I didn't know her name until today. But I knew her face well. One of the sadder facts of life that we see people on a nearly daily basis, but don't know their names.
Sarah and her husband are regular attendees at daily Mass at my parish. I park by them...because not only do we have assigned seats inside the church, we appear to have our favorite parking spots as well. Our church's parking lot is bordered by apartments for the elderly and disabled, and Sarah and her husband regularly gave one of the blind residents a ride home after Mass. I would see them shuffling out...Sarah in the lead, careful not to go too fast, the lady with her hand on Sarah's shoulder. When they got to the door, Sarah would step through and then stop while the lady dipped her hand on the holy water and crossed herself. Then, hand on shoulder, they continued their slow shuffle to the SUV, where they helped the lady situate herself for the drive across the parking lot to the apartments.
This was all I was witness to. Perhaps they picked her up before Mass as well. Perhaps they assisted her in other ways. Since we parked near each other, we often exchanged small talk on the way to our cars. ( though apparently names weren't really necessary). She would ask me how many days of school remained. That kind of thing.
They were at Mass on Friday. I don't remember if we spoke or not. Maybe we waved. But that was Sarah's last Mass [here on earth]. The good Lord called her home later that day. She was 67...about my mom's age.. Though we know intellectually that we have no way of knowing the day or the hour, I think we always kind of figure we'll have some warning...some decline in health, a hint that we should wrap up loose ends with our lives here. But, obviously that is not always the case.
We all get these wake-up calls not to take life for granted. Let us hear and answer them. And let us say a prayer for Sarah, her husband, 3 children, and 10 grandchildren, siblings, etc. Rest in peace, Sarah. May you arrive safely in your new home, as you always took care to make sure that your sister in Christ arrived safely at her home!
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