Today Catherine had her two friends Amber and Sienna over to play for the day. The plan was to go see the live action “Cinderella” movie in the afternoon. About a half an hour before we were to leave, Piper, Catherine’s friend from down the street popped in to play as well. While all the girls were outside playing I called Piper’s dad and asked if it would be all right if she came to the movies with us. He said yes.
When we were all ready to go I called the girls up from down in the back yard and as they were coming up the stairs I asked Piper if she wanted to join us for the movie. All four girls were all excited. Turns out Piper was lamenting the fact that she had to return to town with her father in a few minutes. As they climbed into the van Piper cried, “It’s a miracle. I don’t have to go to town with my dad!”
Catherine very matter of factly replied, “No. A miracle would be if my sister was still alive.”
Piper responded with, “Or if they could have just cut that darn thing out.”
Thankfully they changed the subject or I don’t know if I’d have been able to see the road enough to drive safely. I know for myself that thoughts of Bernadette are always forefront in my mind no matter what I’m doing, like the background on our computers. As soon as we close a window we see our background until we turn to our next activity. As soon as one distraction is over and that window closes my mind quickly returns to thoughts of Bernadette. Today Catherine’s comment about what a miracle is made me realize that thoughts of Bernadette are just below the surface in her mind too. In one way it is comforting to know, but I also know how hard it must be for her. She is so young to deal with such a burden.
The book “Grieving with the Help of your Catholic Faith” came in the mail yesterday. In it there is a prayer attributed to St. Pope John XXIII dealing with grief in the present moment. I think I will quickly have it memorized with how often each day I’ll probably need to say it. Maybe it would be a comfort to Catherine to learn it too. “Every day I need you, Lord, but this day especially I need some extra strength to face whatever is to be… This day more than any other day I need to feel You near, to fortify my courage and to overcome my fear. By myself, I cannot meet the challenge of the hour. There are times when human creatures need a higher Power to help them bear what must be borne. And so, dear Lord, I pray that you will hold on to my trembling hand and be with me today.”
Thanks for your courage to move through your own grief. As you mention here, you are such a blessing then to help your own children and those who knew Bernadette to feel free to speak openly and freely of their own grief. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit the Comforter, will fill in with soothing and healing all of the hurts.