Today is the two year anniversary of my Grandma Ann’s passing, July 13, 2012. A few days ago I happened to be in the same location where our family received the phone call that she had passed on from this life. Dying in her sleep just six weeks after she buried her husband, with her prayer books and rosary by her side.
I think about her and dream about her often, missing the love, joy and compassion she brought to our family. Although she lived a long life to the age of 90 I wish I had more time with her.
Reflecting back on her life, I believe the greatest gift she left me was her endless prayer and firm faith. Every birthday, Christmas, holiday, celebratory occasion or just because, she would always give a spiritual bouquet of prayers, lots and lots of prayers! As I matured I grew in appreciation of her strong spiritual support.
She would send prayers to sick children, people battling cancer, clergy, bishops, acquaintances and people she had never met. Never expecting anything in return, only hoping they would find some strength in knowing they were being prayed for. Prayer changes things.
Some of the stories and answers to her prayers she never heard during her time on earth, but the hearts she touched were numerous. People who credit her prayers for the physical strength they received, consolation and perseverance in their call to the priesthood, conversion of loved ones, jobs, ability to get through a difficult time, and the list goes on.
At her visitation the pastor mentioned that now she will have time to catch up on all of her spiritual bouquets, but little did he know she already held good on her promises. A few days after her passing while looking through her things we discovered a notebook. A notebook where she kept track and made close count of the prayers she said, to ensure no one was ever short changed. If you ever received a spiritual bouquet from her know with certainty the prayers were fully delivered.
Although there were times in her life when she would wonder why God would not alleviate some suffering, trial or turmoil, her faith never wavered. She continued to press on in prayer. Prayer changes things.
There are times in my own life where my faith has been weak as I questioned where God was. At times only hearing a deafening echo as prayer after prayer seemed to go unanswered as I cried out to God.
Prayer is not something you can measure or a tangible object you can touch, but I believe her prayer shaped me, formed me and has impacted my life in ways I will never know. Prayer that has given me strength to go on, prayer that has given me the grace to get up again and prayer that has given me wisdom to seek God’s will.
Prayer changes things.