnostic. I couldn't disagree more.

Teresa just took time to observe the world and ponder its meaning. She didn't numb it's torment. She realized that it is first and foremost by grace that a lowly human is brought into covenant with the Almighty God. So she didn't treat her faith, even in private, like some superstitious charm that if wavered would be her demise.

Teresa's relationship with God was so strong, she could admit when even her faith in Him was lacking.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Of Course You Want to See My Vacation Pictures!

We spent last week at the Jersey Shore. We rented a little place for super cheap and it was a vacation that actually felt like a vacation. My parents were in town too so they babysat, played with the kids and took great care of us. The average temperature was 85 degrees and there was not a cloud in sight except those fluffy white ones that just make the sky blue-er.

In life, we have good and bad times. This was such a good good time. Thanks be to God.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Another Anti-Life Comment from a Catholic

I was leaving Mass when a charming, 80- something-old granny struck up a chat with my babies.

After admiring them she turned to me and said, "I'm one of 10 children. 5 boys and 5 girls. I'm number 6. God just carried my mother in the palm of her hand. God rest her soul."

Thinking this was a gal who understood the blessing of life, I told her I'm expecting number 3.

She said, "Just hope it's a girl. And then you can be done."

So here's the commentary: Without the generosity to life that Granny's mother had, Granny wouldn't exist. She simply wouldn't. Had Granny's mom been part of the sickening, selfish ME generation (who has it's head so far up it's own rear-end, it's lost the basic notion that "in giving we receive"), Granny's Ma would have "been done" well before she hit Granny. Granny is just another casualty in the Catholic battle against secular feminism. A casualty I say. The battle was lost in souls like hers. Although a generous, life-giving culture wrought her, she promotes the antithesis, even in such small, off-handed comments.

Granny went on to tell me (with a sigh) that her only family left attending the parish is her grandson, his wife and their 9-year-old child. They weren't attending today because the parents, both doctors, were at work.
Too bad kids are such a pain in the ass, Granny. Too bad. Cause if you had promoted a culture of life like your dear old Ma did, you'd have your own babies to admire.