Memorial Day. A traditional day of remembrance. Flowers are placed in cemeteries. Honor is offered for our country’s fallen soldiers. Flags are flown with pride. And a few burgers are grilled for friends. Solemnity intertwined with celebration. Kind of like a funeral.
This past Tuesday, I attended a funeral for the mother of my friend Mary. Her mother, also named Mary, was 94 and some might say it was time. But it’s always sad to lose a loved one, especially a parent. The service was beautiful and reverent. A ritual and spiritual reminder of what followers of Christ live and hope for in this life.
My friend wrote and read a eulogy for her mother. It was so beautiful. So inspiring. So appropriate for Memorial Day–a day that seems fitting to also honor the prayer warriors in our lives.
“One of my first memories of mom was her kneeling at her bed praying. For most of us, all that we say and all that we do will someday fade away. Not many people are recorded in history or have memoirs written. Mom is like that. The meals prepared and set at the table have been consumed – her piano playing has ended. The stories we hold dear to our hearts today will likely be lost.
But mom gave us more than what we can see and taste. Mom prayed. I have asked mom how did you get through your marriage; how could you live at the nursing home and not go crazy. Her answer was consistent. Prayer. Her rosary was never far away. I even saw her hold it while she slept at the hospital. Her life may fade, but her prayers will not.
In prayer we come to God trusting he can hear when we can’t see him. We believe he hears because he’s greater than we are. We believe he answers because of the hope we have.
I’ve taken classes on prayer and I’ve taught prayer. I’ve done research on the rosary. One thing I learned is that rosaries were assembled by whatever was available. The beads have been fashioned by shells, seeds and even rose petals. Some rosaries are still made from roses. I love the thought of a fragrance of prayer left on fingers after holding rose beads. That’s what mom’s legacy is for us… the residue of the fragrance of prayer. Prayer that loves protects hopes and directs. Thanks, mom for that gift to all of us.”