Mad for…Ann

“To help children, boys and girls, young men, women and adults to know and love the Lord ever more is one of the most beautiful educational adventures…” (Pope Francis)

Day 41 of 365.

One of her several recent notes read, “I wanted you to know that yesterday you were my special intention at mass and communion. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.” Meet Ann Kalmey. She’s the mother of one of my most dear friends on the planet, Lisa, as well as two more grown children, Lee Ann and Doug. She’s a grandmother to a whole slew of accomplished and amazing young people. I really know her just a little, from a sprinkling of moments together over the years, and yet this fact is utterly unsurprising.

You and I, all of us actually, we sometimes wish for a better world, a better way, an improved life in one way or another. Standing between the ideal and reality are mountainous obstacles, colossal challenges….and we think I’m only one person!! What can I possibly do? Let me tell you what you can do! You can BE LIKE ANN!

Ann and her incredibly fun-loving and intelligent husband raised their beautiful family with a strong base of faithfulness as it’s core. Ann spent much of her professional career as a principal at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School near Louisville, KY. Because Ann is an unbelievably articulate and very strong woman, I know without a doubt that the staff of teachers she led and the students under her care were both well educated in the faith and unconditionally and compassionately supported. “Without confidence and love, there can be no true education” said St. John Bosco. I quite agree. What an amazing way Ann has served the Lord with her life and vocation!

In more recent years, Ann also FOUGHT THE BEAST….and she WON! I am confident she has met many other obstacles in her life besides breast cancer with similar fire and persistence. Her formidable strength and faithfulness as well as an overflowing helping of compassion are to me, her defining qualities.

Here’s the thing Ann reminded me of in recent days with her persistent and thoughtful reaching out. God can do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine. On our own our little efforts might be little in our minds eye, but when we live our lives with Christ at the center, we aren’t on our own– we are souls magnifying the Lord! We needn’t ever think “I can only do so much!”

Thank you, Ann, for being an encouraging face of the Lord to all in your path. Your daughter, Lisa, is a fierce and unbelievably loving and faithful woman because of the love of her mother. I couldn’t do life without her, and this week I realize how fortunate I am that through her, I’ve been able to get to know her spectacular sparkplug of a mother….and snag a scoop of your fabulousness in my life too!

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