Today has been a wonderful day! Our youngest daughter made her First Holy Communion at our parish. Even with a few disappointments, our small parish still went out of their way to make it such a beautiful experience for the 2 communicants. The day was truly special.
And yet, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but remember. And grieve. For the last time we celebrated a First Communion with daughter #4, I was emotionally reeling as my mom had died unexpectedly the day before. That communion is in many ways a blur. Mom and Dad were supposed to be there. Many of my siblings and nieces/nephews were supposed to be there. Instead, most of my immediate family were still at my dad’s house making arrangements. I had been there with them the afternoon/evening/night before while we made plans and comforted each other, but then I made the lonely drive back home to get back just in time to bring my overnight bag into the house, check with my older daughters who had been helping their sister get ready and then off to the church we went. I see pictures of the day and I am smiling. But, inside, I was numb. I remember so much wanting it to be such a special day for my daughter and doing what I could to hold myself together for her. I don’t know if I was successful or not. But, I did the best I could.
This morning as I was putting dd #5’s hair up in a bun and curling all of the tendrils, dd #4 made a comment that she doesn’t remember anything like that from her day. And my heart broke. In many ways, due to the circumstances, she was robbed of being the princess for the day. I know she understood and I know that she still recognized the importance of the day and receiving the Sacrament, but still, she didn’t get what I had wanted her to have that day.
So, today was bittersweet. It was full of memories. Memories of all of my girls’ first holy communions especially with the realization that this was our last ‘first’. But, the memories of the last one we celebrated and the realities of who wasn’t there who was supposed to be were very strong. But, as usual, God reminded me that life continues. Today, there were 3 grandparents physically there with my daughter. Her maternal grandfather and her new step-grandmother and her paternal grandmother. And we know that her maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather were watching over her with special care. Ultimately, she knows the important part — that she is loved. And I will continue to make sure that all of my girls know just how much they are loved. All. The. Time. Period.