Friday, January 25, 2013

On the Anniversary of My Mother's Death

Today is the 26th anniversary of my mother's death. Oh, how much grief I gave her -- she attributed all her gray hair to me, but I argued that she already had them before I was born and I reminded her the story of her hair going white with the death of her first-born near his fifth birthday, and she said, "Oh, don't give me your logic. You know you given me countless gray hairs."

Why, yes, I admit. It's hard to raise a willful child, and for my devout mother, her biggest grief was that I lost my faith. Her answers were never sufficient for me when I asked her about the problem of evil and suffering and why God allowed it. Just have faith, she said. But I didn't. And she couldn't magically transfer hers to me. No, it is something that grieved her until her death. She knew I only went to church to sing the beautiful music, and I liked the Bible stories because some of them were good.

I am grateful to my uncle who scanned and sent this to me a few years before his death.
My aunt (his wife) is on the left and my mother (his sister) is on the right. 

So I like to think that today she is wearing a crown of glory in heaven, in the company of Jesus, Mary and her little boy, her parents, her brothers and sisters, and all the saints and angels in heaven. Of course, I do not *know* she's in heaven, so I do pray for her soul, but my gut feeling is that she is. How else can I explain our miraculous conversion? It is not as dramatic as St. Paul's on the road to Damascus, but the miracle is still present. Truth reveals Himself and you cannot do anything else but fall on your face and declare in the words of St. Thomas (the doubter), "My Lord and my God!"

And so, on this Feast of St. Paul's conversion and my mother's heavenly birthday, I do not have a hard time imagining the two of them praying for all the necessary graces we need to come join them. And perhaps her salt-and-pepper hair is now black as night again.

Pax Christi.

*I wrote more about why one ought to pray for the dead here.



10 comments:

Jean Reidy said...

Vijaya - Thank you for sharing this lovely and faith-filled post.
God bless you!
Jean

Faith E. Hough said...

I think she and St. Monica are probably having some lovely conversations as well. :) We will say a prayer in her honor today: for her soul should she need it, or for her intentions.

Mirka Breen said...

You look so much like her.Thank you for letting us look at her loveliness.

Marcia said...

Oh, you were so young when you lost her. I really see the resemblance.

Anne Marie Schlueter said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Vijaya said...

Thank you all so much -- she's left me a wealth of memories and I hope to follow in her footsteps.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I imagine your mother is filled with joy at the faith she sees in you now, Vijaya.
What a lovely picture!

Bish Denham said...

I thought that was YOU on the right. She is in your bones, your DNA, and always with you.

Suman Khisty said...

Thank you for so beautifully honoring Ai. She was and will always be our biggest advocate in heaven pleading for our conversion to Christ. I believe we are where we are where we are in our faith because of her constant prayers for us. So blessed she graced our lives. God bless her and keep her. Love you.

Vijaya said...

Thank you! I love that y'all see the resemblance ...

I love you, too, Baby. Can't make this journey without you.