The Prayer List

by Jane Knuth

My Aunt Kay kept the prayer list in our family. Whenever one of us needed a job, a spouse, or some surgery, she added us to it.

“I’ll put you on ‘the list’,” she would say, and we knew that a spiritual solution was in the works. It required a good couple of hours each morning to get through the list and she didn’t tolerate free-loaders. “The list is as long as my arm,” she clucked her tongue at us. “You let me know as soon as you hear anything and I’ll take you off it.” Failure to inform Aunt Kay when a petition had been answered was grounds for sanction.

There were rewards for her demanding role. She was first in the family to be shown a sparkling new engagement ring or to get a call from the maternity ward of the hospital.

After Aunt Kay passed on, I stopped by my cousin’s house for a cup of coffee. She handed me a small purse saying, “Here’s your inheritance.”

I un-zipped it and peeked inside: Aunt Kay’s amethyst rosary. I glanced up quickly to my cousin’s sympathetic grin. “Uh-oh…” I said.

She nodded. “Looks like you’re the new keeper of ‘the list’.”

 Jane Knuth

Jane Knuth

Jane Knuth is a longtime volunteer in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 2011, Jane's first book, Thrift Store Saints, was awarded first place from the Catholic Press Association for Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith.

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