This year has been one that we would like to forget at times, but it has also been memorable for good reasons.
JoAnn’s aunt, Sister Mary Rene Procopio, a Felician sister for 55 of her 73 years, passed away after a lengthy bout with bulbar palsy. She left behind a distinguished legacy of decades as a teacher and principal, a career capped by her role in founding and being the driving force behind the Felicians’ Mooncrest Neighborhood Programs, which first helped at-risk children and then people of all ages in a community of low income and high risk of drug and alcohol abuse.
Another close relative was first hospitalized and then had to become a guest at a nursing home. Yet, she has overcome several bouts of pneumonia and still is almost always found with a smile on her face.
Two couples we know face similar situations. In one case, the husband is coping with short-term memory loss and in the other the wife is dealing with Alzheimer’s, both with their help and care of their spouses. They provide outstanding examples of true love.
Shortly before Christmas, we learned that another acquaintance was beginning chemotherapy for leukemia. Despite having to spend the holidays in a hospital room, he, his wife and family were buoyed by their deep love for and by their deep faith in God.
On the plus side, our nephew Christian and his new wife, Amelia, began their life together in a beautiful ceremony in October. Niece Claire and nephew Greg are also doing well professionally as well as personally.
Our family has been blessed by generally good health.
Who knows what next year has in store — what sort of mixture of joy and sadness? The answer, of course, is God.
As Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati notes, “The future is in God’s hands, and there could be no better way.” When we face the future by accepting God’s will, we live in the assurance that ultimately love, joy and peace will prevail.
Faith in God gives us hope in the future.