Today was a day filled with grace and blessings. I took the day off and went to meet my dearest friend who was on a rare visit home due to her mom's poor health.
Everything fell in to place so beautifully, starting yesterday. I had called my school around 7 am to alert our faithful clerk that I would need a sub for today. By the time I got to school at 8, she had found a sub (not always an easy feat). My assistant offered to bring my boys home, if hubby wasn't able to pick them up after school. And darn it, there was a department meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning that I was just going to have to miss. With a new supervisor, these have become stressful ordeals.
I dropped my boys off at school and hit the interstate for the hour drive east. The morning was still new, and I could see the mist rising off of the Basin. The sunlight coming through the trees. It was an easy, uneventful drive.
I arrived at my friend's house as she was making breakfast. I joined her and her dad for breakfast, watching the birds as we ate. Her dad is such a beautiful witness to "marriage on God's terms". Tidied up after breakfast and got things ready to go to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, I asked my friend if she'd been to the Adoration Chapel at the nearby church lately. We had been once about 20 years ago, and wasn't sure if I even remembered where it was. She was happy to oblige, and we stopped in there for a brief moment of prayer. (Cushy kneelers!) It was nice - different from what I remembered, though.
Onward to the hospital to see her mom. When we got to the room, they had the curtain pulled, so we walked down to the chapel just to have a look and spend a few minutes. It was shortly before 11:30, and it appeared that they were setting up for Mass. She wanted to be upstairs when lunch arrived for her mom, so we left before Mass. Upstairs, the nursing staff said we should come back in about 10 minutes. I looked at my friend, and asked, "Mass?" Back down we went. An unexpected blessing!
Back upstairs to spend some time with her mom. IV's, etc. Once everything got settled, her dad arrived and suggested that we go for a walk or to get something to eat. Which we did. One thing that I missed when I visited her at the monastery last summer was being able to walk AND talk. The weather was absolutely beautiful. We don't have that much perfect weather around here, but today was a "Top 10" Day! Last week at this time, the weather was unbearably muggy and rainy and hot. Like living in a rain forest. Today was cool, dry, and sunny.
Back upstairs and dad suggested that we go to a nearby shopping area to look around. It was quite nice, and we enjoyed walking and talking. A nun in a habit gets a few odd looks in little clothing shops. We went to visit her sister who works nearby. If we had been a few minutes earlier or had a better idea of where she worked, we would have missed her altogether. As it was, we missed her by about 5 seconds in the stairwell, - she was coming from the floor above, and us from the floor below.
Then we went to the nearby mall. Walked, bought some frozen coffee, found a place on an outside patio and talked and talked long after the coffee was gone. The sun started to go down and there was a chill in the air. It was so, so good.
Just about as perfect as a day can get! You could see the fingerprints of God in the weather, the traffic, the scenery, the chance to attend Mass, the close parking spots and in the wonderful company. A true "bonus day".
On the way home there was a tiny bit of a moon - a "fingernail moon" one of my boys used to call it. The sky was a dark, dark blue - not yet black. Wispy clouds passing in front of the moon. In that still, small voice, I could hear God....See what a day I have given you? Do you know that you can trust me? Do you know that I desire good things for you? And what can I reply, but "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief."
Continued prayers are needed for her mom and family. While no doctor will say "how much longer" there is a feeling that the end is not too far off. Hospice care will soon be entering the picture.