I remember watching the tulle veil swaying softly over the crib as the crisp North Carolina air sneaked into the house through the open window. I had just woken up from a nap, not knowing the time or the day. Sleepless nights with a colicky newborn and low milk supply had taken a toll on this new mom. A familiar sound beckoned me outside my bedroom door… the melodic, rhythmic squeak from a rocking chair and the soft, comforting hum of a lullaby I had heard before. I walked out of my room in a haze. Squinting, I looked up to find where the song was coming from. My eyes opened, and I finally saw… There was my mother holding my son.
My first Fall as a mother… memories etched in my soul. Having lived all my life on a tropical island, my senses were enthralled by the changes this new season brought. The changing color of the leaves echoed the changes going on inside me. The young, carefree girl falling away, making room for the mother… making room for another. I was blessed to have there with me my own mother. As she rocked my baby to sleep, she was indirectly nursing me. Her love for me overflowed into my son, her grandson. As she cared for one, she cared for both… in fact, she cared for all of us. Like the training wheels on a toddler’s bicycle, she kept our new little family from falling as we learned to walk this new road of parenthood, this new road of love.
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, the prayer that keeps us steady as we hold on to our Mother, Mary. She helps us when we fall. She is always there to guide us, to hold us, to teach us the way to her Son. As we walk in our fallen nature, our fallen world, our change of seasons, through our own falls… God is always with us. Mary is always with us. We are never alone.
A few years ago, after I finished writing my book, The Rosary: Eucharistic Meditations, I was struck by how the Table of Contents, listing the titles of each reflection, became, for me, its own prayer, a simple path Home. These words all come from Scripture, most verbatim, some reinterpreted. In honor of the month of the Rosary, I want to share the list here and invite you to listen, pray, and then “do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). May we allow Mary to hold us, to nurture us, to mother us… and through us, to mother those we love. May we grow as disciples of Jesus; may we grow strong in God’s love.