A Mary Moment Monday post

There’s no shortage of Mary. She has, near as I can tell, an endless supply of titles and affectionate nicknames. She is the one woman who is everything to everyone, or as much as we’ll let her.

That makes her a little intimidating, at least to the likes of me.

I have to take her off her pedestal — not because she doesn’t deserve to be there, not because she doesn’t look better up high, not because she hasn’t earned it, but because I am short.

I’m short in virtue. I’m short in understanding. I’m short in stature.

It’s easier to relate with someone I can see eye-to-eye. There’s some intimidation with that too, though, I know. But at least I can see the crinkle in her cheeks and understand that the smile is caring and warm, not mocking and superior.

I’m thinking of Mary’s many titles and invocations as I consider the mixed emotions of today. It is both a birthday not celebrated, on one side, and a birthday very much celebrated, on the other. Both birthdays are sibling spouses, in-laws who have become dear and important parts of the family, integral pieces of who we are as a group.

When I think of one, I feel a gaping hole, and yet I smile. How could I not? He was full of joy, and if he argued, it was well and with a twinkle. He left behind a legacy, a set of memories that we are holding close and sharing.

When I think of the other, I see a bustling boy and think of the little boy I used to harass growing up. I think of the man he has become (in large part thanks to her), and of the joy they bring to my life.

It’s a day of pondering and rejoicing. A birthday in heaven and a birthday on earth. A day for Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows and a day for Mary as Cause of Our Joy. A day to ask her to hug those who grieve and a day to ask her to send special blessings to those who most need them.