Once Upon a Time I Ran
I renew my Consecration to Mary every day but I officially made my DeMonfort Consecration to Mary with my wife Shirley 40 years ago. Leah and Abby asked me to write an article to share with everyone about my experience in life having done the consecration. Well, that is exactly what happened. I start writing, and Mary really does not want the attention I intend to give her, so she has me write and lead us all to a better understanding of God the Father’s love for us.
New Year’s Day is a great day, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, and just as you can count on that being the case again next year there will be a party at my home on New Year’s Day. My home is in the middle of Minnesota and the only place I ever lived. I grew up on this farm, and I remember my aunts, uncles, and cousins arriving just before noon on a New Year’s Day party somewhere around my twelfth birthday. We ate a hearty meal, for example, roast beef, potatoes, gravy, green beans, pie, and ice cream, with snacks for the rest of the afternoon of cookies and more ice cream.
My cousins and I needed the energy from all that food because we would not come back in the house and refuel for two to three hours. As farm boys, we had things to do, and it started that day by swinging on ropes in the haybarn. We removed the idea of landing on a soft pile of hay, to only the possibility, of landing on a soft pile of hay. The rope shortened, a move to the fed-up side of the haybarn, and opening the door to the outside adds danger because if you land on the wrong spot, you could roll out the door and have a ten-foot drop to the frozen ground. (Timing is everything.)
King on the hill came next, consisting of a game where the biggest and strongest cousin repeatedly throws the weaker cousins off the snow piles. This battle continues until one of the mothers finds us and says it is time for a snack. We sit quietly, eating ice cream and listening to our dads tell stories about farming, how to know God, why we need to respect our mothers, what it takes to be a good worker, and how to skin a coyote. They mention their walk to and from school and how it was uphill both ways. Dads are the smartest and toughest guys in the world, and because their word is law, they taught us how to be men.
Twenty-five years later, snowmobiling and skating became the main activities for our New Year’s Day party. Shirley, my wife, and my siblings serve a massive meal with non-stop snacking all afternoon for my parents, siblings, and all our children.
Pulling two sleds behind my snowmobile is more efficient than pulling one sled, because I can give twice as many kids a ride at a time. On one particular ride, the ropes tangled, causing my niece to fall off the first sled, and then be run over by the second sled. She wriggled and popped out of the snow, stood up and laughed as if to get run over is normal. After I checked on her, I untied one of the sleds for safety reasons. Sometimes dads make mistakes.
Twenty-five years later, after eating another large meal, I go outside with everybody and maybe I take the snowmobile around the barn once. I for sure throw snowballs at my grandkids and teach them how to make snow angels. I grab one of the little boys and wrestle him to the ground to show all the grandkids how tough I am. This act of war results in a snowball fight. Old injuries, surgeries, and arthritis force me to retreat to the safety of the house.
As I watch everyone outside, I realize how blessed I am and how much God the Father loves me. I know that he loves me, because Mary the Mother of God always brings me to her Son Jesus, who always reveals his Father’s loving embrace.