Special Water (by Mary Permoda)

No those are not hand sanitizers! Easter was glorious this year, we actually had Mass at church! And to help us celebrate it long after the season of Lent/Easter, we have bottles of holy water that were given out after Easter Masses and available throughout the Lent/Easter season. Fr. Eric reminds us of the importance of blessings and encourages us to bless ourselves, family, pets, our homes, even our cars if you have a teenager!

These holy water bottles remind me of my special Fridays with Caleb, my 18 year old grandson 15 years ago. Back then my days off were Fridays and Saturdays and so of course, I offered to help out and watch Caleb on Fridays while mom and dad were at work. We had a great routine: we played…played…read books…played…had snacks…and played. Isn’t that what grandmothers (nannys) are for?

When it was nap time, he would climb up on my bed and I would lay with him until he fell asleep. On the night stand next to my bed I had my prayer area (table). On it was the usual suspected items: bible, prayer cards, cross, candle, a rosary made out of the roses from my mother’s funeral and of course a holy water bottle.

In the beginning, Caleb didn’t pay much attention to what was on the night stand because he was excited I was laying down with him. As time went on, he became curious about what was on the table and would pick things up and play with them. The holy water was his favorite of course and I would bless him with it right before he went down for a nap. How do you explain holy water to an inquisitive 4 year old? I told him it was special water that reminds us that God loves us and is with us all the time and that we could talk to him when we put the special water on our heads, hands and heart. Every time he was over not just on Fridays, he would go to my bedroom and ask for the special water. For awhile, I was blessing him and saying a prayer, then we did it together and of course finally he was blessing himself and talking to God. This became our special prayer time.

To this day, when things get hard, rough or just need an extra boost of prayer, Caleb will come to me and say, Nanny – do you still have that “special” water? My prayer area has been moved, but the holy water is on it. And yes, Caleb and I have a special time together again.

– Mary Permoda