My most memorable Mother’s Day was May 13, 2018. My late husband, Ed, surprised me with a day trip to Buffalo.
We started at St. Gualbert in Cheektowaga. Ed knew I loved relics, and there were more than 1,100 in that church. I was overwhelmed not just by the collection but also by the effort Ed had made to find such an amazing place. Ed didn’t need relics to deepen his faith, but he knew they helped me deepen mine, so he brought me there.
The next stop was a tour of the art in the Albright Knox Art Museum. After the tour, Ed had arranged for a special lunch at a garden-side table in the museum restaurant. In the gift shop, Ed bought me a sketchbook with my favorite Monet water lilies on the cover.
We left the museum and traveled to Our Lady of Fatima Shrine near Niagara Falls. It had a beautiful basilica, an authentic replica of the apparition chapel in Portugal, hundreds of full-size religious statues, a huge rosary around a fountain, and so much more. Before we left, we stopped at the gift shop, and Ed told me to buy whatever I wanted. I was a Catholic-school teacher, so I bought some books to use in my lesson plans and stickers to give my students after the lesson on the Fatima apparition I was inspired to plan.
As we drove home, I held Ed’s hand tightly with tears of joy in my eyes. I thanked him sincerely for the amazing day. He was so happy that I was happy. He told me he loved me very much. He wanted to give me the perfect Mother’s Day, and he did.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a heart attack on Aug. 1, 2020. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter in-person and virtual enrichment weekends, visit www.wwme.org. To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.