Painting keeps late husband, Jesus and Mary in blogger’s heart - Catholic Courier
Leonor and Ed Rivera with their sons, Sean and Jordan. (Photo by Ed Rivera) Leonor and Ed Rivera with their sons, Sean and Jordan. (Photo by Ed Rivera)

Painting keeps late husband, Jesus and Mary in blogger’s heart

When our two sons were young, they loved skipping stones and collecting rocks on lakefronts. One day, our son found a rock that he thought looked like a ladybug. He asked me to paint it red and black. I did. He loved it! Our boys collected more rocks. Our family started painting the rocks to look like animals and flowers. Creating, we felt close to each other and to the Creator.

After Ed died, I struggled to paint, so I painted simple ladybugs to remember how.

One day, a catalog came in the mail. In it was the story of how the ladybug got its name. Long ago, a village asked the Blessed Mother for help with an insect infestation. Red and black beetles appeared and ate the bad insects. The villagers called the good bugs “Our Lady’s Bugs” or Lady Bugs. 

Photo by Leonor Rivera

To relive happy memories of being with my husband and sons, I headed to a nearby lakeshore to paint. While I was painting, a REAL ladybug landed next to a ladybug I had just finished painting. I could hardly believe my eyes! I quickly took a picture with my cell phone. I cried, feeling God and Ed’s BIG love for me delivered by one of God’s smallest creatures. I remembered that Our Blessed Mother was a widow too! She understood my deep pain. The thought comforted me like a warm hug. Wow! With gratitude, I painted more and more of Our Lady’s Bugs. I gave them away with a copy of the story.

People asked me to teach them how to paint Our Lady’s Bug. I created a simple video so that others could spread the story about Our Blessed Mother. And so I continue to paint with the Blessed Mother, Jesus and Ed in my heart.


To see the video of how to paint Our Lady’s Bug, visit and click on Nov. 29.

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 To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit

Tags: Catholic Marriage, Mary
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