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…

A Small Sorrow - and a happy first communion day

Some of the roles I see for myself as Mom is that of Memory Maker, Heritage Creator, and Event Planner! As such, I have tried to make each of my children's Baptisms, First Communions, and Confirmations memorable, meaningful and fun. I have been through six baptisms, and five first communions and confirmations and I think I have done pretty well with each one.

But with Rosie's first communion I feel as if I haven't done enough or that it won't be as memorable as the ones for the other children.

This time, the god parents won't be able to be here, and Calvin has another clinical to do before he finishes his program, my sister can't be there because she has to go to a graduation and grandma won't be there because she has been dead for four years.

It might be that last one that is hurting me the most I guess - this child doesn't have a living grandparent, and my mother won't be here to see her youngest grandchild, her name sake, receive her first holy communion. Mom won't be there to help me get her dressed and to tell her she looks pretty, and to get a picture with her. And I am mourning that  so much.
Izzy and Grandma
a lot more than I thought I would.

Rosie has no idea about any of this. She is thrilled with her dress, loves her veil and her shoes and is excited about the ceremony - but she is also very excited about meeting Jesus in the Eucharist. She keeps asking me what that will feel like, what it will be like, and if she's ready.

She's ready. That girl says the most sincere prayers of anyone in the family. She's ready.

She also is excited about the cake her sister is baking and decorating for her, and the deviled eggs she asked for because she loves them, the potato salad and sloppy joes we are having for her little "party" (a party that is missing so many important people!)

That's her excitement and reality right now and I am happy for that.  I am keeping all the losses to myself.

But then I had a talk with Mr. Pete.  I often joke with Mr. Pete because his childhood and early teen years are very, very blurry to him.  It's like he lived fully in each moment and didn't think a to save a space in his mind to remember it all.  He has no remembrance at all of his first communion.

None except for maybe rushing to church and getting dressed.

And come to think of it, all I remember about my first communion is that my grandma worked for days and days to make me a pretty dress and that she put a blue sash on it in honor of the Blessed Mother. That's it.  I don't remember even actually receiving.  I do have strong memories of my first confession though! But first communion - not so much. I couldn't tell you who was there or what we did before or after, (although I do know my Dad wasn't there - I would have remembered that!)

And maybe that is how it should be.  I want her to feel the happiness, the love, the reverence and to keep that.  I will keep my small sorrows to myself.  At 7 years old, maybe it should just be a day to be very excited about and then let it disappear into soft,  happy, blurry  childhood memories.


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  1. Rosie is looking at what she has; you see what she doesn't. My youngest will see pictures of my older kids with my mom and say that she's sad she doesn't have a Grandma any more, but the reality is that while I miss having her at things, my youngest doesn't because she really doesn't remember anything different.

  2. I think you're right. I wore my mom's pearls today to mass - but that was for me, as a tribute to her. I doubt anyone else was aware of it.


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