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GRAND DAME

This past week, a great lady passed away. John's aunt and god-mother, his mother's older sister, Martha O'Hagan O'Sullivan, died in her sleep at age 95. Her final birthday was just three weeks ago.

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Aunt Martha was an incredible person and I'll do my best to describe her. She was an out-going woman, bursting with life and enthusiasm and a wonderful sense of humor. She was proud of her Irish heritage. She was passionate about things and had her own interests and strong opinions. She was a walking cyclone; when something needed to get down, she got organized and did it. She was tough when she needed to be and she was strong. She was loving - she took great care of her seven children and countless students she taught over the years. She was loyal and unwaverligly faithful to her religion. She was positive and saw the good in people. And she liked and was interested in people. When you spoke to her, you had her full attention.

Mostly, Aunt Martha loved a good party.

Aunt Martha was larger than life and when someone like that leaves us, we feel overwhelming sadness. We cannot believe they are gone forever. All that energy, influence and strength surely can't just end. And so we look for (and almost expect) there to be signs from them after they are gone - will they come to us in a dream, be that shooting star over Cape Cod on an August night, or the whisper of a breeze on our faces? We beg for these signs but they seldom happen. And that, too, is overwhelmingly sad.

But sometimes things do happen; we just don't recognize them at the time.

Three or four weeks ago, hearing that Aunt Matha's health was declining, Heather went to visit her. When she got home from her visit, she retrieved Baba's rosary given to her years before and put it next to her bed. Since then, Heather said, she had tried a few times to recite the rosary but each time fell asleep before she finished.

Wednesday of this week, Heather went to bed at 10:30, and feeling the need to try again, took the beads in her hands. This time she was successful in completing her prayers. She put down the beads and went to sleep. She would learn the following day that Aunt Martha died sometime after 10:00 p.m.

There are some who will say this was pure coincidence, and that's OK. It's possible. But it's also possible that something or someone else was, and is, at work here.

Upon hearing her story, John said to Heather, "Baba put her rosary in your hands," and he also reminded Heather of the appropriateness of her prayer, especially the final line...

"Hail Mary full of of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Good job, Baba and Heather.

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Sisters Barbara and Martha, together once again

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 17, 2007 11:54 AM.

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