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The meaning of it all

This week I went to the funeral of a lovely woman, who was the mother of a good friend of ours. She was also the Catholic mother of six children, so I felt as if I had a great deal in common with her, and  I wanted to be there to give support to my friend.

It was a good sized funeral, of course with all of that family and there were lots of friends of the family too.There were also six priests at the altar which is something that I had never seen before except perhaps at the funeral for another priest.

This dear lady had a good full life, but her later years had been one of steady decline that required the ongoing 24/7 support of her husband, children and grandchildren. Being a caretaker is an enormous, exhausting job, but her family cared for her with devotion and love.

The priest who gave the homily said something that really made me think. In our culture, so influenced by Hollywood and celebrity mores, being in love means pleasure and happiness. Consequently, when hardship sets in and pleasure is at a premium and perhaps happiness is too, we mistake that to mean the love is gone. We mistake those things for love. But true love really is doing the daily stuff that isn't necessarily fun or pleasurable and sometimes is just damn hard.

For this dear lady, I guess the end of her life was a challenge for her family and friends, but they were able to do so with great love because she had shown them how through the type of love and care she gave them through the years as a Catholic wife and mother.  She surely left an example for other women like me, to follow.

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