I was honored to be asked to write this reflection. At this stage of my life I have a very long time to look back and reflect.

The words “I have been blessed” surround my thinking.

I was born a cradle Catholic, and grew up in eastern Colorado, in a small community, population of 1500.  There were 13 churches.  Catholics were definitely a minority, so our community was ecumenical long before Vatican II. I do not remember much from the Catechism that I was required to memorize. I do remember my parents’ example of living a very faith-filled Christian life.

My family were wheat and cattle farmers. They were always the first to help a neighbor that was ill or in need.  I spent many days with my mother, working with the “Church Ladies” cleaning the church,  preparing a community banquet, or providing a funeral dinner. Most of our social life revolved around our church and everyone in the community was there, regardless of their religion or lack thereof.

I reflect on these memories and many others.  At the age of twelve, I rode my bike through the plowed field to inform my Daddy that the farm house was on fire.  I watched him jump from the tractor, kneel on the ground, bless himself, and then run one mile home. The house was saved.  I was with my parents as they stood at the window, and watched a horrible hail storm.  It was one day before the harvesters were to arrive, for what we thought would be a bumper wheat crop. They had their arms around each other and tears in their eyes.  They had worked one entire year, endured all of the costs upfront, and had nothing left.  No credit cards and no unemployment benefits were available. They just began to plan for the next year.  That day was when I decided I was not going to marry a farmer.

Thank you God, for my very special parents.  Their faith and “Trust in the Lord” is very much a part of my life today.  It is a simple but very strong faith.

I was privileged to travel to Germany in 2019, with 25 American cousins for a family reunion with relatives we had never met. We walked in the footsteps of our ancestors through family farms and churches, still standing five generations later. They told us of their terrible experiences in World War II, and we visited memorials of family members that had given their lives.

I feel blessed to be born to these roots and know of their deep faith.

I have been married for 64 years to Bobby, the love of my life. He was not a farmer.   He was a Marine in Quantico, Va.  I was working in the Pentagon, US Navy Dept. in Washington DC.  God, and my parents’ prayers put that marriage together.  I have  followed this man to many parts of this country and the world.  What a life for the country farm girl.

Again I say, “Thank you God”.

God has blessed me with five beautiful daughters.  I thank Him for that plan, for it definitely was not mine.  I enjoyed every stage of their life in growing up.  It was a mission and I loved it.

And today, I could not be more appreciative of the path and life God has given to me.  There may be a pandemic, storms, and bad things happening around us.  God has always cared for our nation and our world, and seen us through these difficulties.   I know that God loves me.  God has cared for me, blessed me so well to this point in my life, why would I doubt him now?