The last month had some serious highs and lows, a good sampling of life in general. We suffered a huge loss in our family with the passing of my Aunt, Pat Devine, but celebrated her life with an many laughs as tears. Iconic Celtic singer, Catherine O’Connell, sang “Gentle Woman” during the funeral mass, which was a perfect song for Pat Devine, a gentle woman if there ever was one. Then, there were bagpipes. As my spot-on niece Caitlin said, ‘Those things get me every time.” Pat’s celebration of life, so perfectly planned by her family, was an emotional rollercoaster that took several days to recalibrate.
The next weekend, my husband and I drove to St. Louis to celebrate the wedding of a long-time friend. It was everything I needed after the last week: lots of laughter, time with friends, and a hotel room with blackout shades and no kids. The sleep was glorious.
Aside from rest, it was great to celebrate a happier life milestone. My friend looked radiant and in love, and shed many tears of both joy and a bit of sadness because she missed her mother on her special day. I got teary when in the middle of the wedding mass, they played “Gentle Woman” to honor the missing women in the couple’s lives—for a special grandmother of the groom and the mother of the bride. To top it off, the wedding mass took place in the stunning St. Francis Xavier College Church on the campus of St. Louis University, where my Aunt Pat Devine went to college. I do believe that there are no coincidences in life. There were angels among us that day.
So this May, I’d like to send a huge thank you to all the amazing maternal role models out there, for those we are lucky enough to still have by our sides, and for those present in our hearts and minds always. I wish all these ‘gentle women’ a very happy Mother’s Day.