I received a phone call one day from a co-worker (we work for the Church), "Kalah, your mom signed up to have Our Lady of Fatima in her home this coming week. Do you think she would still be interested?" Anxiously, I said "Yes!" So I went to the church and picked up Our Lady and delivered her to my mother's home.
It was Saturday, October 7, 2006 and my whole family was gathered at our parents home for their 56th wedding anniversary. My mother was dying...
I walked in the house holding Our Lady before me. Walking into my mother's bedroom, her eyes lit up and a beautiful smile came over her entire face. "Oh, I forgot all about her!" Mom said as she struggled to sit up. I put Our Lady on the desk next to my mom. What a perfect week for Our Lady to be with Mom. Her health rapidly declined each day until late Thursday night when she passed into eternity, with Our Lady and her crucifix by her side, keeping vigil over her precious soul. In just 77 minutes it would be the feast of Our Lady of Fatima!
At Moms visitation on Sunday, Our Lady was placed into a beautiful floral arrangement near Mom. She went with Mom to the funeral as well. It couldn't have been planned more perfectly.
I returned Our Lady of Fatima to the church on Monday, tearfully. I didn't want to let her go, just like I didn't want to let go of my Mother, but it had to be...
I put my name on the list for my birthday in November and for the birth of my 5th baby in December. I really needed Our Lady and her comfort at this deeply sorrowful time in my life. And after each of my chosen weeks, I let Our Lady go to someone else who needed her, too.
I put my name on the list for the upcoming October. I needed Our Lady to be with me over the 1 year anniversary of Mom's death. Sadly, she had been lost! I cried (oh, I cried all the time). I pleaded with my co-worker to do all that she could to find Our Lady, I needed her.
One morning in early October I received a phone call from my co-worker, "Kalah, we found her!" I went to bring her home and even better, there was no list since Our Lady had been lost for so long so I was told to keep her until a request came for her. For three years she has watched over my family. We have loved her in our home and I have drawn great comfort from her presence, but I never felt I owned her, I knew she would go to someone else some day.
Our Lady of Fatima...Pray for us!
Just a side note:
In the box that Our Lady travels in is a blue knitted doily made by a sweet and humble lady who died just a few days before my mother and a piece of blue material to be used to cushion Our Lady in her travels, my mother put this there. Both of these ladies put these items in the box far before they knew they would die in the same week. God bless Dorothy and Helen, may their souls rest joyfully in your presence.
And another for my non-Catholic friends:
A statue is a statue. Catholics do not worship statues and images they merely represent those whom we love but cannot see because the veil before our eyes will not permit us to see those spirits existing in eternity and no longer among humanity. I have photographs of my mother all over my house and from time to time I may look into the eyes of the photgraph and make a comment but in no way do I believe my mother exists in that piece of paper. If I had a ceramic bust of my mother it would be the same, simply a physical reminder of someone I love but cannot physically see. Statues and images are the same, they help us remember those who once existed here and for whom we wish never to forget.