Today, in the Christian faith, Lent began. 

40 days of reflection and preparation for the risen Lord. 

Dad and I went to Mass today to reflect and acknowledge our flawed, human selves.  

We also prayed for Mom, for healing, for peace.  For a blessed, miraculous Lent. 

A beautiful, new banner was hanging in the church.  A woman in the parish made it.  It is vivid and stunning... 

With the ashes-on-the-head-thing, I am always reminded of how temporary we are.  How small, really. 

With mom's hospitalization, it is particularly close to our family how fragile we are. 

Then, I always move to how big God is.  Big enough to form humankind out of dirt.  Holy dirt, but still...dirt.  

No wonder we always need cleaning up.  Healing from the filth of life.   

I think that's what the water's for....

After Mass, Dad, Patti (a friend of Mom's) and I went to visit our favorite patient. 

She was sitting up in the big chair, having just completed PT.  Her eyes lit up to see her friend.  

I took a couple pictures on my phone (I'd left my camera at home), but can't figure out how to download them, so there's no visual of the girls chatting, or of the blob of ashes on Mom's head.  

Nothing new with Mom today.  We stayed for an hour and left.

Then...a little miracle.  

Just after 10 p.m., Mom called me, saying the wonderful Dr. R. had just paid her a visit with the news that her hemoblobin  HG was steady.  She has one final test tomorrow, and then he is releasing her to rehab! 

Mom told me to bring some clothes and her shoes.  Be sure to bring her shoes.  Maybe she's walking to rehab.  

How lovely that on the first day of Lent, there is a new vision for Mom.  A picture of rising again...from the bed, from the hospital, from the injuries, from weakness.  There is work to be done, but healing to be had in a new place. 

Lent is like that too.  If we embrace it, there is spiritual work to be done, but healing and wholeness to be realized by the time Easter arrives. 

Mom was certainly in some ashes the first week she fell.  And now, she's on her way to rehab.  

I guess for Lent, she's giving up that lovely hospital gown. 

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