Pardon my rambling. A lot has been on my mind since Christmas. I know it is supposed to be a time of joy and celebrations...but, I can not help ask simple and hard questions. :confused1: Like--What is life after death? Will I be ready to face that day? How ready am I at any time to face my personal judgment? Can I actually talk to those family members who have 'gone' before me? Will they hear me? There are other more difficult questions...yet, I keep coming back to meditations from Thomas aKempis--book 1, chapters 22-25 for reading. Not your typical Christmas meditations, to be sure. Allow me to explain.
My Christmas was not your typical Christmas. My brother, Steven, had been admitted to the hospital on December 23, 2016 early in the day. He had gone through a round of Chemotherapy for his colon cancer earlier in the week, and his system was not handling it well this time around. They kept him there for observation, and was told he would be "Home" for Christmas day. That was our plan for that morning, so, I left for 8AM Mass, as planned. Afterwards, I had received a message on my cell phone to come home quick--it was Steve, we needed to get to the hospital. I was optimistic, he would be coming home. We (my family and I) arrived around 10AM, but my mom was less than optimistic, from the get go. We went to his room to find him not responsive to anything. Things were dire, the doc told us.His cancer, that he had been diagnosed with earlier that spring 2016, had advanced to stage 4 (we assumed it was stage 2 until Christmas day, if he knew it was that bad, he never said it!)...if he made it through the day, well...it was just a matter of luck and time; he did not have long and not to expect much. By 3:45PM Christmas day, everything went quiet...he had indeed gone "Home", having received the Roman rite Extreme Unction earlier that day, surrounded by prayers and family/friends reminiscing of times gone by. He got to meet the Christ Child, and His lovely Mother, Mary, and his foster Father, St. Joseph, as we celebrated the feast of the Christ Child's Birth. So please keep him in your prayers.
My wish and prayer for all of us: May the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow. Wishing you lots of love, joy and happiness.