It was a busy weekend. My mother came home from the hospital Friday afternoon after having a total knee replacement Monday. Needless to say, she was in a great deal of pain. The weekend before her surgery my brother and I dismantled her bed frame (her bed sat super high), so that she would be able to make her way on and off her mattress and box springs easier. We also moved a chair in her room so that she would be able to navigate with her walker.
Now all that moving and rearranging before her surgery, and a day and a half of helping her get in and out of bed; and it wasn't until Saturday night - with the air conditioner on the fritz - that I stepped on something. I was moving a pillow, so I had to go back a minute later to examine what it was. When I bent down I could barely believe my eyes - mom's wedding ring that she had lost a month before!
I remember coming to her house the afternoon after she realized it was missing. She, my dad, and sister had combed the house
searching for it. Had it come off her hand when she met a friend for lunch? Could it be in the car? "Shane, what Saint do I ask to pray for me? Is it St. Anthony? I think I remember people publishing 'thank you's' to St. Anthony in the paper." I told her that she was right, St. Anthony of Padua was the guy she should ask to pray. I printed off a novena prayer to St. Anthony and left it with her. It also inspired me to go home and read the biography of St. Anthony I had acquired a month before at a book fair. (What an amazing Saint to learn about!) Mom and I asked St. Anthony to join us in praying for the rings return ... but a month came and went without the Lord granting our request. And honestly, that was fine. I have come to believe that when God says, "No," or "Not yet," He always does so out of love for us.
Then Saturday night he gave my family a very graphic demonstration of how true this is. I say this because the ring wasn't found when my brother and I took the bed apart and stripped all of the bedding a week before. No, it wasn't found until my mother was lying in her bedroom, in the worst pain of her life! When she slipped the ring back onto her finger she howled with joy - the most joyful she had been all week. That was the moment God wanted that ring returned to her; it was just lying there on the floor, at the corner of the bed, waiting for me to step on it! How did it get there? Where did it fall from? Not a clue. What I do know is that God's timing is absolutely perfect ... and that St. Anthony is quite a prayer partner.