Happy Easter everyone!
The week of Holy Week I was in a frenzy trying to get out of town to visit my mom for the Easter holidays, and I knew that I was not going to get a weekly meditation out. My husband reassured me, “Let the week speak for itself.” I am glad he said that, as there was not much I could add to a week that is so fundamental to our Christian faith.
We arrived at my mom’s on Holy Thursday, and that night our family was settling down to watch “telly” (a throwback from our time in the UK), and we came across The Passion of the Christ. I assumed that being on TV, it would be the edited version, so I thought it would be OK for the kids to see it. It wasn’t the edited version. Whoops. Yikes.
My daughter later asked me, “Was there a part where you cried?” I told her that the part that made me cry (this time), was where Mary watched Jesus fall under the cross for the first time. Mary flashed back to a moment where she was watching Jesus stumble and fall as a child, and how she ran to comfort and hold him. However this time as an adult undergoing great trial, she could not. She could only watch in some combination of despair and desperation as he fell under the immense weight of his cross. As a mom, it brought to the surface all the feelings of how you want to save your children from all the pitfalls, disappointments and failings of life, but as they get older, you cannot catch them. You can only prepare them for the challenges and help reconstruct the pieces after the fact – if in fact they truly want your help and counsel.
As we as a Marist community celebrate Grandparents Day tomorrow, I cannot help but remember my grandparents, and all the wise counsel that they imparted on me. Unfortunately, both sets of my grandparents lived in the north, while I grew up in the south. However, they still managed to share with me lots of life lessons, both directly and indirectly. My maternal grandmother taught me how to suffer with grace, as she struggled with breast and bone cancer, while still maintaining a stiff hairdo and a biting sense of humor. My step-grandfather taught me that being a grandfather by marriage was no different than the real thing – he loved me as much as if I was his own blood. He also taught me commitment and true love. He brought my grandmother a single red rose each Friday for the entirety of their marriage. My paternal grandparents were the ones who gave me my red hair and my dad’s sense of fun and adventure. My grandfather taught me the importance of hard work, silly puns, and commitment to hobbies that bring you joy and purpose. I was especially fortunate to develop a real relationship with my paternal grandmother as a young adult when I moved closer to her for my job. She was a convert to Catholicism and one of the best examples of a Christian woman I have ever met. She taught me to live life to the fullest, as she rode dog-sleds in Alaska and did aerobics well into her 80’s. I think I would like to be her when I grow up.
So I will leave you with some Bible verses about grandparents….
“Children’s children are the crown of the elderly, and the glory of children is their parentage.” – Proverbs 17:6
“Even to your old age I am he, even when your hair is gray I will carry you; I have done this, and I will lift you up, I will carry you to safety.” – Isaiah 46:4
“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by a life that is just.” – Proverbs 16:31
So hug (or call) a grandparent today, and let them know how much you love and appreciate them. If they are no longer here with you, pray for them, and know that they too are praying you and your children through your lives.