My husband does not like me saying that September is:
a. a graveyard
b. a cesspool
c. a cursed month
d. a walk through hell
e. a fucking disaster
f. death month
Instead, he'd prefer if I just called it September. I mean, I know he is rational, it is hardly the month's fault that everyone seems to die or have a disaster or drama this month. And in truth, plenty of joyous things have happened. Plus, the weather is finally getting less vile. But, anything good really is left over from August or a bit of early October creeping in.
This week, I know of three deaths--a loved one of a beloved friend, a child at my daughter's school and then, yesterday, my friend Anna died. Anna is the mother of Mario, a childhood cancer hero and she is one of the cancer moms that I ran with at Balls and Runs and Telethons and Parties and Lemonade Stands.
Anna had a brain tumor. Her son, Mario, still has inoperable brain tumors. She dedicated her life to her family--which included all the amazing hero children she encountered. I know she prayed for Lily because she told me that she did and unlike me, who intends upon praying for everyone by name and need, Anna really did pray for everyone by name and need. I used to laugh at all her saints--I am a Presbyterian after all; we don't have saints. She shared Saint memes all the time, which reminded me of religious trading cards.
But, Anna believed. She believed in the power of prayer and the healing work of God and in appealing to a higher power when the lower powers on this earth screw everything up and fail us. Her faith is so inspirational--she prayed for everyone without a question whether they deserved it; because of course they did. She remembered their names. She knew what they needed. Anna was intentional with her faith--that's what all those Saints were about--being intentional in her prayers to God. She held my Lily in her heart and her hands. Lily was just one of hundreds, I am sure.
As I sit here tonight, yet another September day of goodness punctuated with sorrow, I think about what Anna would do--about what has been missing in my heart this September. It is not my faith--that's intact. It is my meaningful, intentional time praying to God to make the sorrow in September end--not just on October 1--but for all Septembers. It is my lack of time giving up my needs to God, who can take all this hell and heal my heart.
Anna would pray; so I will, too.
Until we meet again, friend, say hi to your Saints, I know you have a place among them.