We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Feast Day of Juan Diego

I don't know where to begin today...so, since it was the feast day of St. Juan Diego, I thought I'd share his story - perhaps my favorite?  Kim and I wanted to make it down to Mexico, to see this church...

Juan Diego was born in 1474 in the calpulli or ward of Tlayacac in Cuauhtitlan, which was established in 1168 by Nahua tribesmen and conquered by the Aztec lord Axayacatl in 1467; and was located 20 kilometers (14 miles) north of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City).

On December 9, 1531, a native Mexican named Juan Diego rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to daily Mass in what is now Mexico City. Juan lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer. That morning, as Juan passed Tepeyac Hill, he heard music and saw a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow. A woman's voice called him to the top of the hill. There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said she was the Virgin Mary and asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site. She said, "I vividly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help, and defense, for I am your most devoted mother . . . to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains, and sufferings."
The bishop was kind but skeptical. He asked Juan to bring proof of the Lady's identity. Before Juan could go back to the Lady, he found out his uncle was dying. Hurrying to get a priest, Juan missed his meeting with the Lady. The Lady, however, met him on his path and told him that his uncle had been cured.  
She then told Juan to climb to the top of the hill where they first met. Juan was shocked to find flowers growing in the frozen soil. He gathered them in his cloak and took them at once to the bishop.
Juan told the bishop what had happened and opened his cloak. The flowers that fell to the ground were Castilian roses (which were not grown in Mexico). But the bishop's eyes were on the glowing image of the Lady imprinted inside Juan's cloak.
Soon after, a church was built on the site where our Lady appeared, and thousands converted to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared the patroness of the Americas.

   And now to Autumn, once again, who I'm so proud of, but worry about the most.  She puts so much on herself.  Taking care of the boys and I. And maintaining straight A's.  As I made her soup for her lunch at midnight, Cody came to me concerned.  I explained Autumn's stomach has been sensitive - stress?  Probably.  He asked me not to stay up to late.  He's such a good son - I'm pretty proud of him too.
  Autumn tells me she does not want to see a doctor.  I tell her she's known her doctor for years and the group we go to - they are all so nice.  "No Dad, what if they send me to the hospital?" she says quietly, tears welling up....

                  "Like Mama?"

      I'm a little too floored to respond immediately.

      "Play 'Headlights' Dad." she asks, those deep blue eyes, like magnets, searching my eyes. "Has a song ever given you goosebumps?  This one gives me them." 
       Well, I can think of a bunch - with wonderful memories related to Kim and the times we shared, so I tell her absolutely, that's what I love so much about music - finding the tunes that grab you, take you somewhere else.
       Her Mama like a band called Fun.  And the lead singer, Nate Ruess, collaborates with Eminem on this tune:

           I always love when the bambini tell me which songs speak to them.  Cody always does.  This is a good one, particularly the end - I know it reminds her of her Mama - if you listen to the final refrain, it will remind you of Kim too.  She was so stoic, right up to the end.  It was me who broke down, holding her tight, crying. And there was Kim, consoling me, asking me to give her a kiss, everything would be alright.  She was not afraid.  She had her faith.

         She has passed on that strength - it was not for nothing.  I know that I was blessed to have had her in my life.  And the children she brought into this world...amazing!

"Those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint."
                                       -Isaiah 40:31

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