Greece…and a Very Special Place

The Path to Faith
On Our Way Down – Photo by Mary Jamis

In an ever changing sequence of events, my mom’s recovery saga took yet another turn last week. After a few days in outpatient rehab mom was back in the hospital, tired and exhausted, and apparently in need of a good rest. At first we panicked, thinking it was a turn for the worse. Finally she woke up from snoring sleep sessions to tell us she was fine. She has a couple more hurdles to clear, but thankfully she is growing stronger every day.

When this latest challenge presented itself last week my mind and body had a few bad days. I was worrying constantly and having trouble sleeping; all the usual reactions to stress. In a moment of clarity, I remembered a special place from our trip to Greece five years ago. During that divine excursion my mom, sisters and I were privileged to witness something that still stays with me to this day.

We were all in a rental car with our native cousin Stavros. He took us for a ride up a mountainside, parking along the berm of a twisty road. I got out of the car and could only see trees, rocks and gorgeous sky. Stavros told us to follow him. My mom held onto us as we descended downward on a simple path of stones. I remember the dirt ground was littered with olive pits. I silently wondered if the birds ate lunch there.

Church in the Hillside-Photo by Cally Jamis Vennare
Church in the Hillside-
Photo by Cally Jamis Vennare

A small white washed church came into view at the bottom of the stone path. It was so beautifully unexpected, so hidden, so precious. We stood in awe while Starvros retrieved the key and opened the small wooden door.

Inside it was tiny, simple and just as special. There was a small altar with icons. We lit candles and Starvros said a prayer. We stayed awhile to bask in the glow of being in such a holy place.

Can you imagine how this memory grounds me? Perhaps it was the beauty, or maybe it was the sacred holiness of such a special place. All I know is it was a huge gift. In my mind, I can run back to that little church any time I want and light a candle for me, my mom, anyone.

I leaned on that little church last week when every last bone in my body was tired and weary. Having a special place where we can go, even if only in our mind, can sometimes make all the difference in the world.

Hear ye!
Beautiful Bell – Photo by Cally Jamis Vennare

Do you have a special memory or place that grounds you? Tell me about it!

Join me on my graceful journey.

You Are Beloved

And did you get what

you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself

beloved on the earth.

Raymond Carver

There were some beloved people in my life these past couple of weeks.

I haven’t let on but my mom has been recovering from a serious infection. It has been a stressful couple of weeks as my family and I walk down the path of recovery with her.

It is amazing how people have been placed in our path. You bump into them and they assist you. Is this coincidence? I think not. I have asked many people to help and/or pray for my mom. Their prayers are working. My mom is much better.

The first week of Mom’s illness, I wrote a post called The Joy of Simple Pleasures. A favorite blogger of mine mentioned it in her blog and wrote a post about what does and does not makes sense. That week NOTHING made sense. I read Heather’s blog and cried tears of sorrow.

The fact is…I needed to cry. I did not understand what was happening to my mom. I was filled with a terrible fear…of making wrong decisions, of not having enough faith, of losing my mom. I said to my dear friend Amy, What would I do without Jim to help me? She said, You would Listen. You would Decide. You would Trust.

So even though I had Jim, I remembered Amy’s words. I decided to listen to the doctors and the nurses. My sisters and I discussed issues as they came up. Thankfully, we reasoned things out and did not argue. We decided on courses of action. We trusted that we had made the right decisions.

Two weeks later, Mom is recovering. And I know….there were people who guided us and prayed on our behalf. 

I give humble and grateful thanks to Jim, my kids, my sisters and their partners, Father E., my cousins, my dearest friends, aunts and uncles, Angel Lynda, and the doctors and nurses who continue to watch over Mom and aid her recovery. You are truly beloved.

And most of all I wish to thank God for carrying me these past couple of weeks.

My Mom, Katherine and I
My Beloved Mom Katherine and I

Please say a prayer for my mom. Thank you!

Join me on my graceful journey.