Last week my family and I went on vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC, where this was the view from my office, located on the 19th-floor balcony of a high-rise hotel:
I could sit and look at that all day. And a lot of the time, I did exactly that.
We arrived late Saturday evening and after unpacking, got set to find a church for Mass the next morning. It made sense to go to the closest one after spending many more hours in the car than we’d planned (traffic on I-95 in Virginia was terribly slow. For hundreds of miles.)
After Mass, we were handed a bulletin on the way out, and I idly scanned it on our way back from church. That’s when I saw a familiar name in the list of announced Masses for Monday morning.
The Mass was for one of my great-aunts. She had moved to Myrtle Beach a few years ago to be near her only daughter.
She’d passed away the year before at the age of ninety-something, predeceased by her husband and daughter. Another aunt (my mom’s sister) had made a few trips to SC during Aunt Marge’s final illness to help arrange things, so I texted my cousin to tell her about finding Aunt Marge’s name in the bulletin. My cousin said that one of the parish priests was faithful in visiting Aunt Marge in the nursing home, praying with her and giving her the Sacrament of the Sick. After Aunt Marge’s death, my mom’s sister sent a donation to the parish in gratitude. She received a note of thanks that stated that the priest had dedicated that donation to several Masses for the repose of Aunt Marge’s soul.
Hubs and I made sure to get up early the next day so we could attend that Mass for Aunt Marge.
What are the odds that we’d have chosen that vacation destination, putting us closest to that church, during that very week? We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried.
Good thing we weren’t the ones with the plan.