There is life. Then, there is death. The past week, I have been contemplating both literal life and death, as well as spiritual life and death. In one way or another we have all had some encounter, in both the literal and spiritual sense. Have you contemplated the Lord’s will in those times? Did you ever question why the all-loving Father would allow His little ones’ to suffer so? Believe me, I have. I do. I probably always will. 

My mom passed away eleven years ago today. As this anniversary approaches every year, it amazes me how unique each anniversary has been. Some years, I haven’t been able to force myself out of bed. Other years, it’s felt just like every other day without her. Then, more often it’s been a day of ups and downs. Tears and laughter. Memories and regrets. That is today for me. 

I look back and remember the unexplainable pain of those first days, after her death. Waking up to literally hundreds of people in our home each day…none of them being the one my heart was aching for. One memory that stands out is the first night we were home. I was overwhelmed and just wanted to be alone…a quiet place to go to let out the gut wrenching sobs I had held in that day. I went to my room and colapsed in a corner. As my heart poured out in sobs, I was praying to feel the Father holding me. All of a sudden, I was being lifted up and embraced by my godfather. Somehow, probably because a father is always aware, he knew I needed that embrace. Our Father knew I needed a physical representation of Himself…so He sent Uncle Tommy. As I continued to look back, I saw how much the Father was carrying me…how He continues to!

This first month in India was terribly hard. Yes, every day was sprinkled with smiles and laughter, but my heart was also in great despair. Adjusting to life here was unexpectedly challenging. The culture is completely new. Living here is one thing, but embracing cultural ways and trying to learn the necessary communication skills (broken english with some Telegu, as well as the indian head bobble), was very trying for my soul. 

When I first came, I hung up a calendar where I could count down the days, until home. I had several conversations with roommates’ about how hard it was. They all said, “…the first month was so hard, but it gets better. You will see.” Every time I thought, ” If I make it an entire month… . ” Now we have passed that mark and, suddenly, life here is normal! I am looking forward to the next three months. 

Last night, I realised that this week was full of literal and spiritual death. The eleventh year without my mom is beginning. I have spiritually gone through another winter of death, and entered into a springtime of acceptance and new life. I have begun to see why our Lord has called me out into the deep…to India. He is stretching the garden of my heart and making me self aware. Little by little, He is speaking tenderly to my heart (Hosea 2:14). A humble soul recently told me, “…try to understand, not to be understood.” This is my daily prayer.

 Prayers for all of you this week. I will be flying to Kolkata for the weekend, know I carry your intentions with me to St. Mother Teresa’s tomb. Please pray for me to continue trying to understand. Love always!

(we are currently without wifi…so no pics this post. I will try to remember to post some later this week)


  1. God bless you, Jacqui! May you experience the loving embrace of Our Lord & His most holy Mother as you navigate this time! Your earthly mother would be so proud of you & of the spiritual motherhood you are showering on the Lord’s children whom you are serving! Sending hugs & prayers your way! XO


  2. I remember my time in Uganda, only fourteen or so days but seeing the net, made me laugh. I was so worried about getting bitten. I never did. We visited a school and an orphanage. We took them dresses made out of pillow cases. We ate good, worked hard and slept wonderfully. I wrote a 64 page term paper. I will never forget the fishing village or the women who benefitted from our small business loans. Ironically, Fr Dismas is from Uganda. He is building a health clinic and I am sure I will go home with him next year. Their simple culture blessed me greatly. When I lost my job three years ago, I still knew how blessed I was. We love you! The Barbers


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