The reason for cutting short her tour: she's expecting her first child! So, if all goes well, some time in the New Year I will be an "Auntie" My mother then admonished me to behave like a real auntie, and not like her sister. I was forced to point out that her sister was only 7 years older than me, so it was hardly her fault if she didn't behave in a very "aunt-like" fashion... and being in a different country also puts a bit of a crimp in aunt-visitations.
There is just one little cloud: my sister has been experiencing some complications and bleeding, so as the "church-goer" I've been assigned the task of getting some serious praying done. Working on the principle that you can never have too many prayers said for you, I'll ask for as many as possible.
O great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Saviour, and devoted child of the Mother of God, enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love.
O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine Master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the patron and protector of expectant mothers.
Preserve them from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the children which they now carry, that they may see the light of day and receive the purifying and life-giving waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord.