I was feeling old this morning as a hot flash woke me at 5:23 and I realized there was no hope of going back to sleep. It’s ironic that once our children finally start sleeping in, our bodies seem to get to the point where sleep is less normal. I took advantage of my early start to head to our very early morning Mass, the one reserved for the truly saintly people at my parish (or at least that’s what I’ve thought about that predawn crowd of regulars).
Sitting in their midst, I suddenly felt young … or at least “younger.” And as we waited for the priest to come, I pondered how many of the saints assembled to receive the Eucharist were moms, nanas, grandmas and likely great-grandmothers too. They held my same concerns for my boys in their hearts, but perhaps their motherly cares were for even more adult children and grandchildren too.
Rachel Balducci’s lovely column this week on finding our place in the mission field has me thinking about the role of mission in my own life, and about how my own personal mission field feels as though it is shifting beneath my feet. With my 19-year-old son Eric in Russia for a few more weeks attending summer school and our 16-year-old “baby” Adam ensconced in a two week music camp, my husband Greg and I have been rattling around our house like two almost-empty nesters. When Greg is at work, there is a quiet and a stillness to our house that feels almost foreign to me, and yet I know that this silence will soon enough be the norm in my life.
I’ve been trying to fill the emptiness with prayers, remembering all of the intentions I’m carrying with me and taking extra time to pray for each of the young moms in my life who are so busily attending to and loving their families. Moms like Angela Faddis, who is involved in a real fight, a battle for her life, facing treatment for Stage IV cancer while tending to the needs of her husband and two small children. I’m beginning to realize that part of my new “mission field” as my own boys age and become independent is being more of a prayer warrior for all of the young mothers in my life, carrying a bit of their heavy loads and spending more concerted time in prayer for their intentions.
I’m still discovering the job duties of this new terrain—maybe some of our more “mature” readers can share with me your thoughts on the role of older women in our Church and in our families. As I continue to enjoy the blessings of this new mission, I will share them with you. And if there is any way that our young mom readers need support and encouragement, please use the comment box below to share your requests!