Below is a tribute my father read at the service on Sunday, January 2, 2011. I wanted to share with all of you.
In today’s Gospel, we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord Jesus. The Magi bringing their gifts were following the star without really knowing where they were going.
That star does not always represent the birth of a newborn child. It can also symbolize a personal tragedy such as an illness or even death. That star today is my loving daughter, Jessica, who succumbed to a very rare cancer for which there is no known treatment.
She passed away silently to the Elysian fields of yore to join her mother, Marie, and her brother, John.
She is like a flower dropped before reaching her full blossom to give birth to the sleeping fruit waiting to be born.
On the day before she died, I sat beside her, she looked at me with glazed eyes, clasped my hand with gentle fingers and with trembling lips whispered how she loved me, her brothers and sisters, and her nieces and nephew – and that she is resigned and glad to join her mother and brother.
Although we are pierced and wounded by this tragic event, we have no fear for we know that God is holding us in his arms – for we look down and see only one set of footprints in the sand.