Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Maria!

Maria and Uncle Ryan - Christmas 2006

Maria and Mackenzie - January 2007

Hello Everyone,

It has been a while.

We wish you all God’s blessings in the New Year and hope that Christmas brought joy to all of you.

We went to Florida for Christmas. My brother Ryan got married! He is 14 years younger than me, and the baby of 6 kids. He was very dear to Maria. She held a very special place in her heart for him. I can remember back to her Christmas concert at school the Christmas before she died. She had a reading. Ryan brought flowers for her. We had just received the news from St. Jude that she had two to three months at the most. We of course never shared that with Maria. I can remember that she wanted Uncle Ryan to carry her out to the car. He had to go back to Law School straight from the concert. She did not want him to let her go. She held onto him very tightly. Finally, I told Maria it was time to say goodbye and that we had to get home because it was getting late. It was also quite cold outside. She still did not want to go. It was odd. When we finally drove away Maria suddenly started to cry. I said “Maria, what is wrong?" She said, “I’m afraid I will never see him again.” She was distraught. It shocked me. He would be back after Christmas in a few weeks, but she was afraid. I worried that she was having a sixth sense about things or had heard something. After that, I became firmly determined to continue to focus on living, not on dying, and that made a difference to Maria.

Ryan and his fiancée, Catherine, asked Maria to be a flower girl along with her favorite cousin Mackenzie, who is her age. They were both so excited about it. Maria talked about it all the time. I was excited right along with her, wanting to give her the will to make it and happy she had something to look forward to. I quietly prayed to God to allow her to make it to the wedding. As we know, He had different plans for her.

We went to the bridal luncheon. Mackenzie received a gift with all sorts of goodies that a little girl her age would love. I was so happy for her, but I couldn’t help but think about how much Maria would have loved it too. Aside from the attention walking down the aisle, something like this was so Maria. She would have loved the pretty dress Mackenzie wore. I could almost see Maria with her, smiling. Mackenzie and Maria were very close, like sisters. Mackenzie misses her buddy. My heart aches that she had to experience a loss like this at her age. My sister’s family mirrors mine in children--a girl and then three boys. Our kids are all the same ages. Now when they come into town to stay with us, Mackenzie is alone with all the boys. I know it is hard for her to be without Maria. It kills Ed and me to see her sitting or playing alone.

While in Florida, my mother had a dream. She saw Maria, along with all of her cousins, playing on the beach. Her cousins said to her “Maria, you can’t be here. You are in Heaven.” Maria told them “I can be here with you, and I am.” I don’t know if Maria is always able to be with me, but I did know one thing for certain, and that was that she would never miss her Uncle Ryan’s wedding for anything. I knew she would be there that day, and I felt her presence suddenly when the vows were exchanged at the altar. I felt as though she were standing right there by Ryan’s side. Something tells me she was.

This Christmas I felt a deep gratitude to God in my heart. I thanked Him for loving us so much to give us His only Son. I know He understands how it feels to lose a child who has had to suffer. Because of His unbelievably loving and compassionate act, Maria has a place in Heaven, and hopefully I will too someday. Having a child in Heaven, I think often about what it will take for me to get there. I pray hard and ask Maria to help me.

I will not pretend to say that because I believe in God I am ok. I do struggle. The pain is deep and a kind I have never experienced before. If I allow the loss to penetrate deeply to my core, it feels debilitating. It is not only emotionally, but physically painful. My heart physically aches. I have heard that people can die of a broken heart and it makes sense to me now. I understand it. Somehow you walk forward in life and try to keep it at bay, just below the surface, trying not to allow it to go too deep. There are times, though, when it is triggered and the pain rushes in. I think it’s ok. I need to feel it sometimes. I have also discovered that one of the keys to curing my sadness is to look outward, not inward. Inward to myself and my sorrow is a dead end. Outward has beautiful possibilities. God has so many graces to give.

Maria and I were extremely close. Our bond was special. We had a deep spiritual connection. When I look back on Maria’s life I believe God had chosen her, even before her diagnosis. Maria had a pure and innocent, sincere and unhindered faith in God. She simply believed. He knew what was to come and He took every opportunity of openness to Him to create something beautiful out of her life.

If you think about it, God is Love, and ultimately He can only make what is Good and Beautiful. I think about the Cross. Crucifying people was a disgusting and ugly practice man had come up with. God took it and, through Jesus, turned the suffering of the Cross into the most beautiful act of Love. Now we cherish the Cross. God took Maria’s cross and even in death made it beautiful. After she died, all signs of her illness were taken away. She was the most beautiful we had ever seen her. She was luminous and filled with the light of Heaven. Fr. Tim, Ed and I were blessed to witness this gift. Thank you Lord. This has reassured me. The memory will be with me forever and has lifted my faith.

Maria’s birthday is today, January 11th. God gave Maria to us 9 years ago. It is one of the best days of the year. We make it a Holiday in our home. We want it to be a tradition—a day that the boys look forward to all year and hopefully carry on with their own children. We celebrated her life today and had a fun day planned. The boys remembered Maria with so much love—as they do every day. Our love will never fade. It grows stronger with time.

Happy Birthday, sweet Maria. I tried to imagine what your birthday is like in Heaven. I know it is better than anything I could ever imagine. I want that for you Maria. I hope we are with you. I thank God for letting me share in His creation. He blessed me with the most wonderful daughter in the whole world. I can’t wait for the day when I can reach out and wrap my arms around you forever. I am so lucky to be your Mom. I love you.

We love you. Forever. Because Love never dies.

Mom and Dad, Eddie, Aidan and Blake

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Your spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thee. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. --Mother Teresa

We love you Maria.

Mom and Dad, Eddie, Aidan and Blake

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Update as of Sunday April 13, 2008

Hello Everyone,

It has been a long time since I have written a post.

Megan does a much better job than I could do if I spend 2 weeks on researching the English language.

But there are some things that I want to tell you, so expect this post to be disorganized, direct and brief.

First and foremost, it is more difficult than I could have ever imagined being without Maria. Every day we feel the emptiness. Maria was the leader, translator, negotiator, disciplinarian, and friend for the boys. They would listen to her, laugh with her, fight with her, draw with her and pray with her. It is like she is still at school or at a friend’s house when I am home and she is not there. I think about her all the time.

I remember when Megan was on bed rest with Blake and I was so lucky to take Maria to the bus stop every day. I would sing the song “Here comes the Bus, do do do do, here comes the bus and I say, it’s alright. Do do do do do, do do do, do do do do do” to the tune “Here comes the sun” a song by George Harrison from The Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road. And every single morning at that stop, she would complain and say to me, “Daddy, stop singing that silly song”. That memory will never leave my mind.

I love helping anyone with any questions, we get many other families that call our house and ask us our opinions, thoughts, questions, who and how to contact people, what did we do, what did we think about such and such, did we look into this treatment or that treatment, what would we do differently today, etc. And I do it every time and it is never a bother. I can still remember the day we found out the diagnosis of Maria (April 1) and realized how clueless I was…two years have passed and I have met so many great doctors and I have read so much about Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas that I know I understand the disease better than some doctors…but I also know that I know very little and that the doctors on our medical advisory board and many other doctors know a hell of a lot more than I ever will.

I also get a lot of questions from friends, family members, acquaintances and people I just meet. Here is one I got the other day. “ Ed, how often do you get sad and cry?” At first I said to myself “What the heck kind of question is that, you have a lot of guts to just flat out ask me something that personal, besides, everyone knows men don’t cry and I never get sad.” …… I responded to my mother and said, “I am sad everyday, but I can’t let it get in the way of supporting my family. Work is important and is a great distraction from reality.” I also said to her “ the pain has not diminished even a little and at times it feels worse when I see a photo or hear a story about Maria……and I cry almost every single day..usually driving to or from work with the radio playing some song about a little girl or a daddy losing his daughter to marriage or a little girl growing up or going to prom or sometimes hearing about another little girl doing something great…Easter sucked and I didn’t even see that coming…..a million beautiful girls all dressed up at church in their Easter outfits…they all looked so beautiful and I realized that we buried Maria in her Easter outfit…..I actually cried in church…..oh, don’t worry, no one saw me………..

You know what else made me cry recently, an email I received from a young woman named Kati Corbitt. Kati was Maria’s group leader at the St. Raphael Vacation Bible School (it is a week during the summer and the kids have an absolute blast…you don’t even have to belong to the parish to go (at least I don’t think you do) you should send your kids …anyways, Kati took great care of Maria that week and made sure Maria had a great time. Well, we got an email from her asking us if it was OK that she form a relay team in honor of Maria for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Bay Village. She has started this team with a few of her friends and Megan and I are so thankful and touched. The picture in this post is of Maria and Kati during that week. The team is called Hugs For Maria.

Please check out everything that Kati is doing for ACS. ACS is a great cause and I am asking you “brother can you spare a dime” and log on and support Kati and her friends to help ACS. Even if it is just a dollar…let them know we appreciate everything.

Here is the link

What else is going on……….today was another warm day, must have hit 40 degrees, wow is that warm, I was beginning to think we lived in Alaska…thank God for that global warming.

Our foundation is growing more and more every day. We are so excited that we made enough money from the Soiree and all the other events that we are going to announce the opening of the grant application process and hope to award our first significant grant by the end of the summer, thanks to all of you for your support.

The foundation has so many other events coming up including a jewelry sale, the annual motorcycle poker run (thanks Trucker) and of course We will soon be having our 2nd annual (third if you combine the one FOR Maria with the ones FROM Maria) 5K run 1mile walk on July 12, 2008. Check that out too . Mark down on your calendars the 12TH!!! Some people have asked me if this is the same event that Marc and Emily Quayle are having. It is not. The Quayle’s are working on forming their own foundation with a different focus. They are having their own run to celebrate Sophie’s birthday. They told us it is to raise money to support St. Jude, 501 C 3 organizations and to fund needy families with dinners and other needs. We support their calling and will help them in any way we can.

Our foundation continues to focus specifically on glioma research and providing support to the families. Our main goal is to find a cure! We are very excited with how much progress we have made toward our goal! We will soon announce the opening of the grant application process and are looking forward to awarding our first significant grant very soon! Thank you to all of you for your love and support. We could not be doing this without you!! Know that by helping us in even the smallest way you have contributed to something very great and meaningful.

That’s all folks! I can’t think of anything else to tell you about except to eat your vegetables!!

Thanks for your continued love and support.

God Bless,

Ed and Megan

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy February

Aidan, Maria and Eddie - Thanksgiving 2006
Hard to believe this was but a year ago. Maria was doing so well.
That tumor came back and we just couldn't stop it.
We were so helpless. I ask every day--
What would have stopped it? If I had only known.
I would have done anything to stop it.
That is why we have to fight for those now and those yet to come.

Hello Everyone,

I wrote the following post on Thanksgiving Day. Due to technical difficulties, I never posted it, but wanted you to know…

Happy Thanksgiving.

Today we think of all of you. We think of the kindness that has been shown to our family and how grateful we are to you. What an impact your kindness has made in our lives! We thank you and we thank God for you.

Last Wednesday I was asked to speak to a group of Girl Scouts at their annual Thanks and Praise Ceremony. I attended the ceremony last year when Maria read a line at the podium of what her troop was thankful for. Her troop was there again this year. Only, of course, Maria was not. This year the girls decided to collect and donate toys to St. Jude’s in honor of what they did to help Maria. What a beautiful thing to do. A troop leader asked if I could talk to the girls a little about St. Jude’s. At first, I was a bit frightened. I did not want to stand up in front of the girls and risk the chance of choking. I thought that perhaps it would be best if I wrote something that could be read to them by someone else. As I sat down to write something, it slowly came to me that it would be best for me to speak to them. I didn’t think too hard about anything because I felt guided, and so I just went where I was lead. There was a little nervousness when I got there. Seeing all of the girls brought back memories and that is hard. I looked at the girls from Maria’s class and they are getting bigger and time is moving on without my girl. Maria was with me though. I could feel her presence. I felt she wanted me to do this and so I knew she would see me through it, and she did.

Though it was the girls’ thanks and praise ceremony, I felt very thankful to all of them. I felt thankful that they are keeping Maria’s memory alive. I felt thankful for their grace in how they have handled the death of their friend. I felt thankful for their parents who have had to see them through the death of a friend. It is not easy to walk a child through something like this, but I know that each parent had to. It was obvious to me that the parents, too, had done it with grace because I saw some of the greatest kids I know sitting there in that Church.

As I looked around at the girls my memory recalled a moment after Jesus Day. We had just finished sharing lunch out in the yard at St. Raphael’s with Maria and it was time for the students to head back in to class to finish up the day. I walked Maria into the school and many students were walking up and down the hallway. I was a bit worried because I knew that with Maria’s eyesight and balance it would be difficult for her to guide herself down the hallway and back to class. Just when I decided I would take her back a good friend of Maria’s walked into the building and instinctively took her hand and said “C’mon Maria, I’ll walk with you back to class”. Maria kissed me goodbye and I watched her friend carefully lead her down the hallway. There was no fanfare. It came as second nature to this little girl. She knew her friend needed help and she helped her. She did not make a big deal out of it, and Maria, who otherwise would never want any attention or help, knew she needed her friend’s help and accepted it. As I watched them walk down the hallway tears came to my eyes, partly because of the affirmation that Maria was slowly deteriorating, but mostly because of the feeling it gave me to see such a pure act of kindness shown toward my daughter. Though it may not seem like much to some, acts like that meant everything to me. This is the way Maria’s classmates are. They loved Maria and they looked out for her. It came naturally to them and because of that there was nothing that made Maria feel self-conscious. It didn’t stop at her fellow students either. Teachers, aides, children in other grades—many people reached out to her and loved her without making her feel different. I thank all of you. It did not go unnoticed by me. It meant a great deal to me that you would care for my daughter the way you did.

The Saint Raphael community has been like one I could never have imagined. Grace, kindness and compassion are the words that come to my mind. You live your faith. I am extremely inspired by the many generous acts I have witnessed and received and I want to pass it on.

Outside the gym door at St. Raphael there is a picture of Mother Teresa and beneath it a quote of her’s that says “unless life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile”. The St. Raphael community understands this well. Ed and I feel blessed to call this community Family. God is at work there. Thanks to the example of this community, I am humbled, and I am learning that when you immerse yourself in a life that is lived for others that is where God lives and that is the only place I want to be. I sure have a long way to go...

As for Maria—

Going forward there are many things we think of that we want to share with you about her. We will do this in time. The journey continues and this site has been a source of comfort to our family--a place we can go to share her story and honor her memory. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Until the next post, a package came yesterday from Pamela in Cincinnati. We opened it today on Thanksgiving. Not a coincidence. You know we don’t believe in them. Thank you Pamela. I hope you don’t mind if we share “Visitor From Heaven” with everyone because we think it captures beautifully what is in our hearts.
Visitor From Heaven - Share on Ovi

Visitor From Heaven
Music and lyrics by Twila Paris

Vocal by Pamela Pretot
Piano accompaniment by Craig White

A visitor from heaven,
If only for a while,
A gift of love to be returned,
We think of you and smile.

A visitor from heaven,
Accompanied by grace,
Reminding of a better love
And of a better place.

With aching hearts and empty arms,
We send you with a name.
It hurts so much to let you go
But we’re so glad you came,
We’re so glad you came.

A visitor from heaven,
If only for a day.
We thank Him for the time He gave
And now it’s time to say:

We trust you to the Father’s love
And to His tender care,
Held in the everlasting arms
And we’re so glad you’re there.

With breaking hearts and open hands,
We send you with a name.
It hurts so much to let you go
But we’re so glad you came,
We’re so glad you came.

We wish all of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.

God bless,
Ed and Megan

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Maria! - January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday sweet Maria,

On your special day I think of you with so much love and gratitude in my heart.

You came into this world so quietly. It struck me that you barely even cried when you were born. I thought something must be wrong, but then you looked at me wide-awake and so peacefully. You had that quiet peace about you right from the very beginning. Maybe because you knew I was not well and did not want to cause a fuss. You always thought of me first. They rushed me off to the O.R. and you stayed very quietly with your Daddy who developed a special place in his heart for you right from that very moment.

You always radiated love Maria. Before you became sick there was a timid and sweet, happy-go-lucky innocence about you. You were excited about everything and genuinely loved life. You were quite the practical joker, yet you were gentle, kind and thoughtful. After you became sick your wisdom grew and much of your happy innocence was taken away from you. I hated to see this. Yet with all you had to endure the love that you radiated to others seemed to grow stronger and stronger. In your most private, difficult and painful moments you reached out to me not to be comforted, but to comfort! Though I kept my face strong and smiling for you, you saw beyond it and you did not want me to worry. I ached deeply. I could not help you. I could not save your life. You put your hand on my cheek and told me that you loved me. In your pain you did not think of yourself. You never wanted me to suffer but you suffered so much. It occurred to me that until you, I never really grasped the meaning of true love. You showed me love in its rawest form. Pure love. Nothing attached to it. A love like that can never be conquered by death and will live forever. You loved me like Christ would. Because of that I am able to understand the beginning of the depths of the love Christ must have for us. Through you I received a glimpse of Christ’s pain and suffering but also His unconditional love. I want to thank you Maria! I see now what I can’t imagine ever having not seen! It is so clear to me that at the end of your life Christ took hold of you and you became one with Him. Just as Father Tim said, He consumed your soul, Maria, and I was blessed to be a witness.

Hold onto me Maria. Don’t let me slip and fall. I want to get to where you are and I know that my life must change. There is a lot of work to do and I am already almost 39. Only through your example have I been able to understand the urgency of how important it is to change my life and live it for Christ. Now I see that this life is not about me, but what I can do for others. It is entirely about LOVE. God has taught me that valuable lesson through you. I pray that I never lose site of the meaning. That I don’t ever fail to remember the lessons I have learned. One day I know God will ask me “What have you done with what you have been given?” I long to hear Him say the words that I know you have already heard: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

For your birthday I can not give you any greater gift than what you have already been given--the gift of eternal life. Your life on earth has ended, but your mission, I believe, has just begun. I am here for you Maria, to help you in any way I can. I pray others will too.

Your Daddy, Eddie, Aidan, Blake and I love you and miss you so much Maria. You will always be our glue. We think of you every day. We are so proud of you. We know you will enjoy your first birthday in Heaven with all of the other beautiful children who have walked in your shoes. No more pain. No more suffering. Only love.
Mom and Dad

Monday, September 24, 2007

Update as of September 24, 2007

"Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with your Spirit and love.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly,
that all my life may only be a radiance of Thee."
-Mother Teresa

Hello Everyone,

In this world there are so many beautiful and wonderful people. I've heard it said that when you go through an experience like this God is closer to you than ever. This was clearly true for me as I looked out and saw His presence everywhere. When I looked down from Maria's bedroom window on the night after she died to see so many candles lit and to hear the rosary being said I thought what a beautiful way to honor Maria and her story—by honoring Christ and His Mother. For certain They and Maria were there in our midst. On the following nights, to see the beautiful luminaries lit up in the neighborhoods and then to see the numbers of people who lined the streets after Maria’s funeral was inspiring. I knew God was taking care of us all. Thank you. Thank you to all of you.

Please continue to keep Maria and her story alive in your hearts. For a little girl, she had such a great impact, and I believe that is because she was always open to God's love and graces. Through her, He was able to share them with all of us. Keeping that candle glowing in our lives is the greatest tribute we can give to her and to Christ.

Many have asked us to post Fr. Tim's homily from Maria's mass. It is below.

Please remember all children who suffer from cancer and their families in your prayers.

God bless,
Ed and Megan

Fr. Tim Gareau’s Homily
Funeral Mass for Maria McNamara
St. Raphael Church
July 18, 2007

Mass of the Resurrection for Maria

I would like to open the homily today
with all of us gathered here this morning
together let us express a sign of our love and support
to Megan and Ed, Eddie, Aidan and Blake.

My dear friends in Christ,
our dear Maria’s struggle is ended.
There is no more sickness and suffering,
doctors or chemotherapy.
She is complete and whole once again
as our Lord Jesus Christ has called her home.

She has fought the good fight.
She has run the race.
She has kept the faith
and a merited crown awaits her –
the crown of glory in Jesus Christ our Lord.
She now sings and dances,
runs and laughs,
and maybe even jumps rope or plays duck duck goose
with all the angels and saints in heaven.

The movie that was produced early in Maria’s illness
called Miracles for Maria was just beautiful.
We all looked and prayed and hoped for a miracle – didn’t we?
As we put our focus in that direction,
I hope that we didn’t miss something extremely important:

Maria WAS the miracle through her response to Jesus
and His response to her.

A seven year old girl was called home
in the seventh month of the year 0-7.
Maria was and always will be a special expression
of God’s love and presence to all of us.

Maria WAS the miracle!
Our Lord is calling all of us today
to look to the miracle OF Maria.
Look to the hand of God in her life
and experience His grace shining through it!

Maria knew, loved, and embraced the cross.
She was given a tremendous cross
that literally took the breadth away from
her family, parish, community, and well beyond
what our minds could possibly imagine.

Maria had a small cross –
the one that was in her casket
and is now on her casket.

When she was most in pain,
excruciating pain, I might add,
Maria took those precious little hands of hers
and wrapped them around her cross
and held on as tightly as she possibly could
so as to gather as much strength that she needed
to endure another bout of pain.

The suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross
and the suffering of Maria were joined as one.
Maria knew the cross and now she knows the glory.

My dear friends,
hold on to the cross through your suffering.
Let it give you strength and endurance
as it did for Maria.

This gift of our salvation,
The cross of Jesus Christ,
has brought us to our ultimate destiny –
the resurrection, eternal life, eternal happiness and peace.

We see the Miracle of the cross in Maria’s life,
how it gave her what she needed
to endure her illness to the end.

Another miracle was her relationship with Jesus.

Maria never left Jesus
and Jesus never left Maria.
She was steadfast in her relationship with God.
Maria never wavered in her love for God.
“Would you like Holy Communion, Maria?” I would ask.
With those beautiful eyes, headband in her hair,
and rounded cheeks,
in her gentle spirit she would respond:
“Oh, yes, Father!”

“Would you like to be anointed with the holy oil and prayed over?”
“Oh, yes, Father!”

And then we would pray and peace would always enter in
as Our Lord Jesus was giving our precious Maria
another sacramental hug!
His grace was consuming her soul!

Maria loved Jesus and Jesus loved Maria.
The miracle of their relationship was bigger than life
and was wrapped in eternal love.

I’ve heard it said:
“I’m done with God!”
“What kind of God would do this?”
“Why, why, why?”
The pain and heartache that we experience
is so consuming, so penetrating
that we don’t know how to handle it,
so we lash out at God.
We blame God for this.

The Lord will help us in our anger.
The Lord will help us in our heartache.
He will help us in our pain.

God did not will this for Maria,
He carried her through it.
He lifted her up and gave her strength.
Jesus held Maria in His loving arms
and walked with her the journey that she endured.

So many prayers went up for healing (mine included).
We prayed hard.
We prayed long.
We prayed rosary after rosary.
We prayed often.

God did not abandon our prayer.
God did not abandon Maria.
He guided us along Maria’s path of holiness.
He guided us along Maria’s path to heaven.
He was with her and us every step of the way.

My dear friends,
look to the miracle – look to Maria.
She never left Jesus
and Jesus never left her.
My precious, precious child, Jesus promises,
there are one set of footprints
given to all those who are faithful.

A third miracle is the miracle of the saints.
Just prior to her death, Maria asked how to [spell
the name] of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.
Blessed Kateri is always pictured holding the cross.
Maria was called home by God on Kateri’s feast day
and Maria’s cross was on her pillow next to her precious face.
Kateri means Catherine in her native Mohawk tongue.
Several months ago, after waking up one morning,
Maria asked Megan [if she knew] St. Catherine of Laboure
because she had a dream about her.
In the dream, Maria saw a beautiful stained glass window
of St. Catherine’s image [and next to her was an Indian girl].

Megan asked Maria how she knew it was St. Catherine.
Maria said it was the person standing behind her
in her dream that told her the name.
Catherine Laboure started the Miraculous Medal
because of her love of the Blessed Mother.

We prayed to Blessed Mother Teresa
throughout Maria’s illness.
Megan worked with Blessed Mother Teresa
prior to meeting Ed and taking his hand in marriage
and having a family with him.

What did Blessed Mother Teresa give to Megan?
A miraculous medal!
The very medal that Maria wore throughout her illness.

What young child knows such names as
St. Catherine Laboure or Kateri Tekakwitha?
It all connects to the communion of saints
and another miracle of Maria.
My friends, look to the miracle,
look to Maria.
A final miracle, amidst many more,
is the miracle of family and community.

Megan and Ed,
your constant and faithful love for Maria
touched all of our hearts.
You did all that you could possibly do
and much more besides.
Hold on to that.
Believe in it
and never waver from it.
You shared your story openly with the larger community
and throughout the world.
So many lives have been touched by you and Maria.

Jesus established family and community.
This was his mission and primary purpose.

Thank you for drawing us in
and sharing your story with us.
Maria’s parish community, school community,
neighborhood, city, and well beyond, know that precious smile
and gift of faith that has carried you through this difficult time.

We will continue to walk with you.
We will continue to do what we can in Maria’s memory.

God has given us a precious miracle in Maria McNamara.
We will not lose sight of Maria’s ability to hold fast to the cross.
To remain close to Jesus as He remains close.
To know that we are an important part
of the community of saints as they help us still.
And, through family and community,
we can find the strength that we need
to endure some very difficult challenges that come our way.

We thank God for the miracle of Maria.
As our prayers move from prayers FOR Maria
to prayers FROM Maria may we find strength and hope
that God has blessed us with the miracle of her life
and, perhaps, with miracles yet to come.

God Bless you!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Update as of Saturday July 14, 2007

Here are the services:

Monday July 16, 2007 -- 5 PM to 8 PM
Tuesday July 17, 2007 -- 2PM to 4 PM and 6PM to 8PM
Chambers Funeral Home
29150 Lorain Road
North Olmsted, OH
(Corner of Stearns and Lorain -- North Side)

Mass of Wednesday July 18, 2007 --10:30AM
St. Raphael's Church
525 Dover Center Road
Bay Village, Ohio 44140

Update as of Saturday July 14, 2007

God came today and picked his little sunflower Maria.

She became a Saint in Heaven at 1:30 in the morning.

No words can describe the impact she has left on so many lives.

Maria's brothers, Eddie, Aidan, and Blake and Mom and Dad were with her at home.

Please ask God to give us the strength we need.

We love you Maria. You will be with us everyday.

Love Mom and Dad