Sunday, March 24, 2013


Today would have been my mother's 67th birthday. As I couldn't visit her grave - 900 km from where we live - I went on a little pilgrimage with hubby and kids in tow.

It was Valery, who asked in a comment one this post if there wasn't a special place nearby to remember her. I couldn't immediately think of anything, but I kept the comment in the back of my mind. Then a while ago I knew exactly what I wanted to do once my mom's birthday would come around: when I was pregnant with M. Sensible, my parents came over to visit and my mom asked me if I wanted to join her on a walk to the basilica, because she wanted to light a candle, to give thanks and ask for a blessing for this pregnancy. I happily obliged and we made a beautiful little pilgrimage together, first crossing the river to the old part of town, then climbing the hundreds of steps, up to the top of the hill where the basilica lies, overlooking the city.

Today, M. Sensible, our dapper 3.5 year old, walked those steps all by himself, holding his daddy's hand. M. Gourmand was on my back in the baby carrier, and my mother was there too, her spirit accompanying me to the top.

After the first long set of steps, we came across this writing on a wall. I thought it was quite fitting on a day like this.

English translation:
Don't ask anyone your way,
especially not those who know it.
You wouldn't be able to get lost anymore.

When we arrived at the basilica, mass was still in progress and it being Palm Sunday, the church was packed. We quietly stood in the back for a few minutes and then I lit a candle for my mum, before heading out again.

On the way back home (this time via public transport) we stopped by the bakery to buy a cake, which we'll eat later today.


Fran said...

How beautiful and so glad you found the perfect place for such a special day! Big hugs to you.

St Elsewhere said...

How beautiful.

I love love love the quote. So powerful.

Happy Birthday to your mother.

marwil said...

Really beautiful. I like the idea of doing something special like this on these kind of days. I'm so sorry you lost your mum. I know how hard it can be, since my own mother died from cancer six years ago. Glad you could do this walk together with your family.