First Place Award for General Excellence, Catholic Press Association, 2013-2016

HOLY HOMEWORK
Joyful Mysteries in Our Lives
Holy Homework
Father Bob Pagliari

The stamp was crooked and streaky as if it had been overly licked and not easily coaxed into the upper right-hand corner of the yellowing envelope. She recognized her father's shaky handwriting immediately. That dreaded Parkinson's now had a stronger hold over his pen than those great hands, which used to lift her 5-year-old rubbernecking high above every head in the crowd so she could see the decorated floats and colorful marching bands during a holiday parade.

As she read his cryptic note, tears began to pool across her sky-blue eyes. Marina turned to her husband, Foster, to relay the happy announcement. Her Grandfather Derst had decided to drive from southern Stanispole Hollow, deep in the Appalachian chain, all the way north to Hemellsbeth, Pa. He was coming for a visit and for the welcoming event. This was the best greeting she had received since forever.

Foster suggested that they send him a plane ticket instead. Marina shook her head. She knew that once her grandfather made up his mind any counter offers were futile. George Oliver Derst was holding on to his licensed independence for as long as he could. He vowed that he would be present for the birth of his first great-grandchild. And who knows, maybe he also needed to prove to himself that he could still navigate the tiring distance without his cherished copilot. Annabelle had succumbed to the big C just 40 days shy of their 72nd wedding anniversary, according to her needlepoint calendar. He missed her calming embrace that so easily steadied his continuously trembling arms.

Marina was delighted. Foster made up the guest room. Talk about perfect timing! A scant three days after Mr. Derst settled in, the baby arrived. He came into the world hitting all the normal numbers: weighing 112 ounces, stretching to 20_ inches long and crying aloud for nourishment. But this boy was far from average in his great grandfather's mind. George presented images and invites of his offspring to everyone he met, even strangers on the street. For the moment the hole in his weakening heart that was left by losing one member of the household was suddenly filled by finding joy in the arrival of this newborn. Divine Providence had turned losing into finding. And once again the sanctuary of the family was well, and all was well.

For Holy Homework:

Let's reflect on how each of the joyful mysteries fit into our lives today by completing these five stem statements.

I recall God announcing a real “wake up” call in my life when…

I recall God visiting my life and feeling filled with joy when…

I recall God giving renewed birth to my life when…

I recall God presenting me with a special gift when…

I recall feeling lost and God finding me again when…

Comments can be sent to: FatherBobPagliari@Yahoo.com

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

BROWSE OUR GALLERY