WIWS and Sunday Best - Saturday Vigil Mass edition!

Hi, friends! Linking up to Fine Linen and Purple as usual, and also with Grace for Sunday Best!

Now that it's all over I can admit it here...our family has been out of town for the last 2.5 weeks. It was such a relief for all of us to pull into our driveway yesterday :-)

Our stay got extended by a week as it became clear that the Abbot's grandmother wouldn't be with us for much longer...and what a blessing that opportunity was! He had plenty of time to say good-bye and pray with her, and our whole family was able to go to the funeral (which was in Toledo and would have been way too far from our house but was not too far from the Abbot's parents' house).

On our way home from Toledo, we happened to pass by our old stomping grounds and the Abbot suggested going to Mass at our old parish. Since the funeral had been that morning, we were still all dressed up enough to go to Mass!

Sister Stinky was very excited to be back at the church she was baptized at! Since her baby sister will be baptized in just about 2 months, we thought it would be a nice opportunity to show her a bit of her own history! I have soooo many memories of us here together at this church! This parish was my ECHO placement, and since I was able to bring Sister Stinky to work with me, she spent alot of the first few months of her life ex-utero here (nestled in a bassinet under my desk!). There were a lot of ups and downs in those early months of parenthood, but ultimately we were very blessed to be at this parish. The staff and pastor were and are phenomenal and it was one of those "once in a lifetime" parish experiences...just such a quality example of what vibrant parish life looks like!

Remembering her baptism in this very font 2 1/2 years ago!!!

The major tearjerkers for me at the Abbot's grandmother's funeral were the conversations we had with Sister Stinky about it (she called her great-grandmother "GG" and was partially named after her!). We had our first conversations with her about death and heaven, and it was amazing how she could cut right to the core of the matter.

We had been telling her that GG was sick for a while now, so we led in with that. We told her while we were saying our night prayers, because we wanted to teach her to pray for the repose of GG's soul:

The Abbot: Sweetheart, you know how GG has been really sick? Well, now she has gone home to be with   Jesus.
Sister Stinky: GG all better?
Me: Well, yes. GG is all better, because now she is on her way to heaven to be with Jesus. And no one is sad or sick in heaven.
Sister Stinky: I go to heaven to?
Me: Someday, sweetheart. We hope so.
Sister Stinky (pointing to the Abbot): You, too?
The Abbot: Yes, I hope so!
Sister Stinky (pointing to me): Mommy, too?
Me: Yes, sweetheart, we hope and pray that we will all be in heaven together someday. Do you want to pray that GG can get to heaven quickly and be with Jesus?

We had more conversations on our way to the actual wake and funeral.

Me: Now sweetheart, remember we're going to GG's funeral. We'll see GG's body there, but her soul is on it's way to be with Jesus in heaven.
Sister Stinky: GG all better?
Me: Well, kinda, sweetheart. Remember? She is on her way to heaven and no one is sick in heaven.
Sister Stinky: Grandma make GG all better? Not sick? (The Abbot's mother had been caring for her mother the last few days of her time on earth.)
Me: No, sweetheart. But Grandma prayed with her and helped her get ready to go and be with Jesus in heaven. When we go to the funeral, GG's body will be there, but not GG's soul, because her soul is on its way to heaven to be with Jesus.
Sister Stinky: GG's body? I see GG's body? GG all better?
Me: No, Love. What is left is only her body. But one day, when Jesus comes again, our souls and bodies will be joined together again...just like when Jesus rose again on Easter.

There were also some slightly funnier conversations...

Me: Remember, we're praying that GG can be in heaven. And just think! She'll get to meet Jesus, and Mary, and all the saints! She'll get to meet St. Therese!
Sister Stinky: No! GG not take my St. Therese.
Me: Oh, sweetheart, she's not going to take them...they don't belong to just you. They belong to everyone. And she won't just meet St. Therese...she'll meet Mary, and St. Francis, and...
Sister Stinky: No! GG no take my saints. 

Got a little work to do there.

She asked alot about GG's body when we were at the wake, but the saddest moment of all was when I told her (while at the burial) that we were burying GG's body and that this was our way of saying good-bye to her. She turned around for one last look at GG's gravesite, and waved her little hand,

"Bye-bye, GG."

From the mouths of babes....

Given her severe lack of sleep and the amount of time she had spent on the road in the past 24 hours, I have to give her a solid A for Mass behavior. Yes, she almost broke down once during Mass, but I don't have the heart to give her even an A- considering all she'd been through that day and for the past 2 1/2 weeks.

We are so grateful to be home!!! And speaking of which, when I got home, a box full of these was waiting for me...

Look forward to a giveaway and blog hop coming soon to showcase this gem! And if you can't wait, go ahead and order your copy now! I am super excited with how well it turned out!!!


  1. I remember her baptism!!! On Thursday, we're stopping in South Bend (ND) on our way to Toledo too!:) Haha, Sister Stinky will learn to share her saints with Baby Sister I'm sure.

    1. I hope she does...but when we were praying tonight she was going on again about not wanting GG to get "her St. Therese." Sooo...little bit more work to do there, haha?

  2. 1) ummmm, whoah. still no books over here!
    2) something similar happened with us, we ended up staying a week at john's parents house when his grandfather passed away. that extra time was so good to have!
    3) a yearn for the days of having an "almost breakdown" during mass. aside from joanna's wedding, during which he had friends to distract him, we haven't been able to have charlie in the pew for more than 10 minutes per mass for probably 6+ months now...

    1. ALOT changes when they turn 2, and even more when they turn 2 1/2. I haven't just seen that with our little Stinky, but I've heard that from others, too. Your experience with Charlie right now sounds pretty familiar. So hang in there!

      Now give me a couple more months and then I'll need your advice for handling TWO children at Mass!!!

    2. we'll see.....i never remember therese being this bad! every week? i mean, it's literally been many, many months ...he's good for the procession and that's it :(.

    3. Yeah...she used to be like that for every week a while back. But I think she may have gone through the phase slightly younger than Charlie? I don't know why I'm thinking 15ish months to 18ish months was a rough stretch for her. But yeah...she had a really bad streak at some point between turning 1 and 1.5. I will say daily Mass helped her, but that's a million times easier to do with one than it is with two (I barely attempt it with the second one in utero!). But nevertheless, it seems like sometime between 2 and 2 1/2 is just some kind of magical age because I've seen it happen with pretty much every older toddler we know and we experienced it with Therese. But in the meantime...major props to you because Charlie's phase does sound like it's lasting longer than Therese's did so you have my utmost respect and sympathy...not to mention the fact that you're going through it with him and another little boy in tow! Guess there's a reason you "wrote the book" on teaching little ones about the faith, right? ;-)

    4. I think he's just too active, maybe? We can hardly get him to stay in a shopping cart, and walks with the stroller last about 15 minutes before he wiggles out of the upper portion of his 5 point harness and attempts to launch himself out of the stroller....it sounds like a similar starting age (a little bit after charlie turned 1), but he is just...not...progressing out of it. joy. lol. oh, and 2 isn't harder than 1 if there are two parents. especially if one of your kids is charlie. then he's so crazy you don't even notice the second kid :P

    5. Oh, man! Yeah, he's definitely giving you guys a run for your money! And haha...I hope your assessment of 2 vs. 1 is right ;-)


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