When the pain of loss passes, remember the good times spent with late loved ones

It is amazing how time really does seem to heal life’s pains. Even so, somehow the memory of some pains seem to linger on for years.

Take for instance the death of a loved one. As time passes, the pain of loss seems to fade. Still, you never forget them and you seem to keep on loving them and feeling their presence even years after they have left this life.

I am reminded of this, especially this month, on my son Rick’s birthday March 7, and on March 27 as I remember Momma.

Remembering them is not a sad thing for me nowadays, because I have learned to think on all the great times we had together and I thank the Lord for the time I shared with them. I smile to myself, when I think of some of Rick’s antics as he was growing up. Looking back, it must have been difficult for him to have been reared by two women — me, and my mother “Granny,”as Rick and his brother Shawn called her.

Rick was a real “man’s” child. As he grew up, it was hard for him to accept the fact that I, although “only” a woman, actually did know some things that he didn’t. He seemed to think that he was born knowing everything a guy should know, and that although I was Mom, I was still just a woman. In fact, I used to call him my “male chauvinist piglet.” It always tickled me to see the surprised look on his face whenever something I had told him came true.

Yet, whenever he was in a bind, Rick knew just where to turn: to his Mom. Like the time when he was a junior and was getting ready for the prom. The pants to his rented tux was short enough to fit a 10-year-old and Rick, who was six feet, three inches tall, was panicking. I’d just got home from work and he had about an hour and a half before picking up his date.

My “mom instincts” kicked in and I took a new pair of white pants he had made for the after prom party and told him we could make them into tuxedo pants by simply sewing a strip of ribbon down each outside seam.

Since his date was wearing pea green, his tux shirt was the same color. I took the shirt to the fabric store nearby and matched the ribbon to the shirt. Back home, I sewed as fast as I could and finished with no time to spare. Rick tried on his tux with the newly created pants and looked smashingly handsome. A great big grin spread across his face when he checked himself in the mirror. He gave me a big hug and said “Thanks, Mom.” And he was out the door.

Later, when he was home from the festivities, he said, “Mom, all my friends wanted to know where I got my tux. I was a hit!” And so was I — for a while.

While I was “just a woman” to Rick most of the time, to my mom, I was “just a girl.” Momma just never could accept the fact that her little girl was actually a grown woman. She tired to, but it still was hard for her.

During her illness (she was bedridden from a stroke) I cared for her at home. While I hated to see her like that, it was also a time for us to bond again. Momma was the baby now; I was her caregiver. She found it hard to accept the fact that I was now the one caring for her. One day when we were sharing stories, I said to her, “Momma, you have lived long enough to see your baby get old. She looked wide-eyed at me and started to laugh. It was true, she nodded.

Today, Momma would have been 98. But as far as I am concerned, I will always be her little girl. That gives me a warm feeling.

Second-night Seders

It’s time for Passover and Temple Beth Tov Ahavat Shalom will have its community Second Seder 7:15 p.m. April 11. It will be a full, traditional Kosher service with music. Rabbi Manuel Armon and Cantor “Bebe” Resnick will preside.

Tthe deadline for paid reservations is Friday. To RSVP and to have your name added to the “Best of Passover Wishes” on the Seder program, call Benno at 786-223-7757 or email Raquel at raquelbakalar@bellsouth.net. The temple is at 6438 SW Eighth St. in West Miami.

Ahavat Olam in Kendall, which embraces all Jews and interfaith families, will host its 12th annual Second Night Passover Seder at 6 p.m. April 11 at Roasters ‘n Toasters, 9465 S. Dixie Hwy. in the Dadeland Plaza Shopping Center in Pinecrest.

The Seder will be led by Rabbi Danny Marmorstein and the Seder will include a choice of chicken, brisket, or salmon; vegetables, wine and baked desserts. Vegetarian dinners will be available. The cost is $40 per adult and $25 for children under 10.

The Seder is open to the public, but reservations are required. To make yours, call Ahavat Olam at 305-412-4240 Monday through Thursday, or email members@ahavatolam.org.

Start of Easter Season

Churches throughout the world are preparing to celebrate what many Christians consider to be the most holy time on the Christian calendar — Resurrection Day or Easter.

The holy days of the Easter season start with Palm Sunday (April 9) also known as Passion Sunday, and marks the beginning of Holy Week.

At St. Mary Cathedral, 7525 NW Second Ave., Archbishop Thomas Wenski will celebrate Mass at 9:45 a.m. Weather permitting, he will bless the palms outside the church prior to the Mass.

Holy Thursday on April 13 marks the beginning of the Holy Triduum, a three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ, that includes Good Friday, Easter vigil and Easter Sunday.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be at 8 p.m. on Holy Thursday, followed by Eucharistic Adoration and Altar Repose at 10:30 p.m. The Archbishop will then wash the feet of 12 people, recalling the actions of Christ at the Last Supper.

During the Holy Triduum, all 109 Catholic parishes and missions throughout the Archdiocese of Miami Will celebrate Masses and Good Friday service.

At 3 p.m. on Good Friday, April 14, the archbishop will celebrate the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. At 8 p.m., the Procession of the Sorrowful Mother will be presided by the Rev. Christopher Marino, Rector of St. Mary Cathedral.

On April 15, Archbishop Wenski will celebrate Easter Vigil Mass at 8 p.m. The service will include the Blessing of the New Fire and the initiation of 550 new Catholics into the Church who will be welcomed into the Church throughout the parishes of the Archdiocese of Miami.

All Holy Week services will be at the Cathedral of St. Mary is at 7525 NW Second Ave. Everyone is welcome.

Free Coral Gables concert

At 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Coral Gables Congregational Church will host The Alhambra Orchestra in a free concert — Baroque Gems.”

Directed by Dr. Donald Oglesby, the Alhambra Orchestra musicians will be joined by the Collegium Musicum from the University of Miami to present the all-baroque concert.

The Alhambra Orchestra is Miami’s community orchestra, with a mission of supporting classical music and music education. Sunday’s program will include Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3; Albinoni’s Concerto for Two Oboes; Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins with violin soloists Daniel Andai and Rand Bella, and two works with choir and orchestra: Cantata #118, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht by Bach, and the Coronation Anthem Zadok the Priest by Handel.

Coral Gables Congregational Church is at 3010 DeSoto Blvd. in Coral Gables. For more information call 305-668-9260 or go to www.alhambramusic.org

‘Stop the Violence’

What better time to bring the community together than at Easter time?

With that said, the Inner City Youth Enrichment Camp (ICYEC) and Krush Velvet and Co. will host the fourth annual “Stop the Violence and Bring the Peace” Basketball Tournament Extravaganza 2017 at Olinda Park, 2101 NW 51st St.

Alfred Berry said he founded ICYEC, a nonprofit organization to “empower our youth and to target and challenge our at-risk youth in the inner city.”

Berry said the event aims to gather the families of the deceased who have been victimized by crime and violence to let them know they’re not in this alone, “that we are grieving together as one.” He said the idea of a basketball tournament is to bring young men together in a sports tournament game to represent their neighborhoods in a positive light.

To support the cause and for more information, contact Berry at 786-217-2963 or email him at icyec85@yahoo.com