Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.
FREEBIE ALERT! Before I get to my post today, I want to let readers know that my first novel, Emily’s Hope, is available FREE today and tomorrow on Kindle at the following link: Emily’s Hope Kindle Edition. My third novel, Stealing Jenny, will be available free this Monday and Tuesday, March 26th and 27th.
My 7 Quick Takes Friday post today is entitled “The Contents of My Mother’s Special Box.”
Last Friday, my two youngest sons and I spent the entire day driving from my hometown in New Jersey to our home here in Pakenham, Ontario. It usually takes anywhere from 9.5 to 12 hours, depending on traffic, how many stops we make and weather. We started the day with early Mass, a quick breakfast, then began our journey.
The previous six days had been a difficult, heart-wrenching time of sorting through my mom’s possessions. She passed away nearly five years ago, but since my stepdad and sister were still living in the house, there was no rush to go through her things.
Now that my stepdad is gone and my sister is a religious sister, my childhood home will likely be sold, so I made a special trip down to NJ to assist my siblings in going through her belongings.
When my siblings and I were children, my mother kept a flowered, maroon-colored box in her dresser drawer where she stored the special mementos of her life before and just after marriage. I couldn’t find it in the days after her death, so I asked my youngest sister and stepdad if they knew where it was. They both replied that they had no idea where it had gone.
Before I traveled down to NJ, I made a mental note to look for that box and, most importantly, to ask St. Anthony to help me find it. When I arrived at the house, I decided to search in the attic and through the many boxes of Christmas decorations my mom had bought and collected over the years. When I opened the second box, I gasped. Sitting at the top was my mom’s special box. “Wow,” I muttered. Then I said, “Thank you, St. Anthony.”
Here are seven of the items I found:
1. Wedding Night Receipt and Wedding Invitation. My mother was married to my father for 23 years before he died in 1978. I already had a copy of the wedding invitation, but I was thrilled to find the wedding night receipt.
2. Graduation Stole Mom was the first of her siblings to graduate high school. She was a proud graduate of Hallahan High School (Class of ’51).
4. Large Miraculous Medal Although I’m not certain, I think she received this either for her 8th Grade Graduation or her graduation from high school.
6. Corsage and head piece from her graduation from St. Richard’s School in Philadelphia. (My mom is in the front row, center, with the corsage).
7. Finally, there was a small booklet entitled “To the Graduate,” that Hallahan HS gave to all graduates. At the front of the book, a message to the graduates. The very last page has a prayer called “Our Lady’s Blessing” that I’d like to share:
May the Light of the Countenance
of my Little Child
ever shine on you.
May the perfection of His actions
be seen in all your works,
that nothing may be found
at the last day
but that for which you may be
May His Sacred Heart
be your Refuge
when beset with temptation and
tried by affliction.
May you enter the Divine Heart of
Jesus through the pierced heart
of your Queen and your Mother.
May your last hour be
your best hour and
May the Names of Jesus and Mary
seal your lips till we meet in Eternity.
I miss my mother every day and I’m so grateful to have found her special box.
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Copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach