Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gratituesday: December 29th

Today I am grateful for the life of Mary Louise Burckhart.
Back in November, 2004: That's her in the pink sweater...isn't she cute?
Mary Louise and her brother, Fr. Bill (standing in the photo) have been like surrogate grandparents to me. Fr. Bill was the priest who "married" (what's the correct word here?) my parents, and then baptized all of their 6 children. When we grew up, he "married" us to our spouses, and then baptised about 90% of all of our babies.
Wherever Fr. Bill went, Mary Louise would go along. Although they were brother and sister, they were more like a sweet old married couple. They got along well, he physically took care of her (as she had Osteogenesis Imperfecta), and they lived in a small handicapped-accessible house.
Mary Louise was a beautiful, funny, and feisty lady. She would tell you how lovely you were in one breath, and then in the next, joke about how fat you were getting! She was a devout Catholic, and offered up all of her physical suffering. Even though she had many reasons to be depressed or angry with her state in life, I have never known her to be anything but joyful. She used to love to take the little kids on rides in her motorized wheelchair!
Probably my biggest memory of Mary Louise was that she always wanted to be the first to hold the newly baptized baby, since she knew she could never have children of her own. And we were all happy to let a living saint like her hold our child on their Baptism Day.

(Here she is holding Andrew right after he is Christened)
Mary Louise passed away on December 23, 2009 just in time to spend Christmas with Our Lord. The doctors said she wouldn't live past the age of eight, and I'm sure she's laughing at them now!
We will miss her, but rest assured that she is enjoying her new and perfect body in Heaven. I am a better person just to have known her, and for that, I am thankful.
What are you grateful for today?


  1. Touching memorial full of the love you had for her. No doubt she treasured you as much as you did her. May she rest blessed peace. Cathy

  2. What a sweet story to share with us Colleen. I know she must be giddy with her new and non-painful body.
    Today, I am thankful for a working body...after seeing your friend, I have nothing to complain about. nothing.

  3. she sounds like a sweet ole lady

  4. she sounds like an amazing and sweet lady.. thank you for sharing...

  5. I feel like I new her myself after reading your post. She sounds like a delightful sweet lady.

    Hope you are enjoying your Christmas season.

  6. How very sweet. I'm sure she will be missed greatly.

  7. How touching! I wonder if people in Heaven are up there sharing their stories about experiences on earth. If they do, I'm sure she's talking about all those cute babies she held!

  8. How amazing! What a neat life this woman led. I'm glad you shared the story! :)

  9. Eternal rest grant unto her, Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her! May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen! +


Talk to me...