Words are so inadequate to express the unfolding of last week’s events as they were carried by your prayers and immersed in Divine Mercy.
On Thursday, April 20th, birthday of Laura’s youngest child, all her children found ourselves around her bed in her remaining hours. At the nursing home, with heavy hearts and spinning minds, we celebrated the youngest daughter’s birthday, because “mom would have wanted it this way”. The same evening before Mass I told our Pastor of her conditions and afterwards he promptly came to pray over her the prayers for the dying. Surrounded by her two sons, the pastor and I, Laura heard the Salve Regina in Italian and received a blessing. Before leaving, our pastor summoned me to recite the Divine Mercy Chapel.
“Lord, you’re carrying us.”
Laura spent Thursday night in the company of her oldest son, my husband, who was watching her every single breath and in the company of Divine Mercy. Friday morning, again all her children were by her side and before noon I brought one of our boys to see their ‘nonna’ since he had an exam in the afternoon.
” Lord, your timing is always perfect.”
Friday, Divine Mercy hour came and at 3:07 p.m. my husband called from the nursing home, “Mom gave up her last breath”. In the middle of Divine Mercy chaplet, still clutching the rosary beads, I thought, “Wow, look at her, embraced by Divine Mercy.” Shortly after, I called our parish office to report her passing (what does one do at such time, I had no idea of protocol), thank God, the nursing home is only a minute from the church. When I reached our Pastor, he was on his way to her room to pray over her and sustain her children.
” Lord, you never abandon us.”
Saturday, was spent cleaning her room from her belongings and meeting with family again.
Divine Mercy Sunday, I was recommending my husband to be strong, since he had to read the First Reading. Before Mass started the Celebrant, Priest announced the Mass was being offered for the repose of Laura. All weekend Masses were offered in her memory. Then again while reading the Prayers of the Faithful, my poor husband came across his mother’s name. A sting in the heart, yet so consoling.
” Lord, you’re forever present.”
Divine Mercy Sunday 3:00 p.m. we’re gathered as a parish for The Hour of Adoration, reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet, while my husband was planning for his mother’s funeral as it was the only time available at the funeral home.
” Lord, you accompany us in your ever so gentle ways.”
Monday, April 24th, we had to remind my husband of his birthday, since he had forgotten it. Laura’s passing time, encompassed her youngest and her oldest children birthdates.
Tuesday, April 25th at Laura’s visitation, people we hadn’t seen in years, people who had just had surgery and even a husband of another resident from the nursing home came to pay their respects. Again, to the surprise of many, our Pastor was there blessing her body and praying for her and the family.
” Lord, you always move so many hearts.”
Wednesday, April 26th, Laura’s funeral was out of this world. The church still decorated with the many Easter flowers, the Divine Mercy and St Faustina images were still displayed and surrounded by flowers beside the altar. It was a constant reminder of the presence of the risen and merciful Lord. Long before guests started filing in I wanted to spend some time by the Tabernacle which is in a chamber off to the side of the church proper and there was the musician/singer in deep prayer.
“You’re the giver of all gifts, Lord.”
Friends, relatives, extended family and parishioners were in somber attendance. Even some of our Regnum Christi family members and Legionary of Christ priests came to share our sorrow. It was ever so comforting to see them, knowing they all have such busy schedules and some Regnum Christi members even took time off work.
” Your generosity Lord overflows my cup.”
A touching moment before the funeral was when a Filipino parishioner, assigned to read the Prayers of the Faithful asked me how to pronounce the name Laura in Italian and left practicing, “Laura, Laura.” Our Pastor’s tribute to Laura and homily touched many hearts, as they’re still sending us their reactions. For many, Laura’s accompaniment to eternity’s threshold was ever so regal. She was a true princess!
” Teach us to see with eyes of faith, Lord.”
The day of Laura’s funeral was also the Feast of Our Lady of Good Council. Now that our earthly “mamma” is gone into eternity, our Heavenly Mother is to be a mother to us.
“Lady of Good Council, pray for us!”
Well friends, I just wanted to share a little bit of heaven with you. I could write a book about all the details and graces we experienced. During these trying times your prayers were storming heaven and heaven heard you and the flood of Divine Mercy opened wide for Laura and her loved ones. Even during the heart wrenching moments, there was much beauty, joy, charity and above all, peace. After receiving so much, how can anyone hold back?
“Yes, the love of Christ impels me!”
Again, words are so inadequate to express my gratitude to have stumbled into the Regnum Christi movement, but the Lord knew it from eternity, that through my Regnum Christi family I would be lead closer to Christ’s heart, my faith has been reawakened, and my heart ignited to see the hand of God in all things, especially during the difficulties. To be surrounded by such a spiritual family that reached out to me and my loved ones in solidarity, is truly a grace from God.
Finally, to discover the importance of prayer, that heart to heart communion with the Risen Lord is a true gift!
“Oh Lord, through this taste of heaven, you have increased my longing for your Kingdom!”
Christ our King!
Thy Kingdom Come!