My Baby is Engaged!
My daughter is a senior in college and she just got engaged! I am overjoyed because she is marrying a very kind, holy, and bright young man! I am ecstatic because they have a very solid relationship that is centered on Christ. I am thrilled because we love him and he brings with him a very lovely family and our family just got bigger.
Dear Friends in Christ, I am also heartbroken because I could not share this news with my Mom and she will not be at the wedding. I am sad because this is the last Christmas my baby will be living in our home. I am down because this is the first Christmas without my Mom. I know I have so much to be grateful for and I am so very thankful to God for all my blessings, but there is just a little bitterness in all the sweetness. Does that make sense?
Tears are streaming down my face as I recall my conversation with my Mom a day before she died. My daughter Bethany had just shared with me that they are most likely getting engaged fairly soon. My Mom was very fond of her fiance. I wanted to let her know since I knew I wouldn’t be able to share the news with her when it actually happened. She was so happy and struggled to say, “God bless them, I wish them all the best.”
My Mom’s name is Maria and that is my daughter’s middle name. They have a special bond. Besides their name, they have a lot in common. They are both introverted, holy, kind, courageous, independent, and stubborn. There were many days that my daughter would call me and I would try to encourage her to do something that would be beneficial for her to no avail only to hang up and have the same type of conversation with my Mom. I know God has a sense of humor placing me in between my two Marias.
After my Momma passed, I was given her engagement ring and her wedding band. I thought about wearing her engagement ring since I do not have one and we both have tiny fingers. Surprisingly, the ring was too big for my ring finger. After the funeral, I showed it to my daughter. She tried it on and it fit perfectly! We were absolutely shocked and amazed. Bethany reminded me that my Mom’s engagement ring was always twirling around her finger and she pointed out that her wedding band which was smaller had kept it in place. To think that she was wearing a ring that was too big for her but fit my daughter who was about to become engaged was surreal. I truly felt my Mom with us and her generous heart offering her ring to Bethany. It was exactly what Bethany wanted, classy, simple, and filled with sentiment. We both felt it was meant to be as the tears flowed down our cheeks.
Now, as we begin the delight of wedding planning, I look over and see my Mom’s ring on Bethany’s hand and I am filled with gratitude. For the angel, Mom God gave to me and the beautiful daughter that reminds me of her. I am so blessed to be a Maria Sandwich.
I know I am not alone in missing a loved one this Christmas. The poem “Togetherness” has given me great comfort through the past few months, so I am sharing it here in the hopes it will be helpful to others.
TOGETHERNESS Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped into the next room. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, Pray for me. Let my name be the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight? I am but waiting for you for an interval, somewhere very near just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before, only better, infinitely better, infinitely happier and forever – we will all be one together with Christ. Carmelite Monastery, Tallow CO Waterford
After the funeral, people do not usually inquire about your loss. If you know someone who is grieving or experiencing their “first” holiday and celebration without a dear one, perhaps you could just let them know by email, phone call, text, or a card that you are with them in thought in prayer. It is a great act of mercy. Be assured of my prayers for you! God bless you and hold you close!