Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Happy Birthday Mama -still missing you

Mom would have been 84 years old today.  She only had two birthdays in her 80s:  There was the big 80th birthday bash!
Copy of P1020734


and then there was the 81st birthday party where things were starting to fall apart a little bit. And four months later she was dead.


And I think I'm still in shock about it.  A few weeks ago I made up my mind that I was not going to dwell on the last time I saw her.  Every time that image of her actively dying came into my mind I chased it away. And now it actually seems to be a little big easier.  But today I miss her ... a lot.

In the weeks before Mama died, we always, always made a point of telling each other "I love you." We always did that before anyway, but it was more intense, and more urgent once we both knew the end was coming soon. From Mama, I took that "I love you" to also mean, "I forgive you; the past doesn't matter; you'll always be my baby."  And I've hung on to that over the past four years.  I was a good daughter. But I was also selfish, self-centered and self-righteous to her many times. I think back to my younger self and some of the things I thought about or did to my mom and I just want to go back and shake myself hard.

For example, Mom LOVED to tell people about me.  She could give a complete strange the one- minute version of my curriculum vitae and all of my accomplishments and all of the KIDS' accomplishments in just a direct, matter-of-fact, motherly way.  She was proud of us. She was proud of me. And I didn't appreciate it at the time. I winced when she started in on that or I would try to interrupt her. When she was in a wheel chair once I even started to take her away (although she put her feet down and stopped me quickly, nearly knocking us both over!)

I also miss the phone calls.  The early morning call that could only be her, the "something is good on t.v. right now" phone call at odd times throughout the day, and even her "what are you doing?" calls that checked up on me. They bothered me at the time. What I wouldn't give to talk to her one more time.

I miss her.

Tonight my sister and I will go out to eat to celebrate mom's birthday.  We always took her out for her birthday so we are really just continuing a tradition.  We'll laugh and maybe shed a tear or two. I'm taking a small picture of her for the table just for the occasion.

This picture represents one of my favorite memories of Mama from when I was little. She loved to take me out for walks around our farm. She told me stories, and taught me songs, and let me play with the cats and look at the cows. A simple wonderful memory. And I remember her young too. The only time I really saw her was old was just a few days before she died. Until then, I sort of always saw her this way.

So Happy Birthday Mom.  And Rest in Peace.

Gregorian Masses for her birthday this year!
December 2012 073

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