She Gave Us The Moon

Catherine Lafferty D’Agostino was not afraid to die. When she was twelve years old, she sat at the bedside of a woman who was dying.  The woman lived alone, so her neighbors took turns sitting by her bed and waiting with her until she was ready to release her final breath. Catherine’s mother had another commitment that afternoon, so she sent her daughter to keep the vigil in her place.

Catherine sat alone and watched over the dying woman, and I can imagine that she wondered if she would be there when the woman crossed over.  After a few hours of silence, the woman asked Catherine a question. “Do you see that angel over the piano?”  The girl looked up. “No, I don’t.”  Staring at the space above the old piano, the woman smiled and said, “She’s come to take me home.”  Catherine left the house when another neighbor came to keep watch through the night, and when Catherine woke up the next morning she learned that “the angel had done her job.”

All of these years later, Catherine spoke of the many, many angels she saw surrounding her as she prepared to leave us and join her beloved husband, John.  Since Dad crossed over last April, she saw him frequently.  In her final days with us, she said Dad had prepared a beautiful garden for her and was waiting for her there.  Catherine joined him a few days before their 67thwedding anniversary and, in so doing, they continued their unbroken string of spending their anniversaries together.

Our family and friends gathered this past Wednesday to celebrate Catherine’s long life as a true believer in the power of love. Even as children we noticed that our Mom seemed to love everyone, and somehow she brought out the love in people who rarely expressed kindness or compassion to anyone else.  I think of her now as a warm and gentle waterfall of love, helping others love themselves because she reminded them that they were lovable.  Of her many, many talents, surely this was the greatest.

So, it was not surprising that the phrase I heard over and over again at her funeral was, “I loved your Mom.” People across generations, of her age and much younger, told stories of how they had met her, or how she had helped them, or made them laugh, or comforted them with her heartfelt smile.  

Catherine was a truly remarkable women, and a loving wife, Mom, Granny, sister, aunt and friend.  She always found joy in observing nature’s gifts – the sky, trees, flowers, birds, ladybugs, fireflies, and especially the moon.  She noticed and was grateful for all the beauty that surrounded her.  Mom’s connection with the moon was deep and strong, and every time she saw the moon it seemed to transport her into a state of awe and wonder.  Every time.  She instilled that sense of awe in each member of our family.  None of us has ever seen the moon without thinking of her, and now we see her love and joy reflected back to us and to all those who miss her.  She is our moon now.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Photo Credit: John Windwalker

22 comments on “She Gave Us The Moon”

  1. Just beautiful. And heartfelt, and happy! And while I am sure the tears flow, I hope there are more with a smile on your face than a frown. Just beautiful🥰

  2. Dear Sharon…I so loved your mom. She was always like sunshine throughout our grammar, high school and college days! I still smile on St Patrick’s day when remembering her telling us to watch not to step on the 🍀 leprechauns that were certainly there for us to see, if we believed! She was most joyful and I was blessed to experience her love. Sending you & your family lots of love.

  3. So glad your mom and dad were together on their special day. Now they again watch over you together from a place of love and peace. Prayers with you all – Kim

  4. Sending you love and appreciating the lovely and loving story of your mother Sharon. May her memories give all who knew her peace and inspiration. Your message does for me.

  5. Dear Sharon,
    I never had the opportunity to meet your Mom, but I am happy to know that she and I shared a love for the moon. I will think of her next time I gaze up with wonder, and imagine that she’s now free to go and fully explore the mysteries with Sister Moon.
    Much love to you,
    Jamila

  6. Dear Sharon- My deepest condolences. What a lovely and remarkable woman your mom was! She raised a strong and beautiful daughter like you. I am sure you take comfort in knowing she is with God and your dad now.

    Please take good care. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and the family.

    Love,
    Emily

  7. aah – my heart is sad for you Sharon but happy for your Mum who is now with her beloved and watching over you always xxx

  8. My dearest Sharon, I am so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute and memory during such a difficult time. How wonderful, though, that these two beautiful souls were able to spend their anniversary together! I’m sure that’s exactly how they wanted it. Sending you a great big hug.

  9. Sharon, my arms are wrapped around you and your family. What an amazing tribute to your mom, Catherine. Though I’ve didn’t have a chance to meet her personally, somehow I feel that I have…..through YOU! I will look at the moon differently now and I’m sure the D’Agostino family and those who loved/love her and your dad will as well. Continue to celebrate their lives together and that moon will be bigger and brighter than ever before. Love you!

  10. Dearest Sharon,

    What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to your mother Catherine. I wish I had known her – it would have been an honor to spend time with a fellow lover of Luna. She surely passed on her loving ways to her daughter. The special bond the two of you had shines through every word you wrote. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us during this time of healing.

    Sending a loving hug to you,
    Kate

  11. Sharon,

    My thoughts are with you. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. She sounds like a very special and remarkable person and I thank you for sharing her with us.

    Sending many hugs and love.
    Always,
    Amy

  12. Sharon. My deepest condolences. It appears you are just like your mom. What a beautiful legacy. Sending you so much love

  13. Dear Sharon,

    I am so sad to hear about your Mom. I never had the pleasure of meeting your Mom , however, as I read your beautiful tribute to her I could see so much of her in you. What a beautiful gift she gave to all of us in you! For you too are a remarkable woman. God bless you and your family.

    D

  14. Katy Fillman Al-Afyouni

    Sharon,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom but happy to know that she can be at peace now with your dad. Although I never met her, based on your description of how effortlessly she loved everyone, I can say for sure that she passed that wonderful trait on to you. I have no doubt that you will continue on with this legacy of love. Sending warm thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  15. Dearest Sharon:
    I never met your mom or your dad, but I feel like I knew these 2 very special people because I see YOU in your writings about them. They truly created an amazing woman through their love and teachings. My condolences on your loss and may her memory live on through you and your family.

    With love,
    Gina

  16. Dearest Sharon,
    This profoundly beautiful tribute to your beloved Mom moves me beyond measure. What a truly and deeply loving spirit — one that lives on in you. I will never look at the moon in the same way — from now on it is bursting with love and compassion. Sending all my most caring thoughts and affection, Kristen

  17. Dear Sharon,
    Thanks for letting me know your mom through your words. I’m sure that there is much of her kindness and love in you. Sending you a big hug a lots of love.

  18. Dear Sharon,
    Although I never met Catherine, I can see her in you and I felt I knew her, the woman who would stop in the middle of walking to a meeting to smell the flower by the roadside, the woman who buys lunch for strangers because “everyone could use a bit of love and kindness”, the woman who opens her arms to hug you whenever she sees you… I never met Catherine but I know she was like the woman I know and was one of the most beautiful people who visited this planet. Mei

  19. What a beautiful and loving tribute to your mother. I feel like I met her through your words.
    Blessings to you as you move forward in life with her loving memory wrapped around your heart, continuing to support you, love you, and teach you the wonders of the moon.
    Janet

  20. This is incredibly beautiful and a true mark of compassion that “she brought out the love in people who rarely expressed kindness or compassion to anyone else”. Wishing you continued peace, joy and love. Your mom sounds like an amazing soul. xoxo

  21. Such a gift and blessing to have had a Mother like this. Obviously, there’s a lot of her in you and her spirit continues in and through you as well as others who knew her and loved her. So you pass along her gifts and love to those whom you know and cherish. Thanks for sharing!

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