In the Catholic Church, when a person is beatified or canonized, a Feast day in their honor may be added to the Roman Calendar. This day often falls on the anniversary of their death. On the Feast day, we celebrate their lives and accomplishments, remembering what makes them people we aspire to be like.
Sixteen years ago today, my mother died suddenly at 42. She would have been the first to tell you she was no saint, but she also never gave herself enough credit. For everything she did wrong, she did another dozen right. She would give you the shirt off her back and was terribly grateful for anything you did for her in return. Every day, I look in the mirror and see a little of her looking back, and I'm glad.
I usually spend December in general and Christmas Eve in particular in a funk, and some years are worse than others. This year, not so good, and now I can see that I've succeeded in making Christmas a pretty lousy time for my husband, too. This would not make my mother happy at all.
So, my goal for today and for the Christmas Eves to come is to make this day, like the Feast days in the Catholic Church, a day to remember the good things about my mother and to celebrate the life and example she gave to my brother and me. I've spent too much time concentrating on how her life ended and not how she lived it.
Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.