Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Remember how I posted I had a lot I wanted to blog about from our California trip? Well I keep thinking about these things from our trip, so I decided to type up a post. Sadly enough we encountered being around some people that just had a death in their family while on our vacation. I was filled with humility to be around at the moment of time they learned of a loved one just passing.

Our first encounter was when our plane landed at LAX. Our plane taxi ed into the gate. The pilot turned the seat belt sign off so we all stood up to get our carry on bags and tightly form a line in the aisle way to get off the plane. I was with the kids and Stephen was a few rows behind us. I was a bit preoccupied getting our bags from the over head compartment and making sure the kids weren't bumping into the passengers standing around us, but the woman standing directly behind me was on her cell phone and her conversation caught my attention. I know it's rude to ease drop but the anxiousness in her voice and what she was saying was hard to ignore. Whomever she was talking to she was trying to explain we just landed and that she's trying to get off the plane as fast as she could. There was definitely a sense of urgency.

Then the anxiousness in her voice turned into shock, she started saying, "are you there holding her hand? Did you put on her favorite music?". I started to sense this lady was flying into LAX because a loved one of hers was soon nearing death. As the door to our plane opened and we started filtering out I did my best to get the kids moving so this lady could get off the plane. As we were walking off and on the jetway she started sobbing and saying, "oh no, oh no I'm too late! She's gone now, she's gone!". The kids and I got into the gate area and waited for Stephen. The lady passed and found a small quiet corner in between the gift shop and Burger King and sobbed, groaned and cried. I felt so much sadness for her. I thought to myself, "she just lost her mother, or maybe her sister, or maybe a dear friend." I prayed right then that God's grace would comfort her in this time of loss.

At the end of our trip we stayed a night in Arizona at our dear friend's beautiful home. We were so glad we got to visit with the Frey family. We ate yummy pizza and salad, the kids played outside on the slip'n'slide and Kacey made a delicious homemade ice cream cake. That evening Kacey was on the phone with her mother. Tim had informed us that Kacey's grandmother was not doing well and was in hospice and expected to pass any day. We insisted to Kacey that if they had to leave to go spend some time with family to please do so. Kacey spent some time with me sharing fond memories of her grandmother and explained how she was the "fun grandparent". That she lived a very long life and was able to meet and know Tim and Kacey's children. I felt sadness for Kacey and her family - it brought back memories of losing my Oma last year and the times I spent on the phone with my parents in her last few days. The next morning when we awoke Kacey had received the call that her grandmother passed early that morning. Before I fell asleep the evening before I thanked the Lord for wonderful, gracious friends like the Frey's and how it is a blessing to have them in our lives, and I prayed that Kacey's grandmother would pass in peace with our Lord.

I often think about dying, when my time will come. I ask the Lord that it will come later rather than sooner so I can watch my children grow and spend the most time I can with my blessed loved ones. I don't have a fear of death, I guess I dwell that I could be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend than I currently am. And before I die I will strive to do just that, not because I feel anything I do will earn my salvation but because I want to set an example of what it means to be a Christian and to accept God's grace.

The virtue of humility may be defined: "A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a lowly opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God's sake."

I just wanted to end my thoughts by saying as a Catholic Christian an adequate preparation for death is having faith and trusting in God's salvific work. And to understand that our justice and holiness is a gift of grace through the Holy Spirit not something earned or acquired independently. Because of a real, interior sanctification effected by God's grace, abounded to my soul - I'm prepared for death whenever it may happen.

I have much humility after experiencing the moments I wrote about in this post and I have so much to be thankful for - thank you Lord.


steve said...

Life is sometimes taken for granted. I'm glad you were there to comfort your friend. Uncle Steve

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts Melissa. I feel so sad for the poor woman on your flight. So far I have been able to say my goodbyes to my loved ones before they pass and it is truly a blessing. - Kacey

Anonymous said...

My Auntie Flora’s Death Anniversary was yesterday June 22.

Thanks for the post – I needed to hear it.

God answers prayers.

Saw a shooting star last night around 9:20 pm – the same time she passed.