Yesterday was Bernadette’s Feast Day. Hard to believe it’s been three years already. Like last year and the year before, I wonder how the time could have gone so fast and yet so slow at the same time.
We were blessed with little reminders, texts, emails, phone calls, and hugs from family and friends that went a long way to reminding us that we are loved and are not alone.
The biggest blessing though was Joseph’s thoughtfulness in calling and kind of inviting himself and Johanna for supper . Thankfully with the restaurant closed on Monday nights for the next little while Johanna was free to join us. In a way, it is always the best way to honour Bernadette’s memory – being together as a family – as it was one of the things that was the most important to her. I might have even written this last year, I don’t remember. Even as a four and five year old, she was very aware of who was missing from our dinner table and she never failed to remind the rest of us of the sibling or siblings’ absence. It was generally Paul of course because he’d already moved out. So I think to come together as a family, to remember Bernadette in a special way on her Feast Day, to eat her favorite dinner, and just be together as a family as much as possible is the best way we can mark the anniversary of her passing. We may not always get to do this as the big kids move on with their lives but for now we can do it for as long as we are able. And with a smile, I doubt it passed Bernadette’s attention that Paul was still missing at the dinner table, though not only Paul now, but Christina, Ruth, and Marie too.
Until that day when we’re all together again at the Banquet of the Lord, we continue to live one day at a time as best we can.
Our friend, Jerry, sent Marc a poem that he said helps him when he’s missing his daughter, Victoria, whose one year anniversary of her Feast Day is coming up in April. I honestly don’t know why I thought I could get through the poem without tears. Esh.
When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It almost seemed impossible
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I’d say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, “This is eternity,
And all I’ve promised you.
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same way
There’s no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things
You knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?”
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.
The song “Memories” written and performed by Margi Harrell