Friday, March 11, 2011


Honor your father and your mother

Every year on March 4th, I remember my mother. She passed away that day in 1981. I can scarcely believe it has been 30 years. That's longer than many of my friends age. What I find fascinating is that it doesn't matter if it's been 5 or 30 years, my feelings are always the same. My feelings of melancholy morph into sadness then morph into tears that end in joy. This year was no different.

However, what was different was the way I honored my mother and her memory. March 4th landed on a first Friday this year which is the scheduled time for the Taize prayer.

I decided it would be great to honor my mother in this time of prayer with a few close friends. Along with the prayer service, I wanted to remember her by sharing a Peruvian dish and also pulling out some of my favorite pictures of her.

Sharing special memories of my mom with friends, brought her alive to me and to them. Sharing pictures allowed my friends to see her in me. Sharing the Peruvian dish, lomo saltado, helped me share with my friends part of her culture. However, the most moving part was having them share in the prayer service. Of course my tears had been primed when I shared memories of my mother before the prayer service.

However, those tears paled in comparison to the tears that happened at the prayer service. The dark chapel lit by candlelight, the soft, melodic choral singinging of repeated prayers, the company of friends who were only there to support me, and my mother's memory were all just enough to have my tears flow for about 30-40 minutes. A friend started crying too, and I thought when will the tears cease? After the allotted time they did and peace came.

We ended the evening at my house eating, sharing, being present and being vulnerable. It was beautiful.

There is a Spanish saying that you die three times. Once when you leave your physical body behind, another when people stop visiting your grave, and the last when people stop talking about you.

Of course my thoughts turn to Jesus. It's ironic, but with this definition, Jesus is arguably more alive now than when He walked the earth. Even though He is no longer there, people still visit the Holy Sepulchre daily in Jerusalem. He is called by name intentionally and in vain daily by millions of people. And of course, what He said and did are talked about on Sunday at churches all over the world.

With Jesus in mind, aside from keeping my mother alive in special ways on special days, I can I keep her alive and honor her best by being the best person I can be. And, that can best be assured by letting God work through me and honoring Him, my Heavenly Father. How sweet it is to honor your father and your mother:-).