Archive | February, 2018

Sunday Sermon and Some Special Smiles

19 Feb

“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”

Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven


I was able to attend Mass at Mom’s place this morning. It was surreal, being there without her, yet, I knew she was there in spirit. Tom, the volunteer, had some very kind words and memories to share about Mom. Everyone was sad and shared their condolences and hugs. My son, daughter-in-law and beautiful baby joined us for the service. It was very special.

They were looking for a volunteer to read the second scripture reading for today. I was thrilled because Mom always used to say the second reading for many years. I was honored.

Reading 2

1 PT 3:18-22


Christ suffered for sins once,

the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,

that he might lead you to God.

Put to death in the flesh,

he was brought to life in the Spirit….

The reading continued with sacrifice, death, and now sitting at the right hand of God. My take on it….we sacrifice for those we love, and God so loved the world that he sacrificed His son. Love doesn’t have to be painful, but we should be willing to share and sacrifice for our loved ones, and also for our friends and neighbors, and even strangers. If everyone “Loved their neighbor” the world would be a wonderful place. Until that happens, you and I can do our part in our own little corner of the world.

After Mass, we went back to Mom’s and looked through pictures and talked and shared memories. The baby was so cute. When I look at her, I am reminded of my sweet Mom and how much she loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The legacy lives on.

Saturday:) Sorting Through the Photos and the Memories

18 Feb

“A good photograph never belongs to the past; every time you look at it, it is with you, it is alive and it is in the present moment!”

Mehmet Murat ildan


I’ve been sorting through hundreds of Mom’s photos,realizing that she neatly organized them in absolutely no form or fashion. There are dozens envelopes secured with ancient rubber bands, and a few small albums with artwork and art shows. They were in a bunch of file boxes. The photos are interspersed with pictures from the 70’s, mixed in with recent great-grand-baby pictures, and a few copies of faded wedding pictures from the 40’s, all mixed together. No time line. Then, my sister informed me that that was just the pile in the top part of the cabinet. There are hundreds more in the lower cabinet.

I decided to sort as many as I could in a few boxes into several categories. Family, friends, artwork, the place where she lived, and then her individual pictures of her alone.

This is going to take a very long time. Not only am I trying to organize the pictures, I’m looking at each one and remembering each event. It’s like a movie newsreel that jumps all over the place. I have become a “time traveler.”

The one common theme in all the photographs is, “My mother was an amazing woman.”

Friday:) From One Angel to Another

17 Feb

You should never feel alone there’s always someone to turn to, it is the Guardian Angel who is watching over you.

K. Sue


Just when I thought my tears were safely tucked away for a while, I opened my phone to check my email and texts. I noticed a new photo post from my son and daughter-in-law. It was my beautiful granddaughter, sitting next to my Mom at Christmas time. Mom was reading her a story. That was less than two months ago, and now Mom is in heaven. Look how intently she’s looking at and listening to her great-grandma. Not only does she bear a strong resemblance, but she bears Mom’s name for her own middle name. We are so blessed to keep her name and legacy in the family.


I know Mom will be watching over this little angel.

Thursday’s:) There’s Another Angel in Heaven

16 Feb

There’s another angel in heaven

Today her soul took wing

She’s up in heaven dancing

While the other angels sing

All were waiting for her

Their arms stretched open wide

To greet my angel mother

There on the other side.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Words cannot express the extreme sadness nor the joy that heaven has found a new angel today.

Love you Mom. 😇

Wednesday:) Valentine’s Day~Who Do You Love?

14 Feb

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Who do you love?

I’ll give you a clue.

Since the day I was born

She’s been my best friend

And I’ll love her forever

There will be no end.

No angel compares

There’s simply no other

And lucky for me

I just call her mother.

(Love you Mom)

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

Tuesday:) Take a Picture

14 Feb

Every picture tells a story

Every story shares a life

Some are joyful memories

Some are filled with pain and strife

A glimpse into the future

Or a stroll back from the past

Every picture tells a story

Take a picture, make it last.

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today, I wanted to share a special picture that tells a story. I know what the background story is… but I ain’t tellin’. You have to use your own imagination. It’s a happy one. So, next time you share a photo with someone, think about just sharing it without explanation or captions. It’s fun. Write your own story.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

12 Feb

“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family. ”

Jim Butcher


Another week in Chicago, actually Elgin, but close enough. Another week of snow and cold and hibernating like a polar bear. The best part is the opportunity to hold Mom close like a polar bear.

A week in a chilly Chicago peek.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

11 Feb

“Promises are only as strong as the person who gives them …”

Stephen Richards


I went to Mass up in the chapel at Mom’s place. Loretta was the volunteer from St. Thomas More who officiated. How she got through all the snow and slush is nothing more than a miracle. I guess God was her snow plow.

The Gospel today was the story of the leper who came to Jesus and asked to be healed. Jesus had pity on the man and healed him, then asked him to go to the temple to show he was cleansed, offer sacrifice, but to tell no one of the healing. The leper was so excited, he didn’t keep his promise.

He spread the report abroad

so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.

He remained outside in deserted places,

and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

My take on it…sometimes you have to keep your word, no matter how excited you are, no matter how hurt you are, a promise is a promise. Miss Loretta said that maybe it was a good thing that everyone wanted to come and see Jesus and be cured. I had to disagree. Jesus had to hide away from the throngs looking for healing. Those people were seeking something for themselves. They wanted a miracle, but did they want to follow His word. Good question. Do you follow your faith and the laws and the rules because you want something or need something or are afraid of the consequences if you disobey?

“Promises are only as strong as the person who gives them …”

Stephen Richards

Saturday:) Salve Regina

11 Feb

“All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady.” » ~J.R.R. Tolkien


Being snowed in, with long cold days and even longer Chicago nights, it’s good to have an artistic outlet. While Mom slept a little, I was going through her old Magnificat (daily Catholic prayers and Mass readings) I thought it would be nice to find some psalms or hymns that I could embellish. I thought a simple rose would brighten up the page.

This is a very nice prayer to the Blessed Mother. Quite appropriate, as I sat near my own blessed mother. Mom thought they were pretty nice too.

As my adventures have been few, I’ll be sharing little blessings, here and there.

And I’ll admit, I’ve been saying many prayers to the Blessed Mother. When I can’t fall sleep, I say “Hail Marys” until I’m lulled into sleep. It works. Give it a try.

Friday:) From the Oven

10 Feb

“When it’s freezing cold outside, and the snow is piled up, it’s time to crank up the oven.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It’s winter in Chicago, it’s been snowing, so I’ve been cooking. What else is new? After a week of homemade tacos, Chicago pizza and Chicago hot dogs, I figured it’s time to fix a few healthy meals.

Thank goodness for weather predictions. Everyone and there uncle was at he grocery store yesterday stocking up on food and essentials. We have enough Fritos, Bugles, and potato chips in Mom’s cabinets, so we stocked up on fruit and veggies. (Hmm, I hope I have enough vodka for Black Russian Friday!)

I think we should be set for a while. Lots of roasted veggies. Yum!

When the going gets tough, the tough get cooking.

If you’re in the cold, stay warm and enjoy the view. If you are nice and warm….don’t talk to me. Just kidding. Have a good one.