One Little Boy

We sat together, a group of friends, sisters, really.  We had been meeting for some time now, trying to honor our commitment to grow in our faith.  We were studying bible stories, sharing our hopes, failures, dreams and concerns when the message came.

Shon clicked on her lap top to check her e-mail, something she had done hundreds of times over the past several months.  She was looking for the answer to her heart’s deep, deep prayer.  We all stood in awe as she opened the attachment from an Orphanage in the Congo.  And there he was.  Her son.   From the very first image, his beautiful eyes sent the unmistakable message that he was longing for her as much as she for him.

Waiting to be united, Shon was sometimes disappointed, frustrated and discouraged yet she was pregnant with hope, excitement, and peace.    Encouraged by photos, notes and updates from parents who had gone before her in the adoption process, she plowed through the paper work, prayed and persevered.    There were two trips to Africa.  The first, a brief visit to finally meet her son and the second, a few weeks later,  when her husband traveled to bring him home.  Shon patiently endured the long final days of waiting.  Moise officially became part of Shon’s family on April 22, 2011.   Those of us who know this family realize that he was always theirs.

Moise is an incredibly engaging, happy, little boy who lives with his mother, father and brother in Georgia.  We thank God for this one captivating child.  Other beautiful children are currently living in the Kaziba Orphanage in DRC where they receive love and shelter from disease, hunger, violence and despair even though there is never enough food, medicine or supplies.  Perhaps you feel compelled to help.

Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”  Click on the link below and give. (mention Moise in the comments)  A tax-deductible letter will be e-mailed to you right away.

Be blessed.

https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/OurFamilyinAfrica_1/OnlineDonation.html

REMEMBER in SEPTEMBER a full cup

In songs, September has always been linked to remember, not just because it rhymes, but because there is something about the promise of fall and the beginning of a new school term that prompts memory and romanticism. Contrary to the proverbial bucket-list of things one might want to do, see or accomplish before they die, I purpose a cup list (as in my cup runneth over) of precious moments one has been given.

My Personal, ever-expanding Cup List –(In no particular order)

I’m so much richer because I……

Watched the sun come out of the ocean on an island in the Abacos, and watched it sink back under the waves.

Mastered a bike, drove a car, pushed a stroller.

Kissed a boy, caught a Marlin, won a raffle.

Wore saddle Oxford’s, converse tennis shoes, high heels and flip-flops.

Survived parents, siblings, high school and heartache.

Rode a ferris wheel at night in Paris, and at the State Fair in Virginia.

Watched a bird build a nest, feed her young. Planted a garden, pulled weeds.

Lost my way, my tonsils, my appendix and a ring I got for Christmas.

Found a gold watch, a four-leaf clover and some good friends.

Was captured by the love of Jesus

Skipped out of a formal function to go to a movie, ran away from home (for less than a day)

Danced barefoot, saw a falling star, had a poem written for me.

Swung a tennis racket, made a foul shot, ran a 5k, sang in a choir.

Zipped-lined in the rain forest, jumped out of plane in Ga, gambled in Vegas.

Beheld the Pietà, David, the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel.

Heard my grandchild call my name, listened to his earnest prayers.

Walked where Mother Teresa walked, viewed Gandhi’s tomb, saw a double rainbow.

Sang at the top of my lungs in the car with my kids.

Witnessed love and hope in the House of the Dying.

Bartered at a market in Kathmandu, published an app.

Wore a white gown, walked with my Dad down the aisle, said, “I do”.

Conquered gravy and pie-crust (not biscuits).

Sang along (quietly in my seat) with James Taylor, BB King, Loretta Lynn, Elvis Presley, Bruce Hornsby, Anita Baker, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Allison Krauss, Deja Bluegrass Band and Keb Mo.

Sipped wine in a vineyard in Napa Valley, drank tea in South Africa.

Rode a convertible up the Pacific Coast Highway and down route 5.

Watched 42nd Street on broadway, Les Miserable in London, and 101 Dalmatians in Atlanta (staring my grand kids).

Looked into the eyes of a lion, held a baby Cheetah in my arms.

Dined in a garden with a Cardinal in Rome and in the home of a “sweet little brown-eyed preacher” whom I love.

Celebrated 17 of May in Norway and my mom’s 88th birthday.

Attended the US Open, The World Series, The Olympics, NASCAR, and my grand daughter’s soccer match.

Wept at the sound of a violin (more than once).

Remember my grandfather’s love and my grandmother’s cooking.

Nursed three children, watched them grow, shared their pain, celebrated their triumphs.

Got just what I wanted for Christmas.

Fell down and got up (many times).

Really, really, loved a man.

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A related great read on bucket lists from Debby 

What’s on your cup list?  I’d love to know.  Why not Leave a reply?

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Kolkata 4 – The Mother House

 

 

The Mother House is our next stop and it is where Mother Teresa slept.  Her tiny room is up a narrow stairway and has a bed and a small stack of cubicles used as mail slots for the other sisters.  There is a small chapel in the center of the compound.  Mother Teresa’s body is entombed here.  Her monument is a simple, large stone slab covering her casket with the words, “Jesus, you know I love” in the center of the floor.  There is an alter to Jesus in the front of the room.  A small stream of people enters to pay tribute, to pray or to sing.  There is a row of benches against the wall and some people are sitting;  a few are writing in their journals or reading from their bibles.

There are other rooms on this first floor and a large area in the middle blocked off by curtains and marked “private” where the sisters bathe.  Most of the bedrooms are upstairs around the perimeter and one can see the whole bottom level from upstairs.  It is very open and lovely.  There is a soft breeze blowing and some of the sisters are moving about.  There is a woman from the village sitting on a bench outside one of the rooms with her son.  She has a twisted hand which she is trying to hide.  She must be waiting for one of the sisters.

We meet Sister Nirmala.  She is the new Mother Superior, but she doesn’t want to be called Mother.  The Sisters are only comfortable calling Mother Teresa, Mother.  She is a quiet woman and she asks us about our family.  She blesses us and gives us a charm and some literature about Mother Teresa.  She turns to go about other tasks and we are taken to meet Sister Margaret Mary.  We are in her open office that is in front of her little bedroom.  Here we have the luxury of sitting under the only electric ceiling fan.  We listen to her story.

When Mother Teresa came to Kolkata to start the Sisters of Charity she needed twelve women to devote themselves to the work in order to become an official order of the church.  Margaret Mary was and is number 12.  There are only four of the original twelve left.  Sister Bernadette was number 7 and passed away just 2 days before our visit.  Sister Margaret Mary was grieving her loss saying that they had been together for 51 years.   She told us that Sister Bernadette had showered and looked lovely when she lay down and went to be with Jesus.

Margaret Mary was 17 when she left Bangladesh for Kolkata.  She was studying to be a nun and had heard of the new order called to serve the poorest of the poor.  Her heart was thrilled and she set out.  The boat she was traveling on sank and she was rescued by fishermen.  It took her 5 days to get to Kolkata.  She survived off of watermelon, a fruit that she did not care for but was all they could get because it grew along the shore and supplied both water and food.  Her father was working in Kolkata at the time and Mother Teresa asked him to come every Sunday to visit because she was certain that Margaret Mary would not be able to survive and would have to be taken home.  She told us of a time when she was so tired that her legs would not move.  Mother put her arms around her and asked her if she could just take one small step with Jesus.  She did.  Then Mother said, ” how about one more step with Jesus”.  In this way, they both walked the distance to their rooms.

 We could hear singing in the chapel as we looked back one last time before we stepped outside and got into a waiting car.  I looked at the literature that Sister Nirmala gave to us.  There was a card signed by Mother Teresa that said.

The fruit of SILENCE is Prayer

The fruit of PRAYER is Faith

The fruit of FAITH is Love

The fruit of LOVE is Service

The fruit of SERVICE  is Peace

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http://www.artistrising.com/shop/artist/26\633/Doug-Ross.htm

(artists rendering of Dove)