Today is my niece's baptism, so we traveled down to be here for the family event. I had planned on going to 8:15 mass at our home church, but I was so disappointed when I woke at 8:45. I must've slept through my alarm thanks to the Tylenol PM I took last night. I decided to attend the 11:30 mass at my sister's church instead. This way, I could still receive communion and I'd be where I needed to be for the baptism afterwards.
I walked into the church a few minutes after mass had already started. All of the lights were out, and after a little while I remembered that they probably were affected by the storm. I found a seat in a pew, and was quickly distracted by a father holding his little boy. I recognized the father and the mother, but couldn't quite place them.
My thoughts continued to wander, and as usual fixate on my beautiful Rosa. I snapped out of it by the time we got to the homily. And then I couldn't believe my ears as the preacher spoke about the loss of a child being the most tragic of all losses. He went on to relate it to the gospel reading of the day... It was as if he were speaking just to me in the sea of worshipers. He spoke about a little girl who Jesus raised from the dead. He said that we all face dark times in our lives, and Jesus is the light that will help us through.
By this time, there was no hope of holding myself together, so I quietly wept. The woman next to me noticed, and gave me a tissue along with a hug. She whispered in my ear, "I don't know what's wrong, but it will be ok." I appreciate her kindness so much.
After the mass was over, I spoke to the familiar looking couple and found out that we did graduate from high school together. They were there with their mother and two year old child. They asked me if I had any children. Before I could even think of an appropriate way to respond, the words were already spilling out of my mouth. "I have a daughter in heaven," I stated. They were shocked and sympathetic. They asked her name, and said that they would pray for Rosa and me.
Later in the day, I was telling John about the preacher's sermon and he became immediately excited and eager to share what happened this morning. He said that while I was in the shower, he turned on the TV and came across Joel Olsteen's sermon. Usually, he would keep moving on, but he had a similar experience as me: he felt like he was being spoken to.
I feel like Rosa was speaking to us both. That she wanted us to hear her message, so she found a way to get it across to us both even though we weren't together when we got it. We hear what you are saying, baby girl. We know you are waiting for us with God. We know you are safe and happy. We know we will see you again in the next life. Mommy & Daddy love you more than we could ever say.