This spring we are making a little tour of people and places that have been a part of our journey over the past year. At each stop, we will be making donations in Siena's honor.
Our first stop was the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. If you aren't familiar with Siena's special relationship with the Shrine, be sure to read this post first. Since that time, I have been in contact with the woman who visited us in the hospital and the Shrine director remembered Siena to a mutual friend as recently as this week.
It was really only fitting that we begin our tour, a week before the Feast of St. Gianna....at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Unlike our January visit, the weather was not cooperating today. When we saw the forecast, we decided to attend Mass at the Cathedral and then walk only as far as the Votive Candle Chapel once we arrived at the Shrine (it is about a half mile walk from the visitors center up to the Shrine church and devotional areas...not good in the rain with small children).
I have no doubt this was our shortest Shrine visit ever!
We were there less than an hour total, and most of that was spent in the gift shop. As a special treat, every few visits I will give each child $1-2 to spend on whatever they want to remember that trip. Lucie got an Our Lady of Guadalupe medal on a long cord. Logan chose a book about Pope Francis. Kylee chose a St. Therese/Our Lady of Fatima reversible color bead/medal thing. Caleb chose a book of Catholic word puzzles and games (which was not under his limit, but we agreed it would stay in the car for times he has to wait so we get a good use out of it). Aidan chose a St. Michael medal.
Our main purpose in visiting the Shrine first, however, was actually to light a 1 year candle in Siena's memory. Just between those who have shared with me, there has been a candle lit for her there almost continually since October. What better way to keep her light shining than another year?
Baby, burn bright.
I can't decide if this song is from me to Siena or Siena to me....maybe both.
Also I think Caleb had a growth spurt, that would explain the rough couple weeks he's had.