Awkward Catholic

Living my faith as the awkward man of God that I am.

A Tribute to My Mom

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3X3 pic2 Life has gone on. It has been four years and life has gone on. I wasn’t sure how at first. Four years ago my mom left this world, not my heart. Who I am, who I was, who I will be… forever because of her. My hero, my first love. My defender, protector, formater, life-giver, helper. My friend, confidant, companion in all joy, all sorrow.


Every wound she bound up, every joy she cried with life. She imagined the world for me. She hoped the best, she gave her all that I might be. Every moment of my life is colored by her love. I live because she gave her life. I know now she cried my every tear and suffered my every insult; silently, to herself, out of earshot she wept my tears… holding my hand, never letting go.


I am the man of faith today because she had the courage to live a faith she didn’t understand but knew was true. She went to church every Sunday, not because she understood it but because she knew it was right. Why? Not for herself but for her sons. She worked 10 hour days, came home cooked dinner, cared for her boys, rocked us to sleep and worked into the night because she wanted to give us a life worth living. And she did.


My greatest treasure is the memory I have of when I was about 7 years old. I had gotten hurt and was crying and inconsolable. My mom swept me up in her arms and carried me to our old wooden rocking chair in the corner of the family room. There she rocked holding me tightly in her arms. I knew that I would never be left alone, I would never suffer alone. I was loved. That memory has gotten me through many terrible nights.


It is because of my mom that I love God as much as I do. She was my first experience of the Father’s tender love for me. For many years she was the only experience of God’s love, but never did it waiver. Not once. Even that one time when I tried to wound her deeply; I lashed out, not at her but at all those who had hurt me, but she was the target because I could trust her. I regret that moment, but even then her love never wavered.


It has been hard, these four years without her; without her advice, without her care, her generosity and her voice. She never met her 2nd grandson or 2nd granddaughter. That is a difficult burden I bear. She so deeply longed to meet them. But I know her joy in loving my 1st born. And that joy, I try to give to the others. Her love pours down on them I know. Her generosity, unmatched in this world inundates us every day. What mother wouldn’t call down great love and grace from the Father upon her children?


Her favorite song those last few years was, “I Could Only Imagine” by MercyMe. I love that song because of her because I know there is no more imagining for her, only the reality of God, Face to face… glory upon glory. Hers was a race well run, finished well. She ran so as to win and I run so as to catch her. God, give me the grace to be so blessed.

Author: mgagnon181

I am a passionate Catholic, husband and a father of four kids. I have been a Catholic youth minister, writer and speaker for over 18 years and have earned a Master's in Theology with a minor in Philosophy. Through many years of struggle I've come to embrace my awkwardness and use it to the best of my ability to share my faith with others. God has blessed me with the gift of faith and has called me to serve him by serving young people and families and to help them encounter Christ in their lives. As Leon Bloy once said, "At the end of life there is only one great tragedy, not to have been a saint."

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