By Tom Quiner

My mother-in-law, Ann, has lived with me for the past fifteen years.

I know this kind of arrangement wouldn’t work for everyone, but it did for Karen and me. Mom was truly one of my best friends.

She died at home on Saturday in Karen’s arms. Her 91 year old body was just plain worn out. She was ready to meet Jesus.

What defines a person?

Our culture says it is our skin color, our gender, or our sexual orientation.

Others with a little more depth suggest that it is our character.

For my mother-in-law, one could say mother, grandmother, great grandmother, wife, Republican.

These are a start.

I would suggest that for Ann, Holy Eucharist defined her. She lived her life to receive the Lord.

Towards the end of her life when she could hardly eat anything, she could only ingest a tiny, tiny piece of the Body of Christ. Anyone who witnessed her receiving the Lord could not help but be moved. Her Catholic faith animated every aspect of her life. She was a beautiful witness to her faith.

The last Mass she attended was the Assumption of Mary Mass last August. Karen and I put her in her wheel chair, carried her down the stairs, rolled her to the car, and took her to Mass.

She was literally euphoric.

Since then, she enjoyed Mass on EWTN, followed by Holy Communion, which Karen brought home to her from Mass.

The world defines people superficially. Mom understood that it is the soul that counts, and that a human soul requires supernatural nourishment.

When that tiny crumb of communion wafer entered her tiny body, Mom could feel the body, soul, and divinity of Christ warm her soul and renew her spirits. She suddenly felt very large.

A priest said something very profound once: if you were the only person that had ever been born, Christ would have still died on the cross for your sins.

Because of that, Mom lives. I look forward to seeing her again one day.

What an important legacy she leaves behind: let Holy Communion define us; not the world.

We are the Holy Communion people.

11 Comments

  1. Shelley Pitts on May 20, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Peace be with both you & Karen.

  2. Jeane on May 20, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Tom, the love your family “lives” for each other inspires anyone who knows you. Thank you for your witness.

    • quinersdiner on May 20, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Thank-you, Jeane, and thank-you for the delicious rhubarb cake. I love it!

  3. Tim Meyer on May 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Tom,
    I am speechless after reading this tribute to Ann. You have truly been blessed to have Ann in your life. I am sure you are who you are in part to having two such wonderful women in your life.
    God bless you my friend!

    • quinersdiner on May 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks, Tim. I’d add a third wonderful woman, my mom. How could I go wrong?

  4. Lisa Schmidt on May 20, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her.

    What a lovely tribute, Tom, of an incredible woman and witness for Christ. I am praying for you all. Maybe I’ll fix up a batch of that famous carrot ginger soup in Ann’s honor?! 🙂

  5. Shawn Pavlik on May 21, 2015 at 8:21 am

    May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious.

    Fantastic eulogy. Even better for your mother-in-law will be the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

  6. […] was my mother-in-law’s Mass of Christian burial. She died a week ago. As I recounted before, she was defined by her love of Holy Eucharist. So, of course, we sang this beautiful text at her […]

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