Monthly Archives: March 2010

First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion

Olivia Ann and Thomas Scott, our eight year old twin grandchildren will be celebrating their second sacrament, First Holy Communion on May 1st, 2010.  This is a blessed event. At least it is for Olivia, I am not so sure Tommy shares the same level of enthusiasm.

First holy communion is the second of seven sacraments.  Most catholics celebrate at least six during their lives, baptism, first communion, reconciliation, matrimony and the anointing of the sick.  The seventh is ordination or becoming a priest. You may or may not be married, and you may or may not become a priest, therefore you might only celebrate five sacraments.

With these most holy commitments there is a traditional dress requirement. This dress code has not changed for thousands of years and each symbolizes the specific sacrament and the solemnity of the occasion.  The baptismal gown, for example is white and can be worn by either gender, therefore it can be passed down through the family.  The First Holy Communion dress and veil for a girl is always white as is the Bridal Gown and veil, symbolizing purity. For the boys, a white shirt and navy tie is required with long pants and dark shoes. The act of reconciliation requires appropriate church attire expressing the profound meaning and respect of this holy tradition.

On a trip to Rome in 2004, we visited The Vatican where I purchased four rosaries that had been blessed by Pope John Paul II just shortly before his death. I was able to present Abby with her rosary upon her First Holy Communion and gave Taylor her rosary after the fact.  A beautiful pink crystal and a black crystal rosary are ready to present to Olivia and Tommy, our current communicants.

"Grandma, I want a dress that twirls..."

With two grand-daughters to date I have made a special time of choosing the perfect dress and traveling to St. Augustine to the Shrine to purchase a veil and prayer book. We have decided and purchased Olivia’s dress and will make a trip with both Tommy and Olivia in the near future to the Shrine then a traditional lunch and ride on the carousel in the heart of old St. Augustine.

In late April, our fifteen year old grand-daughter Taylor will celebrate her confirmation. She has asked Lindsay to be her sponsor.  Lindsay will be her spiritual mentor and is honored to do so.  That means we will be celebrating at least three of the seven sacraments in 2010, communion, confirmation and holy matrimony with the wedding of Lindsay and Matthew in the fall.

Life is a gift given to us by God.  We have an opportunity to honor Him every day through our thoughts and actions. Through the holy sacraments, we convey our deep commitment to living a life that reflects God’s love and the guidelines He has given us in His word.  I can think of no better way to express our tremendous love and adoration than by instilling these values in our children just as we promised during the sacrament of holy matrimony. It will be a day to celebrate, once again.

A perfect day…

A perfect day…

Last Friday was a perfect day.  It was the first springlike day we have experienced this year. Our temperatures have not reached eighty in over ninety days. Yes, this is Florida.  But this day was warmer, the sun was shining and the birds, recently having returned from the South and nesting over their precious eggs, darted  through the sky in search of food.  It was also the perfect day for two “lovebirds” to speak their vows under a pergola in a special park on the river in front of close friends and family

Abby asked my talented brother Ernie if he could construct an outdoor altar under which the wedding ceremony could take place. She provided some drawings and pictures of what she had in mind and he began his magic.  Over two weeks he was able to build, sand, stain and lacquer a lovely pergola that could be disassembled and moved to the couples back yard, a permanent reminder of their wedding day. On that perfect Friday Lindsay and I met Ernie at the site where he bolted the altar securely in place just a few feet from a retaining wall on the St. Johns River.  Lindsay went to work with a bolt of white fabric a spool of deep purple ribbon, push pins, some purple paper lanterns and  six shepherds hooks.  One hundred white chairs were delivered and the DJ set up his equipment  as we draped the airy white gauze over the end of each protruding support.  We gathered the fabric and secured it with purple ribbon streamers.  It was beautiful. But, something was missing.

After a short trip, I returned with bundles of fresh purple and white lilys, bright green dipped carnations, plenty of fresh fern and a roll of strapping tape.  It was so peaceful sitting in the warm sun next to the river as Ernie and I wrapped and taped and spun two beautiful flower chains. Lindsay and I placed them strategically on  top of the white fabric covered pergola and secured it with wire.  The flowers were just the touch it needed.

Abby & Dennis were married that day, by a special friend who made it official, under that lovely hand made altar covered in fresh flowers. It was a very perfect day for a very perfect couple!

Thank you for letting us be a small part of your wedding day.

Congratulations and our very best wishes to you both.

We wish to thank……..

We wish to thank……..

The wedding is fast approaching and our family needs to be thinking about toasts or tributes we might be called upon to make. My husband is a great proponent of  toasts, always ready to click the glass and express his personal thoughts at a celebration, a kindness, a success, any reason to lend an encouraging word…or fifty words. Every family member has experienced this practice since they were old enough to understand English, and has been encouraged to actively participate. The children were taught early on the importance of this ritual even if it is as simple as “I love Grandma because she makes the best meatballs.” Not everyone is comfortable with being put on the spot in this way.  But, every so often I am touched by the sincere and oft profound words that flow from the mouth of a family member as the tradition circles our dinner table. As the Mother of the Bride, I need to prepare something to say at the bridal shower.  And it needs to be good.

With any milestone passage, we naturally reflect on the person and others who have been a support along the way. It is simple for me to gush about my lovely daughter and her equally lovely friends. In fact, this might be the only acceptable time for a mom to get it all out without her daughter rolling her eyes or anyone else being brought to nausea.  I will have the floor, I will have their complete and utter attention so reflect I will.

The bridal shower is a charming tradition.  It is the one day according to “The Knot” when the bride  should be treated as the center of attention.  The shower will be be completely and totally all about her. I want to collect my thoughts over time so that I am totally prepared and so that I weed out those things that would be better left unsaid. Like the day we were driving in the car on the way to the mall and the girls asked me a question about oral sex. And how I prayed at the very moment that God would give me the exact words that I should say.  Oh, and that my face would not reflect my horror at the thought of these innocents even thinking about that.  But, more importantly I want to be sure I touch on those important things. Like the day she finally admitted she thought Matthew was the one. When she shared her dreams with me about her life and her love. I love that there are bridal showers to allow us all to get an intimate glimpse of the lives of those we hold so dear.

So, I am going to tie up my walking shoes and think about what I want to say that day.  I pray it will honor her and show her how much she means to me, her Dad,our entire family and all of our close and dear friends.  I have  5 mos, 9 days, 6 hours and 25 mins. to get it right.

Fairy tales do come true…

Fairy tales do come true…

As a Mother, I dreamed of a “…happily ever after” to my “Once upon a time…” Most Fathers dream of an entire baseball team of their miniature selves running bases and hitting balls out of the park. Rarely does the dream-team include offspring of the female gender.  God blessed Tom and I with two athletic boys before He gave us a soft and sweet eight pound little girl. Now, with the addition of this pink bundle of joy, my Prince and I were on our way to writing our own fairy tale.

Growing up in my time meant hearing or reading colorful books of wonderful tales like “The Littlest Angel” and “Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates.”  VCR’s or DVD’s of Walt Disney Classics had yet to be. It was up to the writer and the reader to provide children with the special effects, costume design, sound and musical score. But, we somehow managed to bring those classic stories to life.  Often the stories would continue to unfold even after the book had been closed and the light turned off. Like the black and white pages of a color book, the Cinderella gown became pale blue and the Princes’s coat royal blue as the ocean as they danced across the ballroom floor with the clock ticking toward midnight. All left to the imagination of a child.

When I saw my little girl, now a grown woman, emerge from the dressing room in her very first selection of a wedding gown, it took my breath away.  It really would not matter which of the gowns she chose.  Each one more beautiful than the last.  It was like going back to that story book.  It was like the dream I had never been fortunate enough to live.

It took two shopping trips to find the dress.  And when she decided, we, the Mother of the Groom, the Bridesmaids and I, agreed the dress was perfect. It was the gown that made her face light up.  The dress that transformed her from that young woman to a Bride. She had found her beautiful gown. This dress would lift her Father to a level of pride he would find difficult to contain. The dress that would bring a tear to her Grooms eye when he finally saw it.The biggest piece to a picture she had held in her mind of the day she would marry the man who would give her her happy ending.

One thing I have learned … if you wait long enough….fairy tales do come true. Thank you my handsome Prince for being able to make dreams come true for both Lindsay and me.

P.S. After the wedding I will post the picture of Lindsay in her wedding gown at the Bridal Salon when she first decided it was the one.

Is your car a “NO PHONE ZONE”???

Is your car a “NO PHONE ZONE”???

While attending the Oprah Winfrey Show a few weeks ago, we were asked to sign a pledge for Oprah’s cause to eliminate cell phone use and texting while driving.  If you have tuned in to the OWS recently you would have noticed Oprah concludes her show each day with a “Bob Barker-esque” plea to stop calls and texts from your moving car. Often she will show the picture and relate the life story of a death of a victim killed by a negligent texter driving home the senseless result of this emerging fixation.

Considering myself to be a fairly good driver for over forty-five years, I admit to being guilty of both phoning and texting while driving.  However, since taking the pledge I have made myself more aware of using the phone to see if the propensity for my IPhone extended to my driving time. It did, and does!  While behind the wheel I find myself reaching for my cell phone as I enter the highway to check in when what I was doing in actuality was checking out on my attention to driving.  I no longer text while I am driving.  I do make phone calls, and I am trying to drastically reduce the  use  of my phone in the car.

I may not be as powerful as Oprah Winfrey, but my beliefs are equally as strong. Please consider signing the pledge today at and make a difference in your world.

All because two people fell in love…

All because two people fell in love…

My beautiful sister and her sweet husband of over fifty-years!

The wedding DJ announced, “All married couples report to the dance floor.”  Around thirty couples proceeded, of the one hundred-twenty people attending the wedding of my grand-niece and her fiance as the speakers echoed “The Way you Look Tonight”. About a minute into the song the DJ asked those married less than five years to leave the floor. Several couples returned to their tables while some stood close by to watch those remaining twirl around the room. After another minute he asked couples married less than ten years to leave the floor.  He repeated his command until he reached twenty-five years, leaving only  a scattering of couples behind. At thirty years both parents of the bride and groom departed the dance floor. All that remained were two sweet lovebirds, leaning gracefully on one another. He guided her to the melody, slowly swaying across the floor like a prince with his Cinderella. This endearing couple were dreaming of  their own wedding fifty-three years before. All because two people fell in love, the ceremony had taken place that evening.  You see, they were the proud grandparents of the beautiful young woman in the angelic bridal gown.