Reading Carolyn's recent post made me think, "Mary Ann and Carolyn are surely their mother's daughters." Their mom, Joan Agnes Ferris Minardi was a wonderful wife, mother, and role model for everyone she knew. She was called from this life much too soon, at age 65, 15 years ago. She expressed such a childlike joy and delight in loving Our Lord that being with her, I understood what God meant when He said, "You must be like one of these little ones in order to enter heaven." She placed herself in His hands, her husband and marriage in His hands, and her children and their spouses in His hands. By doing this she knew all would be well. Joan shared her faith not just through her witness and actions but with the very core of her being; her true joy in the Lord was palpable to everyone she knew. Thus, when Carolyn wrote that she and Mary Ann were giving their Seven Sorrow Rosaries away to their friends who were interested in the Sorrowful Mother prayer, I was reminded of how Joan not only shared so many joyful words of profound wisdom with people, she also gave away quite a few of the religious items she owned. One time, my husband Mike came home from college and his mom had given away the St. Michael the Archangel statue that she and John had given him as a gift. He was hurt because he liked that little statue, but a friend must have needed it more than my husband needed it. After Mike and I were married she gave us an identical St. Michael statue to make amends for giving Mike's away.
All of Joan's children can regale you with stories, where much to their embarrassment at the time, she would pray with strangers in grocery stores (or in parks, post offices, banks, etc.) for their needs. One time she prayed with a neighbor of mine, as I was driving a carpool, Joan, leaning outside her car window was praying with great gusto and I was thinking, "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear." I lived in Atlanta and this neighbor was a Southern Baptist but later that day, my friend let me know how much my mother-in-law's prayers helped her, uplifted her and comforted her.
For many, many years, a cutting board inscribed MAMA MINARDI'S, has been hanging on a cupboard in Joan and Jack's kitchen. I glance at it when I visit my father-in-law. I think about Joan who was called from this world much too early and who is so missed here on earth. Joan was a wonderful 'Mama' to her children, a great friend to all her friends and she truly did not know a stranger.
A few future posts will have some of Mama Minardi's recipes made on that very cutting board.
Peace and Joy, (Two of Joan's favorite words!)