Two Heavenly Mothers

The month of May is special month because we honor our Blessed Mother. I don’t think it’s a coincidence we celebrate Mother’s Day this month, too. It only makes sense that we honor our earthly mother along with our heavenly mother at the same time.

For as long as I can remember, my earthly mom told me to pray the rosary. “At least one decade,” she would plead with me. “Sure thing,” I snarled, annoyed at the thought of repeating 10 Hail Marys, let alone 50. What I failed to realize was that I wasn’t supposed to just “recite” the rosary; I was supposed to “pray” it. Guess I never heard the word “pray” come out of mother’s mouth. And to be honest, I always felt like I was disobeyed my mother by not praying the rosary!

But the seed was planted. The rosary seemed to be my mother’s “security blanket.” As she got older, she was in and out of the hospital. Each time, my first question would be, “Does mom have her rosary with her?” If not, I would bring it to her.

I didn’t view my mom’s devotion as admirable, but I didn’t see it as silly, either. It just was. But I could never figure out why she had so many rosaries. She could only pray with one at a time! (Now, that seemed silly to me.)

Over time, mom would keep encouraging me to pray the rosary. But it wasn’t until I left Michigan and moved to Texas in my late 40s that I finally heeded that advice with some help from a religious sister at my church. Sister was another great influence on me, with her devout faith that included praying the rosary daily. She taught me to meditate on the mysteries through Mary’s eyes.

Oh, so that’s what Mom meant! I get it now.

But I had to start slowly; praying all five decades at once wasn’t easy for me. So, I began praying one or two decades in the morning, one or two during lunch, and finish up in the evening. I found it easier too, if I prayed with EWTN, a Catholic television station. I wasn’t praying it perfectly, but I was praying. I can only imagine the smile Our Lady had because I was at least trying and gave up making excuses. I know my earthly mom was proud: I still remember calling her and telling her I was praying the rosary. I could hear her beaming over the phone lines, she was so excited.

I try to pray the rosary every day. I find it peaceful and relaxing. Praying scriptural rosary has given me a whole new insight into our Lord’s life, which gives me insight into my own trials. When I follow along with a CD in my car, I find myself being a better driver, too. One of the many beauties of the rosary is I can pray it any time, any where, even in a long line at the grocery store.

Over the past few years I’ve built quite a collection of rosaries myself. They’re by my bed, in my bathrobe pocket, purse, and car. Guess mom’s collection wasn’t so silly after all.

Sadly, in February, my mother passed away. She requested a closed casket, so when my husband and I made the trip to Michigan for the funeral, we went straight to the funeral home so I could have my proper goodbye. I put my hand on top of hers and thanked her for teaching me to pray the rosary. I then prayed the Hail Mary with her. I just know she was praying with me. About two months after she died, I had a wonderful dream. I dreamt mom and I were praying the rosary together. I felt so much at peace when I woke up from the dream.

I thought Mother’s Day would be hard for me this year. And to some degree, it was. But I’m so blessed knowing I have two mothers looking after me from heaven: my earthly mom and Mother Mary. Now that’s a true blessing.

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