But there is something that means much more to me than these motherly acts and things of toughness that I ahve menti0ned.  It is something that Mom said to me that goes to the essence of her motherhood.   When I was in junior high, I read something in the Denver Post about planning parenthood.  I grew up very naive, thanks be to God, and had no idea what this was about.   Mom couldn't have had any idea why I suddenly said to her, "I think you planned our family well."  Though this statement came out of the blue, she said without hesitation, "There was no planning:  we took you as you came."

Those words always stuck with me and meant more through the years as I became a little less naive.   "We took you as you came." None of us eight came at the convenience of Mom and Dad.   We came when God chose for us to come.   And Dad and Mom welcomed each us as we came according to God's plan for our parents and for our family.   There was never much money in our family, but there was always the generous hearts of our parents to provide what we really needed.

It is because Dad and Mom saw we, their children, as a gift, that they also saw that their parenthood was subservient to Holy Mother Church.   So all of us were baptized, made our first confession, made our first Holy Communion, were confirmed, and then after that a couple of us actually got married.   But for all of us, Sunday without Mass would have been like….I'd say like the squeeze without the kiss, but that doesn't rhyme nor make much sense and I don't know that much about kissing anyway.  So, I'll say Sunday without Mass would have just seemed as wrong as it really is.   With Dad at the helm, we all piled into Mom's latest old station wagon Sunday morning and headed for church usually ridiculously early beause Mom, with good reason, feared there might be car trouble.

I've kind of been neglecting the train ride theme, so I'll throw in here that we are chugging toward the homestretch and our destination is coming into view.