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Photo: Felix Carroll
A Lesson in Trust
After my husband's diagnosis of Alzheimers, my time for quiet prayer was greatly diminished. Even if I went to my room and sat in what I call my "prayer chair," my mind was on every sound emanating from the rest of the house.
A few months ago I felt very much at the end of my rope. It's a frightening thing to see the man who was your strength crumble before your eyes. I saw my life diminishing day by day. Suddenly the phone rang. One of our daughters called and offered to sit with Dad while I had some time to myself. I drove to a nearby park where there are quiet pathways and began walking.
I had my rosary in my pocket and began praying the Luminous Mysteries. When I got to the "Wedding Feast at Cana," I began putting myself in the scene. Mary approached Jesus and spoke of the host's need for more wine; "And Jesus said to her, 'Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come'" (Jn 2:4).
If I had been in Mary's shoes, I would have turned away from my son a bit disappointed and convinced there would be no help forthcoming.
Instead, "His mother said to the servers. 'Do whatever He tells you'" (Jn 2:5). She trusted. She trusted in Him completely, in His love for her and the mercy He would show to her concerns. "What a lesson for me, God," I whispered.
Mary told the servants to "Do whatever He tells you." I thought, "Is that what you are telling me as well, Mary?"
No, I don't have much time for myself, but, like the servants, I can "Do what Jesus tells me." Certainly taking whatever time I do have and reading scripture, offering up the daily sacrifices, praying as I do necessary chores, thanking God for all the many blessings of the day (and there are many), trusting God to uphold me when my strength fails, these are things I can do and I can trust God for the rest.
This is like filling my jug with water — water that Jesus can then turn into wine.
I continued my walk and my rosary and came home refreshed and renewed. I know my daughter to be a prayerful person, and I'm sure God spoke to her heart that day and urged her to call and offer me respite. She acted on that nudge, and her water had been turned into wine for me.
Later, after giving my husband a shower, as I was drying him and helping him dress. He looked at me with the sweetest smile on his face and said, "I love you so very much!" I replied, "I love you too, Honey." It was as though, in that moment, my husband saw God in me, and I in Him. It was a moment of profound grace.
Right now, my husband still knows I am his wife. I know the day will come when he doesn't even recognize me, but Jesus, in His mercy, has let me know that he will always recognize love. I only have to keep filling my jug with water, and trusting Jesus.
"I do not fear anything, although the storm is raging, and frightful bolts strike all around me, and then I feel quite alone. Yet, my heart senses You, and I see all Your Omnipotence which upholds me (Diary, 761).
Ann D'Arcy lives in Northville, Mich.