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No such thing as spare time

I was thinking this morning that I have time...a luxury a mom doesn't have when her children are small. My kids are mostly grown, and I only have two at home. I'm not spending every day doing loads of laundry, preparing and cutting up food for seven people, driving here-there-and-everywhere.

I have time. And that means I should pray.

Oh, I don't mean that every waking moment should be spent on my knees. I still have lots of obligations. But my mother taught me a lesson when she was caring for my father as he got ill with Parkinson's and then as he was dying.

For about three years, my parents' home was like a monastery. My mother would rise early to care for my father, pray, tend to some household chores, pray, prepare some food, pray....There was a rhythm to her days that mimicked that of a monastery or convent: work and prayer, work and prayer.

Now that my father has passed on, my mother still spends hours in prayer every day. She has many people to pray for: as matriarch of a large family, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren depend upon her prayers. Many of my nieces and nephews are doing what I was doing 15 years ago: loads of laundry, meals, driving, etc., as they raise their young families. My mother's prayers keep us all propped up as she raises each of in prayer and supplication to God the Father and Mary, Our Blessed Mother, every day, day after day.

I still have hobbies that I enjoy, and I plan to keep on enjoying them. I've not been called to the monastic life. But I do know, from my mother's example, that as my life shifts into a new phase, so must my prayer life.

Thank you, Mom. I can't imagine a better gift than your prayerful example.

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Crossing Guard

I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.