Monday, June 3, 2013

On my godmother.

The second to last time I saw Aunt Monica, I remember waking her up from a nap before dinner on that cold February day. She was very groggy and the gears of her mind took time to begin to pick up speed after being asleep. She blinked her eyes and looked at me quizzically. 

"Who are you?" she said sweetly.
 "I'm Maura," I responded, "Maybe you can't see me. I'll come closer."
As I leaned in, she nodded her head. "Oh, another one."
"The one and only!"
"No," she corrected me indignantly and not without the hint of a scold, "There's also Maura Clement."

At first, I felt saddened that she didn't recognize that, in fact, I was Maura Clement. But then I felt supremely flattered that she would so defiantly defend the real Maura Clement to this other strange imposter Maura.  You see, until the end of her life, even in her more difficult days, Monica was fiercely loyal to those she loved. She would have done anything for her daughters, her husband, and the rest of us who were lucky enough to be her family.

Monica passed away last night after a three year battle with a brain tumor at her home in Audubon, Pennsylvania surrounded by her husband and her three daughters. I don't think that any of my words can be as good a tribute to her as some of her own can. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail Monica sent me on September 14, 2009 when I was struggling with anxiety and living in London. It is a testament to her unfaltering faith and selfless love. May these words be a comfort to those of us who will miss her until we meet again.

"Trust in the Lord, Maura.  He will never let you down.  I have a recent example... I think you know that for over a year I've been working as the Accounting Manager for local programs at Special Olympics Pennsylvania.  This past weekend was our Leadership Conference for our volunteers who run our local programs all around the state.  I was to give a presentation and run a discussion group--things I haven't done in years!  I wanted to be professional and do a good job, making a good impression on all these folks I have only "met" via email and/or phone calls.  My boss and I have been working on this since April, and needless to say, as the day was approaching, I was becoming more and more anxious about the event.  I was praying the rosary each day, asking for a successful outcome, but was not really achieving the peace of mind I was hoping for.

By mid-week last week, I was becoming overly stressed, when I realized I had been praying for the wrong thing--rather than "success" I should have been praying "thy will be done."  I know I have learned this lesson before, but old habits die hard!  When I finally actually prayed the words I had been reciting all along, I felt a sense of calm--knowing that God was taking care of things, and no matter how they turned out, I could handle it.  It was a wonderful feeling.

Well, the day was a great success, and I am very happy with our efforts and our results.  I find that when I trust the Lord to put me where He wants me to be, I am ultimately where I want to be, as well.  It just takes time sometimes.

I hope you are finding a similar sense of satifaction with your situation.  Looking for the meaning of your being there is a wonderful treasure hunt!  I wish you luck in the journey, but more importantly, I pray the His will be done in your life.

Seek and you shall find, Maura!

Aunt Monica"
I guess we should have guessed this one was just on loan. She was too good for us.

1 comment:

  1. Maura- Whenever I find myself feeling entirely devoid of my mother, I read this post. I find her often on this page, I can hear her voice in my ear again. Thank you for that gift.