When I woke yesterday, I very nearly immediately herded the older kids to the car and we headed to Euclid, Ohio. On autopilot, I very nearly drove to my deceased Uncle JuJu's house--since if I'm headed to Euclid, my brain still thinks we're going to see him even if he has been dead and gone for years now.
Once I got back on the right track, I headed to Kristen and Brad's--my son's aunt and uncle and family to the rest of us after years of friendship--to snag my boyo. We chatted for a bit and then headed off on a planned expedition to visit Lake View Cemetery, East Cleveland, Ohio.
On the way, however, I noticed a big hill I hadn't really ever paid attention to before. "I don't think I knew Euclid HAD a hill. What is up the hill, anyway?" I asked Kristen.
"Drive up. It is pretty cool, actually, I'll show you."
Once up the hill, I saw a huge parking lot and some nondescript tan buildings. Still no clue where we'd landed, we headed down a blacktop path until we came to a plethora of flowers and paths and tiny shrines. "What is this place?" I asked her. "Go into the gift shop, find out," recommended Kristen.
Full of all things Catholic, I still wasn't sure where we were...very nice reliquary box with a bit of someone inside, but no real clues. A nun asked where we'd come from for our visit and offered to tell us a story.
Fast forward to prohibition and the land began to get sold off, wine grapes not being nearly as easy to sell in an alcohol free country. Nuns bought the land and were gifted a piece of the stone from Lourdes, France, a place of healing waters due to a visit from the Blessed Virgin years and years before. They made an American healing spot, a place for prayers and reflection, on the hill in Euclid which is visited to this day by pilgrims from all over the world.
The nun said no one found the grotto accidentally and regaled us with tale after tale of the healing property of the water. She suggested we tour the property, perhaps drink or wash where needed with the healing waters, and left us to our own devices. We toured, beautiful land, and brought some healing water back to my mother (the sister had advised we were welcome to do so, we weren't robbing a shrine) who is Catholic and still occasionally sleeps with her mother's rosary. Hopefully it helps a bit! You can find out more about the Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in Euclid on their website here.
An Ancient Labyrinth
On our way out, we found a 2500 designed labyrinth, which didn't impress my daughter but fascinated my sons and me. We walked the labyrinth and found our way to heaven a few times before we headed, sweltering in the heat and my car's lack of ac, to the cemetery. (Post on that tomorrow)