Saints Among Us // Saint Cyndy Castro

The kingship and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High;their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.” Daniel 7:27

For all the saints who from their labors rest,who Thee by faith before the world confessed; Thy name,Jesus,be forever blest.Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the apostles' glorious company,who bearing forth the cross o'er land and sea, shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee: Alleluia, Alleluia!

Oftentimes, we hear people complain about their in-laws. Wives and mother-in-laws don’t always get along. The name “monster-in-law” may occasionally be used. Not in my case, however. My mother-in-law was the best mother-in-law I could have ever asked for, and she was an absolute saint.

She lived in the northwest corner of Wisconsin, where it snows half of the year and temperatures are regularly below zero in the winter. It is an absolutely gorgeous part of the country with a population of just over 500 people and very few roads are paved. It quickly became one of my favorite places on earth. She homeschooled her six kids for 20 years, taught CCD and was involved with her husband in Marriage Encounter, and as a convert had a huge devotion to Our Lady. Daily prayers included the Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours. She knew the bible, and frequently talked about her Faith. If you walked into her house, you would know right away that she was Catholic because of all of the statues, pictures, prayer books and bibles, crucifixes and Rosaries. Her faith was very obvious in her home. She was involved in the local community theater, once playing a nun in The Sound of Music. Everyone loved her, because she was a complete joy to be around. Funny, sarcastic, opinionated, loving, patient, gentle, loud, witty…. These were all qualities that everyone loved about her. She always had the brightest, mischievous twinkle in her eye, and when she laughed, her eyes disappeared into slits. Even while she was so sick for many years, she handled it with grace and I don’t think I ever heard her complain.

Sadly, I only knew her for a few years before she passed away from a long battle with brain tumors. She had undergone multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, lost the use of her left side, and spent the last six weeks of her life in her recliner or, when she began declining rapidly in her last two weeks, in her bed with hospice care.

She went from being cheerful and funny and play with her grandkids on her lap, to barely being able to stay awake and talk within a matter of a few short weeks. I’ll never forget the last words she said to me. Her youngest child, my now ex-husband, was known to wear Hawaiian shirts everywhere. While confined to her bed barely able to talk less than a week before she passed away, she said to me very slowly,“Promise me, you won’t let Joey wear a Hawaiian shirt to my funeral.” I kept my promise.

To Jesus through Mary-Adrianna Tucker

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Cyndy with her daughter in law Adrianna on her wedding day:)

Cyndy with her daughter in law Adrianna on her wedding day:)