The Easter Card From Heaven
From Bring The Children
Chapter 20 – The Easter Card From Heaven
The Easter season is all about death and resurrection, joy from sorrow, triumph from defeat. Many priests in our lives taught us this lesson, none more than Father Larry. His final lesson was the best.
Father Laurier ‘Larry’ Martineau, an elderly diocesan priest could see the inevitable consolidation coming as his parish’s attendance had dwindled, the result of demographic changes in the area. So, he retired hoping that by giving up his parish the diocese might spare the other that was sponsoring Life Teen. Both before and after retirement he had a habit of always remembering us on Holy Days, Christmas, Easter, as well as everyone’s birthdays. He would send prayer cards and notes, so many that we filled a file folder full of them.
When our seventh child was born in 2005, we named her after Father Larry. She would be Lauren Marie and her patron saint would be Saint Lawrence. Alyssa calls her ‘Larry’ to this day. Father Larry was thrilled. We visited him a few times in his retirement home and he was always very happy to see us even as his health declined. He also would show up on our doorstep unannounced to drop off the prayer or birthday cards and just say hello.
After the two parishes had closed, we moved to another parish a couple of towns over. When it was time to baptize Lauren, Father Larry offered to officiate. We weren’t sure where to do it though. He said we could do it right in our family room and he would bring all the necessary liturgical vessels.
We had asked our friends who were the lead guitarist and singer from the Life Teen Band to be godparents, and they agreed to play and sing at the baptism. It was one the special moments of our lives.
Now our family was complete. We had seven children, four since Helene’s healing and my diagnosis with MS, the apparition, and graces galore.
Seven has had significance in almost every major religion. In the Old Testament the world was created in six days and God rested on the seventh, creating the basis of the seven-day-week we use to this day. In the New Testament the number seven symbolizes the unity of the four corners of the Earth with the Holy Trinity. And The Apocalypse is divided into 7 letters, 7 last plagues, 7 trumpets, etc. It’s a number of perfection and completion.
In 2010 we were saddened to hear that Father Larry had passed away the week before
Easter. A few days afterward an Easter Card showed up in the mail and it was from Father Larry! He had already written them out even as his health was failing, and his sister mailed them. What a blessing, an Easter Card from Heaven!