Guest Columnists

Seeking the Grace of God Through All Generations

By Cathy Hickey

As the mother of seven children – whose seven children married, thus transforming me into the mother of 14 children – I look back on our wondrous life with a sigh of contentment and goodwill.

Through the years, our family has enjoyed so very many blessings – good times, major accomplishments, sweet successes – the good life. We have also had our share of worries, failures and sicknesses. I believe we have travelled these roads with dignity through the grace of God. There is no other way we could have reached where we are without the grace of God. The laughter and the tears have brought us to where we are today.

Our “14” children have presented us with our awesome, soon-to-total 21 grandchildren; they range in age from our precious pre-natal to our 22-year-old grandson. For all of these blessings, we say, “Thank you, Jesus.”

We are able to sit back and embrace our family with such a strong feeling of faith and love. The wild and crazy years of infants and toddlers, followed by the school years and then those sleepless nights through the teen years (which far outnumber those sleepless nights with our newborns). Through it all, we always knew God was with us. As we look at the parents our children have become, we see so many interactions they now have with their young families, which is “how they were raised themselves.”

Oh, how beautifully rewarding for us to experience such wonder.

Rooted in Prayer

Prayer is – and always has been – a daily part of our family’s lives. I see it evident every day in the actions of our children and in the lives of our childrens’ children. Reflecting back, some of the happiest days and fondest memories of our family life are the days of receiving the sacraments. The Church forever present within us.

Our sons and daughters and their spouses are always there for one another. They are in constant contact with one another. They seek each other’s advice and assistance. They argue – and they sometimes disagree with one another – but they always value and love each other, oftentimes ending random encounters with the words: “I love you. God bless.”

I attribute this to their strong faith in God. They are each other’s friends. Their children are each other’s friends. The circle of life! They have experienced many hardships and sadness in their young lives. They were the teens and the young adults during and after the horrors of the 9/11 attacks. They mourned and cried and attended the countless funerals of their friends and fellow first responders – only through the grace of God. Simple! Profound! True! It was their faith – divine intervention at its utmost! Faith in God!

As the nutty matriarch, people have asked me through the years how we raised seven children. The answer is simple: We prayed a lot and we laughed a lot. Some things never change. We still pray and we still laugh.

We – the Mom and Dad, the “Giggy” and Gramps – continue to embrace our faith and we give a standing ovation to our friend Jesus. We are aware of how rich we are – that we have our Catholic faith, which guided us and showed us how to live our lives.

Thank you, Jesus.

Cathy Hickey is a member of Blessed Trinity parish, Breezy Point.