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April 23, 24 - "Lullaby Rain" by Jeanne Frois
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"Lullaby Rain"
by Jeanne Frois

Mom prayed about everything. For peace to come to Bosnia, for the L.S.U. Tigers to win the Sugar Bowl, and for her periwinkles to survive the summer heat. Most of all, she prayed about the weather. In Louisiana, that wasn't so unusual. With the Mississippi on one side, the storm-crossed Gulf of Mexico on the other, and an elevation so low that streets flood in a downpour, we're especially vulnerable during hurricane season. As a child, my mother watched a flood destroy the house she lived in. The memory of that day never left her.

In the 1970s, weather science got a lot more sophisticated. Radar scans, satellite imaging . . . you might have thought all that extra information would have made Mom more jumpy in hurricane season. Just the opposite. Mom started studying the storms she feared. She checked out weather books from the library, and stayed up late listening to the weather reports.

One May afternoon, I was shopping at a department store. The loudspeaker crackled. "Jeanne Frois, please come to the front office for an important phone call." I rushed from the make-up counter. It was Mom. "Jeanne, I don't like what I'm seeing. There's a line of thunderstorms on the way. You better get home."

"Oh, Mom. Come on. You had me paged for this?"

"Honey, I can see those storms coming. Please."

"Okay, okay," I gave in. I walked out to the parking lot. Black clouds covered the southern horizon. Halfway home, the rain started. It got so heavy I almost had to pull over. I made it to our house, and a few hours later the whole city lay under a foot of water.

From then on, I knew when a storm threatened?because Mom would be in her room, saying her rosary. She'd ask God to turn the storm away, or even better, to weaken its force so that it would hit as a "lullaby rain," cooling the summer heat and leaving us refreshed.

She even took to keeping up on weather patterns elsewhere. One crystal-clear day I found Mom in her room with her rosary out. Her furrowed brow told me she was talking to God about something serious. "What's wrong, Mom? There isn't a cloud in the sky."

"There's a hurricane moving toward the New England coast," Mom said.

"And you think you can pray it away?"

"Jeanne, I'll do my best."

Good as Mom got at predicting the weather, I still chuckled at her peering out the window, studying the evening sky like some old lighthouse keeper. But I also knew that what she was doing was brave and deeply serious. Mom was showing God that she was ready to face her fears, and that she had faith, no matter what. God's love was her constant.

The summer of 1999 Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was in the ICU for six weeks after surgery. Finally she made it into a step-down unit. One day I'd just gotten home from visiting her when the phone rang. It was a nurse at the hospital. "Ms. Frois, your mother wants you to come back."

"What's the matter? Is she failing?"

"She's been watching out the window, and she says there's a thunderstorm coming."

I drove to the hospital and sat with Mom through the hard rain. I was delighted to. After all, if Mom was on the weather beat, it was a sure sign she was on the mend.

The cancer went into remission until the following year. Mom went back to the hospital. One day I sat by her bedside as she rested. Her eyes were closed, and her fingers moved slowly over her rosary beads. Suddenly she opened her eyes and looked over at me. "Jeanne," she said, "I'm going to die."

I could tell she was scared?as scared as she'd ever been when a big storm was coming. I searched my heart for just the right words.

"Mom," I said, "you've got a real adventure ahead." I reminded her of all the times over the years that she'd told me about the Lord's promise of eternal life. "I tell you what. Whenever we're threatened by a hurricane or a thunderstorm, I'm going to think of you in heaven, asking God to turn it into a lullaby rain."

Mom lay quiet. "Jeanne," she said finally, "I'll do my best."

Mom died not long after, on July 13, 2000. Right in the middle of hurricane season. A few weeks later a storm system formed in the Gulf and moved north?straight toward us in Louisiana.

At the very last minute, the system faded away. Not a drop fell on us. People tensed and waited for the next big one. It didn't come. Next hurricane season, Tropical Storm Allison bore down on us. I found myself looking at the ominous sky. "Are you going to talk to God about this?" I asked Mom. Sure enough, Allison hit shore as a perfect lullaby rain.

Did the trend continue? It sure did. For two hurricane seasons, no hurricane hit the U.S. mainland. Mom was working overtime.

I knew Louisiana couldn't stay hurricane-free forever. That would be a little too much to ask, even for Mom. But the lullaby rains won't stop either. Like God's love, they're always in the forecast

Jeanne Frois copyright 2003

Jeanne lives in Louisiana, and thinks of her mom whenever a storm is on the horizon! You can email Jeanne in care of 2theheart:


ANGELS BY JOYCE! Joyce makes the most beautiful angels and for over thirty years, her angels have become legendary! With nightlite angels, prayer angels, angel magnets and more - these are a wonderful Mother's Day gift or "cheering up" gift! See these gorgeous angels here:


The Letter Box:

Dear Jenn,
As an angel2theheart, I could relate to your story. I cried as I read about Abigail...her story is one I will remember for a long time to come, and I want to thank you for sharing this story and her memories. Angel hugs, Jill

Dear Jenn,
Abigail was lucky to know you and I'm sure you were a joy to her. Your story about her is a gift - thank you! Geena

Dear 2TheHeart,
I was so touched by the story of Abigail by Jenn Borjeson. Many of us will suffer illnesses in this life and what a blessing if each of us had Jenn by our sides as little Abby did. Sincerely, Michael T

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