Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Heaven has been graced with a saint and this one needs no declaration.

As most of you know by now, my husband's mother died this past Sunday, the Feast of the Holy Family. I would be remiss if I did not give a place in my musings and thoughts to this incredible Catholic woman. Gloria, or Memaw, as she was so lovingly known was a gracious lady, and a true Catholic, not only by nature but by faith.

Actually the words do not do her the justice she so deserves. Gloria taught me what it means to be a woman of faith when being a wife and a mother. This is not to take from what my own mother has shown me or taught me, but Gloria impacted my life at a time I was wanting to learn and I was open to listening to the lessons she had to share. She taught me about giving in a marriage that was not always going to seem fair, she showed me a loving patience when giving so unselfishly to children. As Marie told Debra (from an episode of Everybody loves Raymond) "we are mothering". Gloria was mothering. Gloria was the Catholic wife and mother. I found that I wanted to be like she had become. She was gracious, loving and giving. She was a lady and I wanted to be just like her. I miss her terribly. I am not the only one.

Years ago we noticed a change in her behavior and found she was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease. The family made loving, yet difficult decisions with regard to her care and she has been in a wonderful facility in Memphis for several years. We began to miss her many years ago, but her spirit remained with us whenever we visited. Several years ago I wrote a paper arguing that the brain is not the mind. I wrote this paper with Gloria in mind. Gloria was so much more than the physical body we watched deteriorate, her spirit, that soul gifted by God was still alive and full of life. Her 'self' was inside that shell and she still loved and was loved by those who cared for her. I remember her daughter saying once that now since her children were grown she could travel and enjoy her mother, she would not be able to. It seemed so unfair. A friend, a mom was lost to us.
There are so many memories I could share. I will always remember that glorious smile and the fact that she loved to sing. She loved music. It is with sadness that I realize there will be no music.... I know she will be singing up in heaven and enjoying the beautiful music of the angels. Gloria sat only after everyone else sat. She served others , she was our 'Martha', always tending to the needs of those around her. She was happy doing it, she loved caring for her family. I miss her terribly.

This is when we must realize we are not of this world, we are God's. Gloria was always one of God's. She can now be with Him where she was meant to be. I hope that Heaven is all she hoped it would be and more, I pray she is praying for us for I know we have been graced with a saint. Saint Gloria Jeanette, pray for us!

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