Ann Marie. A Legacy of Faith.

My older sister, Ann Marie, lived only a week. The tragedy translated into a life of blessing. My parents always made us six boys and a girl aware of our personal saint in heaven. 

In the midst of some rather tumultuous high school years, my brother Luke - who like the rest of us had come quite a distance navigating other paths, made a spontaneous visit to a chapel. There he was overwhelmed by the presence of our sister. He wrote down lyrics to what became a song composed and sung with my other brother, Nate in their late teens..

Fourteen years ago today- after numerous grandsons, my parents were blessed with their first grand daughter, our first child (the same date as my brother Nate, who wrote the music to Ann Marie). Overwhelmed with an unspeakable awe and wonder in our little girl- we named her Anne Marie. Having jaundice, the doc said getting her in the sun would help restore her to health.

We brought her back to our meager home (our furniture was principally plastic lawn chairs!).  The first thing I did was take her to a window with the sun shining through (the picture)... and as the Doctor ordered, placed her in the Son, knowing He would- throughout her life, be her source of strength and health.

Anne Marie, I love you so much I am still moved to tears by the beautiful gift you are to us. You are such an amazing, young woman with such an amazing heart. Keeping shining. Keep shining. Know as much we love you- our love is but a shadow in the love of the Son.

With all my fatherly, heartfelt love - Happy birthday!

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"Christian faith is not only a matter of believing that certain things are true, but above all a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an encounter with the Son of God that gives new energy to the whole of our existence."  Pope Benedict XVI