Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Hey, Jude..."

“Na, na, na, na-na-na, na…” Today the Church celebrates Simon and Jude, Apostles of the Lord. My Mother loved Saint Jude. In the late sixties – before her first cancer, I remember hearing the Beatles song on the radio in our wood-paneled station wagon. I thought it was about Saint Jude. How nice, I thought, that a Catholic saint made the real radio!

By 1973 my Mother’s journey into cancer had begun. Jude became important to me in a new way because Saint Jude was important to her. My Mother’s love for Jude was faithful – even as the cancer returned a second time. Cancer isn’t the only “impossible” situation and I can never know what she really asked Saint Jude to do. I have the idea, though, that Jude helped my family stay together some 15 years later when a third and final cancer took my Mother home. We were all so young, so angry and so filled with grief. There were times nearly 20 years ago, when I thought we’d never make it as a family – that our pain was too great and too particular to each of us. But time and grace transform grief into something new if we do our work.

We are a family – a circle of love and care. Three wonderful spouses have joined the circle and seven gorgeous grandchildren. And my Dad is our precious treasure – our touchstone of the past and our biggest cheerleader for our futures. Maybe, just maybe, my Mom asked Jude to take care of us – a broken circle of impossible people. I like that thought. I know she loved us more than anything in the world. And now, because of Christ, she loves us from glory – whole and radiant, free from every suffering – and gazes on GOD, face to face. Thanks, Mom. And thanks, Saint Jude. “Take a sad song, and make it better…”

Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki