Saturday, June 19, 2010


The family is the great catechism God has given the world. The work of our lifetime is to learn how to read it and then study it prayerfully. — from Love in the Little Things

I love to watch people!

Now before you get the idea that I am some creepy, old church lady who hides in the bushes and peers into other people’s windows in my spare time, let me say that I do 90% of my people watching at church.

And, sometimes the things that I see touch me profoundly.

Last week, was a difficult one for my family, my husband collapsed twice (once, winding up in the ER) because even with insulin, his sugar has been on a roller coaster ride since Easter; and, my seemingly healthy Snowball went to the vet last Saturday morning for her annual doggie shots, and died there that afternoon.

By the time I got to church Sunday morning for mass, I was shaky, deep inside the pit of my stomach. The air quality wasn’t great that day, and I stayed out in the foyer during mass just in case the annoying allergy cough I get should raise its ugly head.

And, that’s when I saw them, a family of four…mom, dad, older brother, and little sister. It was clear from the Shirley Temple curls, the gorgeous blue frothy tutu, and the sparkly shoes she wore, that the little girl would be dancing in a show sometime after mass. This family though, no matter how difficult it may have been to do, modeled for their children and for me just where God’s place is in their lives…and, where it should be in ours.

They are everyday saints!

Last month at one of the communions, I was out in the foyer again (and, again for allergy reasons), when another family walked in.

I took notice immediately because the father who was probably my age or a little older, walked in holding his son’s hand. The son was as tall as the father and probably in his early twenties. The young man kept asking his dad where someone was. I assumed he was looking for his nephew or maybe cousin who was receiving First Communion that day.

As the pastor was praying inside the church, the young man kept repeating certain words father was saying. At one point, father and son came over to the chairs and sat across from me.

When it came time for the Lord’s Prayer this young man put his head on his dad's shoulder and they prayed the Our Father in a more beautiful way than I have ever seen or heard it prayed before. Clearly, these two had a love, one for the other, and for their God, that some of us can only dream of!

They too, are everyday saints!

Do YOU people watch, too?

What are YOU seeing the everyday saints in YOUR midst doing that affects YOU profoundly?

What are YOU doing as an everyday saint that affects others?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lady Snowball Kisses February 17, 1997 - June 12, 2010


Saturday morning began as any other. The dogs were going for their annual physical and vaccinations. My husband got up early to bathe them before their trip to the vet. As he was washing our Snowball, he let out a yell. She had sneezed and blood splattered all over the tub. He rinsed her quickly and raced the dogs to the vet.

Once there, they took Snowball right away to do some x-rays. In an odd coincidence, all my dogs have the same heart deformity as my sons and I. The doctor tested her heart, and sent the results to a cardiologist. The diagnosis was that she would need to be on medication for the rest of her life. It was decided she would stay at the vet for observation until Monday.

At one o'clock that afternoon the vet called. We were waiting for blood test results so I thought that's why he was calling. When I picked up the phone I asked how my Snowy was doing. The vet said that at 12:30 she was her regular self and doing well. But, that a few minutes earlier she took two deep breaths and just died. They tried to resuscitate her, but failed.

I don't know who was more in shock, the doctor or me. He asked if Snow had been coughing lately...No. He asked if she had been having difficulty breathing...No. He said he had checked her gums...they were a healthy pink. He said the only thing wrong was an elevation of her white blood cells. She had an infection, and his best guess was that she had a silent killer inside her...a tumor on her adrenal gland.

I asked him what I should have been looking for to have caught this sooner...he told me there was nothing. That he, too hadn't thought there was anything so wrong with Snow that, she was dying right before our eyes.

A friend from Facebook took the picture of my Snowball baby, in happier times, that I had posted, and made the beautiful memorial above. I share it today for everyone who has ever lost a beloved pet...

I'm sending you this message just to say,
I'm safe here in heaven to run and play.

The Angels watch over me all of the time.
The biggest one here is mine, All mine.

There's so much here to see and do,
My only wish is that you were here too.

Don't worry about me or think I'm alone,
Jesus has been with me, since I've been gone.

We sat by a river that is crystal clear,
He said no one here ever sheds a tear.

I told Him of you and all the fun we had,
He just smiled and said, "don't be sad.

For someday soon you'll see her again,
But until then I will be your friend."

So when you miss me, please don't be blue,
I'm just playing in heaven, waiting for you.
-Lady Snowball

Thank you, Kay for such a sweet memorial to my little girl!!

And, I encourage everyone with older pets to visit your vet more often, and to ask for a wellness blood panel at every visit...forewarned is forearmed.

Saint Francis of Assisi, protect our brother and sister pets!