Praying Us Home

I know that I have been MIA for a couple of weeks now. Please don’t take it personally, school began, we are days away from closing on a new house, and efforts to clean out my parents’ home have reached feverish level because we are rapidly running out of time.  Needless to say, free time has been an enigma of late.  However, I wanted to jump on to share a little something I wrote and say hi.  I hope to get up a couple of more posts this week–pray for me, there is too much to be done and not enough time to do it, but all things are possible with GOD!

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The closing date on our new home is fast approaching and I can’t stop thinking of my grandmother. The last time I visited her at home, she asked, “Dolly, did you find a house yet?”

I explained that we hadn’t because all the ones in our price range weren’t what we needed or needed way too much work. She patted my hand and kissed me, “I’m going to pray that you find a good house that is just what you need.”

 A couple of months later, we had had a house hunting day set up but I wasn’t in the mood to go. My heart was too heavy from packing up my grandmother’s treasures and visiting her home for the last time. I was ready to give up, we weren’t finding what we wanted and had started looking out of state. But, we went for the appointment anyway. A house had popped up on our realtor’s list at the last moment, once we had visited the ones we had originally planned, we headed there for a quick look to end the day. We arrived at that house and as soon as I walked in, I knew it was home.

We checked out the bathroom and it was bitter-sweet. It was so similar to my grandmother’s and I had to fight back the tears as I remembered how my heart broke when I walked through hers the day before for the last time, it had always been my favorite room.

As we looked around the kitchen, something caught my eye. The curtains in the living room–the only curtains still up in the house–jogged my memory. As I had been cleaning out my grandmother’s cedar chest, I kept coming back to this one pair of curtains. I didn’t know why and couldn’t figure out why they were speaking to me. They definitely weren’t her prettiest curtains. After picking them up for the fifth time, I decided to take them and maybe I would figure out their significance later—and there they were, the same curtains!

My grandmother had prayed us into the perfect house for us. There were so many little things that reminded me of her. When Mama told you she would pray, it was a promise not a platitude. She embodied St Paul’s call to pray without ceasing. She didn’t pray when it was convenient and go on with her life–she prayed in spite of her life. I’m so thankful that my grandmother was willing to go the extra five miles past what would have been considered more than enough, that her children and grandchildren were her all, that she was there when she had better things to do or it wasn’t easy for her, that she lived every moment of her life for everyone else. I’m thankful that she taught me that vacations, pedicures, new clothes, nice furniture, and splurges for me don’t make a life worth it. It’s giving all that you have and more to your family–that is the gift that lasts generations.

Bishop Barron always describes true love as the willing of the good of the other for the others’ sake.  In other words, all is motivated by the benefit and cost to the other, the loved one, not measured by the benefit and cost to self.  By that definition, my grandmother was the truest human definition of true love I have ever known.

I miss my grandmother terribly, every day. This house is her last birthday gift to me. But, I know that she is still looking out for me, her Dolly and always will. If I ever amount to half the woman she was, I will have lived an extraordinary life.

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