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Monthly Archives: December 2022

On the occasion of my mother’s 100 birthday

Joan as the Virgin Mary in her church pageant, 1938

December 20, 2022 would have been my mom’s 100th birthday. Joan was born on the (almost) shortest and the darkest day of the year. Yet she shed light on all those she met through her kindness and empathy. In the image I choose here for her–as the Virgin Mary in a church pageant when she was just 16 years old–her beatific face gazes at a doll or flashlight depicting the baby Jesus. She was a precocious writer, compassionately considering His birth in this poem from Mary’s perspective written the previous Christmas of 1937 when she was only 15.

Christmas 1937                                                                                                       

                 Mary’s son was not cold

                 When the Wise Men came with gold

                 Mary’s son was newly born

                 When the shepherds came with morn.

                 Mary bore her son alone

                 While above the wonder shone

                 Of the star on just that night

                 Led the shepherds there aright.

                 All the years since then have passed

                 Stars that shine will ever last.

                 Why did that star only then

                 Shine and never once again?

                 Only once He came to Earth

                 Only once proclaim His birth,

                 But each year at Christmastide

                 Yet we think of Him who died,

                 And was born in that small town

                 While the Wonder Star looked down.

                 Let all the heavens still proclaim                        

                 Honor to His Holy Name.

May all of us consider those who are vulnerable this holiday season!


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