14 Feb

"Molly loves mine"

“Sacramentals” in the National Catholic Reporter (September 5, 2008).

After saying prayers with my daughter, then telling her a short story with only the nightlight on, we spend a few quiet minutes rocking in a peaceful meditation before I place her in her crib for the night.

On one such night I broke the silence, I suppose feeling especially grateful that day.

I whispered to her, “Daddy loves Molly.”

She repeated me, using her word for “me” – “mine,” saying “Daddy loves mine.”

I went on: “Mommy loves Molly.”

Again she repeated: “Mommy loves mine.”

I told her that her little brother loves her: “Michael loves Molly.”

She echoed: “Michael loves mine.”

And then with her inseparable stuffed animal: “Ducky loves Molly.”

“Ducky loves mine,” she repeated.

I smiled and nodded in affirmation at my little girl. A silent minute went by and then she looked me in the eyes and proclaimed, “Molly loves mine!”

I smiled at her wisdom.

What a lesson to be taught – to love oneself!

01 Feb

Pretending to be blind

Is there a more uncomfortable place than the mind of the healthy visiting our elders in a nursing home?

Leaving a quick visit with a friend recuperating from surgery, I walk past two little ladies imprisoned in wheelchairs in the hallway. One can barely keep her head raised. The other is letting out a constant moan of pain.

The nurses nearby are attending to the critical needs of the day. Me, my pace quickens and I walk past the women as if they did not exist.

Even as I walked down the hallway I heard the voice of Jesus saying, “It’s not too late to turn back and talk to me.”

I did my best to ignore him, but ignoring the voice of one’s own heart has dire consequences.

I feel ill as I step outside the nursing home and into the blinding bright light of the sun.