The other day, my two year old daughter and I were walking home. It was a sunny day and the sounds of fall were in the air. However, I was not in a mood for enjoying a day that normally makes my heart sing. My mood was grouchy and slow. All I could think about was getting one foot in front of the other. My daughter was tired as well. She kept begging me to hold her and her little, pink boots dragged along slowly.
As we trudged along, I sighed deeply and then glanced over at a house we were passing. On one of the front windows there was a water stain that seemed to me to resemble Mary, our mother in Heaven. I'm not claiming a miraculous, roadside, Virgin Mary citing, my mind just imagined the image like seeing a bunny in the clouds (probably :). Anyway, seeing Mary in that water stain reminded me of something I told my mom years ago. I was probably three or four when I told her that "Mary prays for me all the time, she never stops." My mom thought it was so profound of me to say such a thing. At that time I had a statue of Mary in my room that always had her hands folded in prayer (as in the above picture) and I think that is what prompted those words.
As my daughter's steps were growing slower and her tug on my arm increasing, I said, "You are doing a great job. Keep it up. You are almost there." Those words came out of my mouth without much thought but then they hit me in a profound way. I too am taking slow, and sometimes laborious, steps in this life, but not just to get to my house. I'm taking steps toward Heaven. Step by step I am making my way toward my true home. Just as I encourage and love my children, so does my Mother in Heaven love and encourage me. It was as if those words to "keep it up...you are almost there" were her words for me. She is praying for me. She never stops. Just as it is my highest goal to help my children to know Jesus and one day see God face to face, so it is Mary's goal for me.
I lifted up my chin for the rest of that walk and became more aware of the gift that this life is to me. I'm on my way Home.