A Tribute To Mary
A Tribute to Mary
Thank you for
being here today to celebrate the life of our child.
A child who was created exactly the way our Creator
designed and in His eyes was perfect. She was “knitted
in my womb” and was “fearfully and wonderfully
made”. And since meeting my beautiful daughter,
I would not want any other child than the Mary that
God gave to us. As a proud mother, I want to share just
a few of the many powerful lessons that my child, who
never spoke a word, has taught me.First, Mary taught
me a lesson in the value of life.
Many in our world
say that our Mary’s life had no value or meaning
and should have been ended earlier to spare us the heartache.
We are here today because we know that is not true.
There is nothing that she could have done to earn her
value or to earn God’s love. Her value lay in
the fact that she was a child of God who was fashioned
in the image and likeness of Him. She is the daughter
of the Most High King.
This fact made
me think how this is true for each and every one of
us. There is nothing we can do to earn our own value
or to earn the love of God. He loves us because we are
His. We can do things to make Him a proud or disappointed
Father, but nothing we can do can make Him love us any
more or any less.
How often we run
around feeling pressure to do something to try to make
a difference in this world, and somehow leave it a better
place. Then there is Mary, whose life touched so many
lives in ways that are beyond reason and understanding,
and all because she was a child of God and was fulfilling
His Will for her life. I can only hope that my relatively
long life will have the impact that hers did.
econd, Mary taught
me a lesson in trust,
Mary has taught
both me and Joe how to “walk by faith and not
by sight”. We have learned to trust that God has
a better plan for our family and for our lives, and
the lives of our children; than we have for ourselves.
Learning to trust that God is in control of every situation,
even when our human hearts are pierced and broken. If
we look with eyes of faith, we know that our suffering
is fashioned to draw us closer to God and secure for
us eternal life with Him. This trust has the power to
banish all fear, and all feelings of self-pity, and
turn our weeping into rejoicing.
scripture verse from Habakkuk was given to me by a friend,
when Mary was first diagnosed. It is one I’ve
prayed throughout this journey. First I prayed it through
tears of sorrow, not understanding completely. But after
a while I was able to pray it with conviction and it
has brought me to a place of deeper trust:
the fig tree blossom not, nor fruit be on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fail and the terraces
produce no nourishment,
Though the flocks disappear from the fold and there
be no herd in the stalls,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord and exult in my saving
God, my Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet swift
as those of hinds
And enables me to go upon the heights.
Third, Mary taught
me a lesson in humility
Someone said to
me that this journey would be life-defining for me and
Joe. What I’ve found is that I am not as strong
as I once believed. Through this journey if I ever took
my eyes off of God and His Will, I sunk to the depths
and nothing made sense. God is my strength. Without
His Grace, I am weak and have nothing to give. With
His Grace, I am upheld in the darkest days.
One night I had
an image of Joe and I standing at a crossroads. There
were two paths. One was a straight path that looked
easy to walk but immediately entered a place of darkness
where frightening, unknowns lurked. The other path was
a rocky hard climb up a mountain, which also led to
the unknown, but there was light at the top. We could
only see the first few steps of the climb, but knew
that it didn’t get easier, and to reach to top
would be a daunting task. Neither path looked inviting,
and we were both afraid. But we knew that there was
really no choice. We had to climb the mountain. God
had backed us into a corner. And I thank Him for that
because He knows us so well and loves us so much. He
knew we would never attempt such an ascent if we had
an easier choice.
So when people
comment on how strong we are, I am humbled, because
all we are doing is putting one foot in front of the
other down a path that God has laid before us, often
mumbling complaints along the way. I wish I could say
we were running and skipping up the mountain and singing
joyfully. But maybe this is preparing us for other mountains,
and we will be in better shape to climb them.
Joe and I were
also humbled by the countless number of people who reached
out to us, and those who kept us in their constant prayers
– sometimes total strangers. I learned that the
saying “it is easier to give than to receive”
is true. Joe and I were awed by the outpouring of help
and support of so many wonderful people and humbly accepted
the help in our ascent knowing we couldn’t make
it on our own. These past five months we’ve experienced
the mystical Body of Christ present and among us, and
working today, and it is beautiful to behold.
Last, Mary taught
me a lesson in life and death
where is your sting?” Mary’s life and death
taught us that our own lives are but a “flash
in the pan” and it has been a constant reminder
that we are living this life to get to our eternal destination.
There is nothing
more Joe or I can do for our child here on earth. In
my humanness, I feel so inadequate because I could not
do more for Mary. But our job as parents is to get our
children to heaven. God, in His wisdom, has taken care
of Mary for us. I know that she was greeted by my earthly
father, and that she is whole now and is dancing and
playing like a little girl should, and that she is united
with her other siblings who we never got the privilege
of meeting. And I know that she will be one of the first
to greet me when I get there, and she will present me
to Our Lord, and we will be forever reunited. Until
that moment, I believe my heart will never cease to
ache and I will be homesick for my eternal home.
I thank God for
allowing me and trusting me to be the mother of Mary,
for the lessons her life has taught me and her father,
and for the lessons she has taught many others who were
touched by her life. I call her “our” Mary
because she is part of all of you that have walked this
journey with us. Our lives are irrevocably changed because
of the brief encounter with our beautiful child. And
for that, I am a very proud mother.
Born June 8, 2008, 6:45 a.m.
Began her eternal life, June 8, 2008, 5:00 p.m.
book for grieving parents: "Hinds Feet
to Touching Our Hearts
The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.