Sometimes Things Come Full Circle

My mother lost her mother to Cancer at 5 years old.

Her mother loved her.

I know this.

Yesterday in church I

found not only deep pools of forgiveness,

but  also waves of sadness for the life my mother led.

My  mother needed her mother.

She needed to be held and nurtured in the way a mother can.

I am a mother.

 I thought before the birth of my son, that I  felt Love.

I had not felt Love.

The love a mother has for her child is some other thing not of this Earth.

  My mother deserved to have that love in her life.

So did I.

Alcoholism took that from me.

Cancer took that from my mother.

In the pew with my son,

I could feel the Love that is held for me by my God.

I could feel the love I have for my son.

I have Love and for this I am grateful.

As Father Chrys placed the ashes on my forehead yesterday I began to cry.

He gave my mother Last Rites the day before she died.

Father Chrys made a special trip across town  to give my mother Last Rites.

Loretta, our parish secretary,  had a strong feeling that Mommy did not have much time left.

“I think Father should get over there today. I am sure of it,” she told me.

And she was right.

Mommy died the next day.

Father Chrys looked me  in the eyes

as he made the sign of the cross on  my forehead with ashes.

I could feel his thumb on my skin

and I could feel the tears  rolling down my face.

                I watched as he made that same sign of the cross

on the others gathered for midday Ash Wednesday services.

I watched Father Chrys touch each of us.

I thought of my mother.

I thought of Father Chrys making the sign of the cross

on my mother’s forehead during Last Rites.

 Sometimes things come full circle.

Sometimes we are in one place and another at the same time.

I had not been able to be with my mother as Father Chrys gave her Last Rites.

I was with my son.

Yesterday, I was both there with my Son in mass,

and with my mother during her Last Rites.

Life is weird.

You can be in many places at once and each of them can heal.

During mass the call went out for us to name our recent dead;

to pray for them as a parish.

“Kay Winkel,”

I said loud and clear and hers was the only name called out.

As we left the church my son commented,

“The church is getting smaller.”

“No,” I said, “YOU are getting larger.”

 We walked to the car together my son and I  discussing the homily;

Father Chrys calling us to remember those in Poverty,

those that are hungry and those in pain this Lenten season.

My son and I drove away together

and the Love I feel for him

blended with a Love I can feel for my mother.

We laughed and we moved on with our day.

Our church is not getting smaller. It never does.

We get larger.

We always do.

Peace, Jen

~ by Step On a Crack on February 23, 2012.

31 Responses to “Sometimes Things Come Full Circle”

  1. You know what’s so beautiful about this? It lets me know that you are breaking the cycle. Your mom went through the same pain that you feel now. Your son will hopefully not feel that pain ever but you are letting him know how loved he is. Keep showing it every day! I do that with my son.

    Last night he crawled into bed with me because he was feeling lonely in his room. We had a lovely snuggle and chat and then he fell asleep. I loved watching his beautiful face as he slept. So many moments to cherish as a parent.
    You are an awesome Mom.

    Hugs Jen.

    Val :))


    • Dear Val,

      You have no idea how much your comment means to me. Oh, wait. I think you do. Being a Good Mom is the highest calling in my book.
      YOU totally get that!

      Weird…my son had a rough night last night too! We also spent time being together, talking and I listened. I watched him fall asleep too! I can’t help but stare at him and marvel at my great good fortune!

      This big old Earth just keeps spinning round and we are on it together; no distance, no time. Just presence.

      YOU are an AWESOME Mom!

      XO Val,



  2. This is so beautiful, Jen. Your description of Church and the feeling of God touching you made me remember the salvation i found in church at times.

    When the Minister spoke of those who Lost Loved Ones; Who are Sick and Suffering … i remember crying as a child … how awful that must be for those people. THAT is what Does touch me about God and Religion: Mercy and compassion. Maybe it’s the building. I love churches as architecture.

    ANYWAY, you were touched by something, someone Not of This Earth or of Our Understanding. My God, that is beautiful.

    Sounds like a great day with Will. Woohoo! I hope you guys had a fun day after the church thingy. Carry on my love, My Friend.

    xoxo melis


    • Thank you so much Mel! I am 100% with you (again…)

      Mercy and Compassion… what great words What Great Gifts! THIS is what I love about church. I also dig the architecture. I love the old cathedrals. The photo in the post is our church. It was one of the first built in Denver. It is small (I like that) and it is beautiful. It is not as old as the cathedrals in Europe (duh. Waste of words there…) but it is built in the same tradition.

      It was a great day with the Kid! As he becomes more and more of a teen, I am savoring each moment he is willing to be with me. Precious. Truly.

      XO Jen


  3. Beautiful, Jen. All of it. There is peace here. xo


  4. I am in love with being my kid’s mom. I hope he always knows that. I am in love with you for being such a good mom. Every kid deserves to be somebody’s love.


    • Tracie,

      Thank you for being here! I am with you: nothing beats being my Kids Mom. I am grateful every single day for the opportunity to be his. It is miraculous isn’t it?

      You are SO kind. Your Kid is one lucky Kid! WE are lucky Moms!

      Peace, Jen


  5. When we accept God’s love, we are able to love. Not before. When we accept His forgiveness, we begin to forgive.

    You are capable of great love because you have been loved by the greatest. The really wonderful truth is that we can grow regardless of what happens to us. I love that you gave your son those wise words. He is growing up just as you are. He is blessed.


    • Heidi, Wow. You are one Wise Woman! It is true: when I Turn it Over it is easier to Love and to forgive.

      I love the program for this very reason:

      ‘The really wonderful truth is that we can grow regardless of what happens to us’

      THAT is the most important thing to keep in mind and in my heart at all times. I falter, I do. I am human. AND I can make a choice to see Love or not. In ACA we talk a lot about needing to parent ourselves and let our Higher Power Love us. We also talk about learning to let go of the control we learned as kids in crazy environments. I can’t control my God. I don’t need to! Amen!

      Now, If I can just let this become my Bone and Marrow!!!

      XO Jen


  6. Dearest Jen – Poignantly beautiful post.
    So many things transport me to from a point n the present to a place in the past, abiding in both at the same moment. Even as I read this, I could feel my priest thumb on my forehead and her hand pressing the bread into mine as her eyes sent the message of grace and love to my soul.

    Your son is getting larger, in part because of your fierce, passionate love for him and commitment to love and nurture him as only a Mother can.
    As we get Larger, I think the great challenge is not to let our God get smaller.
    The more we understand of science and philosophy, the more we seem to want to reduce God to the gaps we can’t explain.
    The larger my God, the larger my love.
    Grace and peace to you, dear Jen,


    • Dear Debbie,

      Thank you for the Really beautiful words; I do so love my Son! I can not imagine a greater thing in my life!

      Wow. This really got me to thinking about the God of the Gaps controversy.

      I think that for me, and for those who have had an experience of God that cannot be explained at all, the God of the Gaps thing is actually FINDING proof of God in the Gaps not the other way around.

      I am very interested in the work that is being done with the Dalia Lama and western science. They are studying long time meditators (I think prayer is the same thing. Just my 2 cents…) The Dalai Lama is hoping to start a real dialog between those of faith and those of science about God. There IS a God. In Hinduism God is often referred to as Godhead; a force that connects us all to everything. I think that the Higgs Boson will be a step in the direction of bringing Faith and Science closer together.

      We do not need proof of God if you have had your own proof. Science is one way to find God. That is how I choose to look at the scientific research that is going on. Philosophy is good. Intellectual inquiry is good. For me, nothing that Science can find will refute my experience. I think that is why the long term study of meditators will ultimately prove to be of immense value to the Faith community. If we are afraid that science can disprove God, then perhaps we need to spend more time in Silence and Prayer. Perhaps our Faith is not as strong as we would like.

      Science will never disprove God. Never. I am very interested in Quantum Physics and science. VERY. That in no way threatens my Faith.

      One day, science will help others look at God through a new lens. I have Faith that this will happen.

      God will get bigger for everyone; through science…

      Peace to you too my Friend!

      XO Jen


  7. Jen, I am so grateful to have been led to your blog, it is a real privilege to read.

    Yes – I would say you were both growing larger – in heart. What a beautiful moment of healing for yourself, but also such a beautiful witness to your son and future generations, one of the greatest gifts.

    Blessings, Love & Peace,


    • Dear RH,

      Thank you so much for being here and for your very insightful comment! You are exactly right; We both grew larger. We did and, with the help of my God, we will continue to!

      Peace to you!



  8. Hello! Have a wonderful weekend!


  9. Just a footnote to clarify – I completely agree.
    I do believe the more we get it (science, meditation, philosophy, intellectual pursuits, etc…) the BIGGER God gets.
    I’m ordering The Language of God for my Kindle (a departure from my free books from the library only policy) after a fascinating conversation last weekend with my son. 😉 We have a lot to learn from our boys, don’t we?


  10. i’m so happy for your son that you were able to break the vicious circle!


  11. Very touching Jen.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. Your love for your son is breaking this cycle of sadness…your steadfastness and Faith is bearing HIS fruits of love and grace.
    I admire you, Eric


  12. Jesus said, “If you’ve done it for the least of these, you’ve done it for Me.”

    Do it.


  13. Beautiful, holy, and whole. Peace, Paulann


  14. “Sometimes we are in one place and another at the same time.” Oh my God.


  15. This is so very beautiful, brought tears to my eyes. To me, God is very big and He fills in the gaps for me–so that as I grow older, there are less gaps, or they’re less obvious to me.


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