I wasn’t able to take them to the forest, to hike and explore…You reminded me of the beauty that surrounds us, just a short walk/drive down a dusty path…and gave us the most perfect “landscape artist” to create a wonderland they can freely explore…

I wasn’t able to take them to the creek as I have, so many summers past…You made sure we had a pool, a sweet gift from a friend…and their joyful splashing and laughter pushed away the heat and humidity…

I wasn’t able to see the beautiful firework display on the 4th of July…You put on a meteor display these past few nights, that rival anything that man can contrive…

I wasn’t able to take them to the zoo…but You showed them new life in a litter of kittens, a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, a cicada peeling away its exoskeleton to reveal a shade of green and gold seldom seen…

I wasn’t able to take them to the science museum…but You gave them the ultimate laboratory…Your amazing Creation…and the intellect, curiosity and will to explore it…

I wasn’t able to take them to the park, to play upon the swings and slides…You showed me a free swing set, a duplicate of the one we had many years ago, now resting beneath a shady tree and the wood itself is ringing with the laughter of happy children…

I wasn’t able to prepare those special meals they so enjoy…You inspired me to pass on the “gift”…and they have become incredibly adept chefs…

I wasn’t able to pray well for a time…You gave me friends who would pray for me, showering me with Rosary bouquets more lovely than any bouquet I’ve ever received…

I wasn’t as patient as I could have been…You surrounded me with people who were and are…and I’ve learned from them and marvel at the depth of love that is expressed in that same patience…

I wasn’t able to play hostess, to entertain and offer hospitality as I have in the past…You gave me this wonderful family and showed us all just how close we could become during adversity…

And when things seemed dark and dreary inside, when my critical eye began to focus too much upon the “undone…” You led me outside to reveal a landscape bathed in pink and gold, to show me true beauty and shift my perspective from the mundane to the heavenly…

For these things and more, Almighty Father, I am so very, very grateful…