This blog post is part of a series on Mary during the month of May.
May is one of my favorite months. Not just because the air no longer hurts my face, but because it is the month of Mary. I have always been a huge fan of Our Lady and made a consecration to Jesus through Mary when I was a teenager. The peace I get when I pray to Our Lady is unreal and she is the perfect example of who I am striving to be.
The last couple of weeks have been the hardest weeks of my entire life. Friends have told me how hard it is to lose a grandparent, but I could never have imagined just how hard it really is.
I had breakfast with Grandpa that morning on the day he passed away. He was joking around, giving me hugs, acting completely normal. I had no idea the hug he gave me as he left St. Peter’s that morning would be the last hug I would ever get from him. When I got the panicked phone call from my dad that night, I knew something was seriously wrong. I raced out to Grandma and Grandpa’s, and after about 20-30 minutes of CPR we were given the news we were dreading- Grandpa wasn’t going to make it.
Our Lady has really been helping me through this tough time. Not only in bringing me much-needed peace in the moments I begin to realize grandpa is really gone, but also through all of the people we have encountered in these past few weeks. People came out of the woodwork for Grandpa’s wake and funeral. It was so comforting to hear of all the lives he had touched, whether he knew them his whole life, or only met them a couple times. I had never taken part in planning a wake or funeral before, but the workers at Williams-Dingmann seemed to be sent directly from God for our family. Their patience and the small things they did for my family throughout our time with them was so unbelievable. Just one example was that when we arrived at the wake, there were two teddy bears in the casket. Emily then told us that one would stay in the casket with Grandpa and the other was for my sister’s baby who will be born the end of July– Grandpa’s first great-grandchild. Small things like this meant more to us than they will ever know.
Countless people took on the spiritual and physical roles of Mary for my family after my Grandpa’s death. Not only were there a ton of people praying for us, but Masses are being offered for Grandpa’s soul all over the United States. We were also taken care of physically, with people dropping off all kinds of soup, fresh bread, cookie bars, donuts, so many kinds of flowers, and much more. Not to have to worry about what to make for dinner was such a big relief, and each act of kindness toward us reminded us of the tender care that Mary provides for us, through her motherly heart.
This whole experience made me realize how much these ‘motherly’ acts are appreciated and how we especially as women are made to nurture and to be a refuge for others. I encourage you to look at your life and see how you can resemble Mary to someone in your life that needs you, through your tender love and care.