Monday, August 29, 2011

After a Couple of Months...

This is the interior of the Vail Interfaith Chapel.  I attended Mass there last weekend because I was in Vail for a half-marathon.  It was a wonderful Mass despite the rather generic surroundings.  The marquee outside lists the services for many different religions, it was nice that I could get to Mass while out of town.

So, I haven't posted anything for a couple of months.  I have resumed my old blog.  It is frustrating, but I have been told that others have found it helpful.  I get much too opinionated on it, and try to temper that.

My life has truly changed due to the fact that I have been dating someone since May.  We are truly "dating," it is nice.  We have gone to Mass together which is wonderful.  But this takes time.  And it takes a lot of energy.  I pray every morning that I am willing to accept God's will for this, and that I not force my own will.  I am not someone who has a history of going slow into relationships, but it might be something I could learn.

One Saturday evening we had a date and I wanted to get to Mass a little early, so I went to the church just up the street that I don't like to go to.  The homily was absolutely horrifying.  The deacon told a "cute" little story that went like this:

A man and his dog had died.  They were walking around in the clouds.  There was a pearly gate and the man asked where he was.  The gate attendant said "this is heaven, come on in."  The man asked if his dog could come in.  The gate attendant said no, so the man kept on walking.  A bit later, there was another pearly gate.  The attendant said "this is heaven, come on in."  The man asked if his dog could come in and the attendant said "sure, there's dog food over there, and water dishes over there."  Then the man confessed his confusion.  He said he had just been told the other gate was heaven.  To which the gate attendant said, "That was hell, it is there to filter out people who would deny their friends for their own selfish desires."


Let me get this straight:  There's a fake heaven set up to trick people.  That loyalty to a dog is more important than love for God.  That wishing to be with God is a selfish desire.  I could go on and on.  I was horrified.  This from the pulpit in a Catholic Church - at Mass!  How many people, including children, might have bought this phony message.

On this past Saturday, I went to my parish.  Good priest, good homily, but the music was absolutely dreadful.  Hymns with drum rolls, flute, and a swinging beat... which women were head bobbing and hip swaying to.  Really?

The sad thing is that I know I am in the wrong here.  I cannot go to Mass to judge people.  But honestly, I feel like I need a place to go where Mass is actually "holy."

And as I write this, I know where that is.  It is about 10 miles away, but it is a thriving parish with three priests, a Catholic elementary school, an Adoration Chapel and Perpetual Adoration, and confession before every single Mass.   I have never heard silly music at this church.  I have never heard a ridiculous homily at this church.

I hate to switch churches again, but maybe I will.  Is that the right thing to do?  Opinions are welcome.

Thank you.  I miss you guys.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I finished my icon yesterday afternoon, after eight days of work.  Work that was as tiring as "work," but definitely a lot more fruitful.  At the end of each day I said I would write and post photos here, but I was absolutely too tired to do anything!

I have some news that I don't want to post in the same entry as my icon.  So, I will write it later, and probably date it earlier - so it doesn't come up on top.

God bless you all.

Life is uncertain...

Last Saturday night, I went out for dinner with the man I have been dating and his friend.  I wrote about it the next day.  It was a glorious, shining night.  Laughter, great food, nice people.  I like the man I am dating, and it is always nice to meet the people close - it gives insight into the person.  I liked his friend, I felt the friend liked me.    

Early in the week, the man called me.  He was in Nashville on a business trip.  When I asked how he was, I could tell immediately there was something wrong.  Then he told me.  They had a great time on Saturday night.  On Sunday morning, they went to the gym.  As they were stretching, the friend keeled over and died.  On the spot.  Dead.

The friend was on his way from California to New Jersey.  So, my "fella" was grateful he didn't die on the road.  Or in a lonely hotel room.  Or in his car and injure or kill someone else.  He was with his friend.

He is suffering.  Mourning the loss of his friend.  Also having to deal with all of the details.  In possession of a car and a bunch of possessions he needs to get back to CA or NJ.  And a body.

Oh, it is sad.  Also a good reminder that we do not know the hour.  I hope he had been to confession recently.  I hope he was ready.

But I am glad we had strawberry shortcake for dessert.  I can't imagine skipping dessert at your last meal.

Say a prayer for Mike, please?

Thanks.  And I am going for a walk with my "fella" after Mass this morning.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Icon Update

Today I spent several hours doing some preliminary work on the icon.  I wish I had taken a photo of the plain white board.  But I didn't.  As you can see, I am doing Theotokos, Mary Mother of God.  So, I am given the drawing and transfer it to my board by tracing the drawing with graphite paper beneath it.  When I am done, I have the outline on my board.
Then the next step is to engrave the drawing into the gesso on the board by using a sharp object to engrave each line.  
You can barely see it, but it is engraved.  My teacher drew the halo for me, it is precision work.  

Tomorrow I will work on it some more.  And I will take photos as I go.  

Oh, I am so thrilled to be able to do this.  What a gift!  

It is such a prayerful activity.  We are downstairs from the chapel, and I can go for adoration whenever I would like.  I will likely be able to get to Mass every day this week.  This wouldn't sound like much of a vacation to most people, but it is beyond my wildest dreams.

And then I had a date tonight with the man I have been seeing.  As I was getting ready, I was nervous about how I looked, so I took a photo and sent it to my daughter.  She told me I looked fine, so I was reassured.    His friend is visiting him from California, and we all went out for dinner.  It was lovely, lovely, lovely.  I was a little nervous because I felt that he wanted to see what his friend thought of me.  We had fun, great conversation, I told them both all about the icon class - and they actually seemed interested - both Catholics, you see.  When they dropped me off at home, I said goodbye to the friend and he hugged me.  Since he is probably in his 70s, I thought the hug meant he liked me.  I hope to see this man, the one I am dating, more.  I am a bit smitten.  

And thrilled about the icon.  What are the odds I will sleep tonight?  Not good, I'd say.

God bless you all.  I will probably be posting every day while I am in my class.  I want to post the photos here.  I hope you like to watch the progress....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Icon Class

On Thursday morning of this week I got an e-mail asking me if I was still interested in the icon class that starts tomorrow.  I won't go into all of the details, but it became possible for me to attend - thanks to the efforts of several people.   I was able to talk my boss into letting me take a week of vacation with virtually no notice - while there is a huge deal going on at the hospital that is essentially my job.  I have two meetings next week that I absolutely have to attend, so I will miss a morning and an afternoon, but I think I will be able to make up for what I miss.

I am so excited about this.  I will get to spend seven or eight days writing an icon.  It is called "writing" not painting because it is not a creative process, but a transcription process.  The icons are considered a window to the saint portrayed.  What an honor and blessing it is to be able to be used this way.  

About the blog, I apologize for disappearing.  I feel like a hack in the Catholic Blogging world.  I am not that great of a Catholic.  I want to be.  I am trying to be.  But I am so far from the kind of holy souls who blog about Catholicism.  

At the graduation of Biblical School, they really stressed that we need to fulfill our calling.  I thought about it and as far as I can tell, my true calling is to work with drunks.  I wish it was something more glamorous than that, but working with alcoholics is something I can do, and I can do as well as I think it can be done.  This is not something I am paid to do, it is something entirely different.  And I have to be anonymous about it, if that gives you an idea.

So, I restarted my old blog, which is about recovery from alcoholism, after a 6 month sabbatical.  It is satisfying and frustrating to write on the blog.  But I think I have a voice there that is actually needed.  

I love the people I have met through this blog and I will probably continue the blog, but not posting as often.  I  appreciate your support over the last six months.  

Say a prayer for my class?  I appreciate it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3

I couldn't get signed in to this account on blogger for several days, and then I felt I had nothing to say.  I think I am in mourning for Biblical School.  It is sad to not have an assignment, nothing to write, no books to read.  I could sign up for Catechetical School in the fall, but I think I just need to be done with school.  If it were free, I would have no second thoughts about another 2 years of school, but at the price it is, I need to not do it.

I went to "mass" this morning as I always do on First Friday, but it wasn't a Mass - for lack of priest I imagine.  It was a communion service.  I am grateful to be able to receive communion, but I so wanted to go to Mass.  I guess I can think about what it is like for people with no priests at all.  I am so blessed to live in a large metropolitan area where I can get to Mass every day if I make the effort.

I have a half-marathon tomorrow.  And I have my 8 month old granddaughter all day Sunday.  I bought a little swimming suit and pool for her.  We shall have a great time.  And then I took a day of vacation on Monday, because I will likely need a day in bed to recover from all of this!

Have a beautiful weekend everyone.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Blogger won't let me upload a photo, so no photo of my front porch with its big flag flying in the breeze.

I am having a day off - no one is here.  I have no plans.  I have already had a two hour nap, have gone shopping for garden stuff at Target, and have done the work associated with that.

I think I am worn out from having a couple of dates with a man.  It puts my brain into over-drive.  I am not good at this - at all.  I thought a break of years might have made me better able to handle this, but apparently not.  Last night we went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean" in 3D!  I had never seen a 3D movie before.  It was fun.  At one point, I got such a start, I screamed (quietly), and my date laughed.  It was funny.

We went out for dinner at (another) expensive restaurant.  Although I love good food and fine dining, I am a bit uncomfortable with the fact that this man has spent $250. on our dinners and movie in the last week.  Honestly, I am just not good at this.  I paid for the popcorn and pop last night - but I had to insist. Is that so wrong?

Oh, who knows how to behave?  I don't.

I was a bit disturbed (again) by the role of the lead woman in the movie.  Increasingly, women in the movies are just men with breasts and big, glossed up lips.  Penelope Cruz is beautiful, but really, who would believe she could best a man in a fight?  That is just stupid.  I wish we would stop teaching our children (collectively) that women are "just as strong, just as tough" as men, and kick any man's ass in a fight.  That is just wrong, conceptually, and factually.

Women are beautiful and strong, but God help us, we have a different kind of strength than the brute strength of a swashbuckler.

I will pray that God will be with me as I am trying to live my life.  That I listen and not turn my back when it is convenient.  I keep praying for Him to "Bless it, or block it."

Thanks for your prayers.  As you can see, I need them.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I am so frightened.

This is something I have told ONLY my best friend.  No one else.

But now I am going to post it on the internet.  But I feel I need your prayers.

I met a man.  (that could probably be the first sentence in every tragic story of my life.)

Three years ago I signed up for "" and met no one.  I didn't even desire to meet anyone on there.  So, I stopped paying, but never found a way to remove my profile.  So, every now and then someone will send me a message.

Two weeks ago, someone sent me a message.  When I looked at his profile, I was interested enough to pay the monthly membership fee in order to open his message.  We e-mailed back and forth for a bit.  Last week we met for breakfast.  We had a great time, nice, easy conversation and lots of laughter.

Tonight we are going on a bona fide date.

I haven't been on a date for three years.  The last date I went on ended in a car accident.

I have spent the last three years really focusing on getting closer to Jesus and finding out what obedience means.   I think I have a much clearer idea now... like I can't just do what I feel like doing and figure "God loves me and forgives me."

In Biblical School or at Mass sometime maybe not so recently, someone, maybe a priest, maybe a teacher (I just don't remember) said something that I DO remember.  The question was "how do you know what you are called to be?"  The answer was "what is it that your heart desires?"  If you desire to be married, that is your calling.  If you desire to be a priest or nun, that is your calling.

When I was young, I wanted more than anything to be a nun.  But the minute alcohol hit my lips, that desire was gone.  Alcohol and marriage made some kind of mix that I tried (repeatedly).  I have now been nearly 27 years without a drink.  It has now been 18 years since I have been married.

I think I know that I was at least at one time called to be married.  I may have ruined all chances at that.  But I have spent the last 18 years trying to clean up the wreckage.  I am close to being "eligible" to be married in the church.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

This man is Catholic, he does not drink, our conversations are easy and nice.  And I am going on a date tonight.  God help me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Yesterday when I came home from a long day of work, followed by a wonderful hour at Adoration, I had a wonderful surprise.  My neighbor had mowed my lawn.  Again.  She has been doing this for about a year now.  They are small lots and she claims that it is no trouble at all to mow my lawn while she is mowing hers.  Well, it is a kindness to me that is incalculable!

Last year when she started this, I tried to think of how to thank her, and started by baking her a few pies.  She loves my pies, but she doesn't really appreciate having the calories.  So, I started making her extras of whatever I was cooking - soups, stews, etc.  I realized later she didn't want those either.

Some things are not a "transaction."  This is not a transaction.  She doesn't provide me a service for which I pay her.  She is doing something for me out of the goodness of her heart.  My job is to say "Thank You."  I think my job is also to realize that the world is full of anonymous good people, doing anonymously good things for other good people.

On the other hand, at Sunday Mass this week, I seriously considered leaving my current parish.  My "other" neighbor, the deacon, gave the homily.  The general topic of which was living a Christian life.  As I heard him speak, I could only see all my beloved plants in the back yard killed at his hand.  I could not get past that.  I need to have a long chat with that man.  I am sure he has no idea how profoundly he has impacted me.  I am equally sure he has never given me a thought, which I find equally disturbing.  We are not supposed to be oblivious to those around us - are we?

I got a letter this week from a woman I "sponsor" in the Philippines.  It is a relatively small amount of money that is automatically withdrawn from my checking account each month.  But from her letter, I can tell that this amount of money each month, maybe equal to one dinner in a restaurant here, has changed her life.  She is thanking me for buying her a "Sunday" dress and new shoes.  For rice and milk.  For a health check up, and vitamins.  A plastic mat to sleep on and a comforter.   Her letters always make me cry.   Would I want her to try to repay me somehow?  That is just ludicrous!

Some things just aren't transactions.  They don't add up.  There's no score.  They just make this world feel like it isn't hopeless.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Last night was my graduation.  It was beyond all expectations.  It was a beautiful Mass, celebrated by 4 priests.  My pastor would have been there (because his parishoner was a graduate) but he had surgery yesterday.

We processed into the church, and the first people I saw were my friend and my daughter.  What a blessing to see their shining faces.  My "trouble" daughter was not able to attend as I suspected.  The mass was beautiful - that sounds silly, but maybe not.  It was beautiful.   As I listened to the young priest's homily, I wondered if I just liked it because I knew my daughter would - and she did - or if I liked it because I liked it.  It was probably a bit "funnier" than I like my homilies, but it was meaningful too.

The church was gorgeous!  It is one of the huge suburban mega-churches.  It has a cafe, a book store, etc., etc., and normally I don't think I would like that, but I just loved it.  The inside was just chockablock full of lovely stained glass.  Very dramatic.

The negatives are that I leave my classmates, my teachers, and the wonderful Denver Catholic Biblical School.  It was truly a life-changing experience for me.

My daughter and friend had absolutely NO idea it was the big deal it is.  They knew I was studying the Bible because I talk about it - a lot.  But they didn't realize it was a formal, four year program.  Now they do.  My name was in the catholic newspaper and my church's bulletin this week.  I got a letter from my pastor congratulating me.  I hope this doesn't sound prideful, but I am glad for the acknowledgment.  I know that hearing these things over the years is what planted the seed for me to have the desire to do this.  And now it is done.  I am grateful and sad.    But I know that God's grace will provide a way for me to continue to grow.

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Underside of Being a Revert

(no reason for the photo here except I took it on Sunday while out on my run and I thought it was beautiful.  The rock formation in the distance to the left is the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater.)

Tonight is my graduation from Biblical School.  I am excited.  I am thrilled to be seeing my classmates again.  I already miss them!  I already miss the necessity of having my nose in my Bible for hours and hours this week.  I will have to replace this somehow.  Somehow.

Back to the graduation... And the title of the post.  I have invited my daughters.  Well, that sounds like a no-brainer.  But it isn't.  You see, I left the church for 25 years.  The precise 25 years that were the most important for a woman to be a Catholic.  The years when I was raising my children.  I made sure my children were baptized, and that was the end of their religious instruction.  In other words, they have had none.   Or virtually none.

When I came back to the church, I was 40, and my children were teenagers.  I dragged them to church, but not for long.

So now my daughters are coming to Mass tonight.  I am so excited about this.  And nervous.  And frightened.  One of my daughters (the recovering addict and alcoholic) is absolutely covered in tattoos and piercings. I told her she must wear long sleeves and something that comes up to her neck.  I fear that she will find an excuse instead for not coming.

One of my dear friends is coming to the graduation and has agreed to sit with my daughters and coach them on what to do.  I have known this woman for 17 years, and last night as I talked to her I realized she never knew that I ever left the church.  She had no idea that I had ever left the church and therefore didn't raise my kids in the faith.

My real prayer?  That tonight my daughters will see the church the way I see it, with love.  And won't see it the way they have seen it in the past.

This is certainly not too big of a miracle to ask for....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Really Listening

After four years of reading virtually nothing other than the Bible or books about the Bible, I am reading a wonderful book that is not about the Bible.  I was surprised at how much I like it.  It is set in Ethiopia.  It is called "Cutting for Stone" and I would highly recommend it.  One of my coworkers is from Ethiopia, so I decided to talk with him about the book today.  

He showed me a video of Addis Ababa on his computer.  The above church is in Addis Ababa, and he said "That was my church!"  He showed me around, just like you show a person around your home town.  Only it is half a world away, and we were only looking at a computer monitor.  But I could feel his homesickness, mixed with his pride.  I kept exclaiming - "how beautiful!"  and "oh, gorgeous!"  He said "Oh, yes, it is so beautiful."

And then, with my characteristic lack of tact, I said "why did you ever leave?"  I know him well enough to know that he came from a very wealthy family, and I could see how much he loves his homeland.  I know how difficult life has been for him here.  

He just looked at me like I had just asked him why he doesn't eat his computer manuals.  And said:

"I couldn't stand the communists."

Oh, yeah, there's that.  

I wish I took the time to really get to know the people I see every day.  I know my life would be richer for it.  And I know that God doesn't put us together so that we can give each other the cold shoulder. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Holy Exhaustion!

I spent all day in a retreat today.  It was our last day of Biblical School.  We were sent out to find our calling.  Some of us know what that is, some of us (like me) don't.  It was a great day of very inspirational talks and a few videos.  I took some notes, mostly I scribbled madly into my Bible.  One of the quotes I heard and loved today:

"We are called to be 'fishers of men' not 'keepers of the aquarium.'"

After the retreat was over, I realized that it was Saturday afternoon, and I was at a Catholic Church.  Well, you all know what that means!  Confession!  So, I stood in line for a little while and then went to confession.  I took the above photo as I was waiting.  I love, love, love Catholic churches on Saturday afternoons.  The quiet, the dark, the sacred place where people come to acknowledge their sinfulness and ask for forgiveness.  

It struck me as I stood in line that two of the things that I found the most offensive about the teachings of the church as a disgruntled youth are two of the things I am most grateful for today:  confession and purgatory.    Without those, I would be doomed. 

Then I went to Mass.

I wish I had the energy to write about the retreat, but I am worn out.  It was a long Catholic day.  My head can hit the pillow tonight in deep satisfaction for a wonderful day.  Thanks to the Grace of God.  


One of my super cute friends from Biblical School made this for our potluck on Monday.  It is a watermelon, cut into the shape of a whale - and note "Jonah" in the mouth of the whale!  She had to promise her son she would not lose this treasured action figure.  Another friend made baklava shaped into scrolls!  I don't know why I didn't take a photo of that.  They were delicious, just like Ezekiel:  "And he said to me, 'Son of man, eat this scroll that I give you and fill you stomach with it.' Then I ate it; and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey." Ezekiel 3:3

I made a plain old strawberry rhubarb pie, but it was one of the better pies I have ever made, if I must say so myself.  I made the crust before I left for work in the morning, and then came home from work a little early so I could make the rest.

Today we have a day long retreat as our last day of Biblical School.  Graduation is on Friday of next week.  I am excited about the retreat, especially since no one would tell us ANYTHING about it, other than it is from 8:30 to 3:15 and they will serve us lunch - oh, and Bring Your Bibles.   I just pray we don't have a comprehensive exam, because if I have to remember things I learned in the first year - now four years ago - I am afraid I might be in trouble.  And if I have to revisit Isaiah, the book that caused me the worst crisis in faith I have ever had, I will not be happy.

Speculating about what it might be is not a productive activity, so I think I shall hop into the bathtub and get ready for my day.

I hope you all have a beautiful day, and may God bless you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Someone gave Our Lady flowers last night at Biblical School.  Somehow I can pass this statue all winter long and not give it a glance, but in the spring, it captures my attention and I find it beautiful.

It was my last class of Biblical School last night.  Actually, we had our last lecture last week, so we had a potluck dinner last night.  It was so lovely, it was 9:00 p.m. before I ever looked at the clock.  I will miss the classes, I will miss the fellowship of the group.  Some of us will stay in touch, but it will never be this class again.   We have an all day retreat on Saturday, and then graduation is next Friday evening.  
I am looking forward to all of it.

Yesterday at work we had a little gathering to acknowledge the closing of a(nother) unit.  The last patient was discharged on Friday.  The last child at our hospital.  We are now only four units, all adults.  A few of us older folks reminisced about the days when there were eleven units there.  Now we are grateful for the four units, and only hope we can remain open when we are that small.  State budgets are a frightening thing.

I am today home with a migraine.  It is much better this afternoon than it was this morning, but I am still about to go back to bed.

Thankful for a comfortable bed, an open window with curtains billowing in the warm breeze,  the brand new leaves on the tree outside my window, and a nice big glass of ice water.  That is how I shall spend my afternoon.  Thanks be to God.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On Mother's Day

I have so many friends and acquaintances who are sadly not mothers or have lost a child, I am hesitant to say "Happy Mother's Day!!!"  I know it is a difficult day for some.

I've had a wonderful day.  Starting with Mass last night, where I was given a little sprig of carnations for being a mother.  I thought it was sweet.  This afternoon my two daughters and two granddaughters came over for lunch.  Yes, I cooked.  But only because I wanted to.  We had a lovely lunch.  They brought me flowers and a rose plant.  The photo above is from the rose plant they gave me last year... it is a Chicago Peace.  This year it is a Fragrant Cloud - my all time favorite.

This week I have struggled with what to write, what not to write, and what kind of blogger I am.  I am not sure I have any business at all being a Catholic blogger - my blog doesn't seem to fit with the rest.  Mine is (a lot) more personal and less didactic.

I don't think I even know what kind of Catholic I am anymore.  I know I would like for Mass to be sacred.  I know it is the sacrifice instituted by Jesus himself.  Therefore, I wish people would be quiet and act like they are doing the most important thing they do all week.

Last night I went to a church I seldom attend.  Its sad that I don't like this church because it is only one mile from my house.  I got there early enough to pray the rosary.  There was raucous conversation and laughter all around me, I had to mouth the words to the prayers just to keep my place.  I looked around to see who was hollering and laughing so loud, and it was the priest.

I prayed that Jesus would help me be less judgmental.  I know that people who go to this church and like this priest tend to LOVE him.  So, what do I know?  Of course, one friend of mine who loves him goes gambling with him in a nearby casino town on a regular basis.  That just doesn't seem right to me... but again... what do I know?

I just know today that I am a humble little Catholic who has made enough mistakes to give the whole church a black eye.  So, I need to just be humble and grateful to be forgiven my sins.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To Lighten Up...

Some folks are putting pictures of their mothers on facebook, so I did too.  Do you see that tiny baby?  That was me.  On January 6, Epiphany, 1952.  The day of my baptism.  My mother is holding me, my father is standing behind.  My maternal grandmother is on the right, and paternal grandmother is on the left.  Maternal grandmother was born in 1872.  Paternal, in 1883.

I am the youngest of five.  My mother was the youngest of eight.  Her mother was the youngest of ten.  I come from a very very old family.  I only had to go back three generations on my mother's side to get to the Revolutionary War!

Tonight I stopped at Target  on my way home from work.  I purchased a lot of solar lights for my garden.  When I came home, I changed my clothes and started putting them in.  My wonderful neighbor came over and helped me dig holes and place lights.  Eventually, we ended up pulling weeds and pruning trees and bushes.  My yard looks like a place I like right now.  And that is a good thing.

It is so good to do physical work with someone.  We are both women in our late fifties.  We were both sweating and breathing hard.  But we were laughing.  It is good, so good, to just go out and do some honest work and get dirt under your fingernails (well, I would have if I didn't have gloves on).

I am sorry about my last two posts.  Sometimes life just reaches up and smacks me in the face.  That is how I have felt this week.  But you know what?  I think it is cathartic, and I am getting it all behind me.  My life has been so good, sober, clean, real, and honest for many years now.  It surprises me when some old remnant of an ugly life I once led comes back around.

God has done for me what I could never have done for myself.  I am more grateful than words can say.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Adoption

In my last post, I said some other remnant of my sordid past's head had reared.  I hate to talk that way about a human being, but I don't know how else to say it - or feel about it.  Forgive me for spilling my guts here, but there are so few people I can talk to about this.  

I wrote earlier this year about giving up a child for adoption when I was 15 years old - in 1967.  I met her when she was 20.  That was the last time I saw her.   Meeting her was very traumatic and I ended up being hospitalized for depression for the first time in my life a month or two after the meeting.  Then I lost contact with her in 1990.  I could have called her adoptive parents, but they weren't very happy about my being in her life and I wanted to respect that.  Besides, I had very mixed emotions about having her in my life and trying to incorporate an adult into my young family.

It had been difficult enough to sit with my 12 year old son and 9 year old twin daughters and explain to them that they had a 20 year old half-sister.  But I did that, and they met her.

After our meeting, she "dropped in" on my sister's business in New York City, quite drunk.  My sister is a very successful business woman, and very wealthy.  She was horrified that some stranger would embarrass her and try to insinuate herself into her family.  I had to apologize.  I never realized that she would use information I had shared with her about my family to do something like that.

And then in February 2009, my daughter sent me an e-mail.  After 19 years.  She knew where I was all that time.  She wanted to come to visit me, along with her 18 year old daughter.  I told her no.  I told her I would like to see her, but I would like to meet somewhere neutral.  She ignored that and kept telling me she was going to come and visit.  She wanted to be my "friend" on facebook, but I wouldn't accept the invitation because that would give her access to my entire family, and I don't trust her with that.  She kept writing me e-mails telling me she wanted to be my "friend."  She wanted to talk to my kids.

I finally wrote her a long e-mail explaining that I wasn't ready to have her back in my life to that extent.  That I felt she was unreliable and unpredictable.  That I didn't want to put my kids through that if she was just going to evaporate again.  Her answer to me on that point was "I am reliably unreliable."  And that was a good enough answer for me.  I don't really want to have anything to do with her.

I have felt guilty about it.  But then I think:

  • I did my level best for her when I gave her up for adoption
  • She HAD a Good Family who adopted her and raised her well
  • I have a family for whom I have a responsibility not to screw up any more than I have
  • I get along well with my kids - they don't play these kinds of games - ever!
So, she sends me text messages from time to time.  Like on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day.  They always say "Hi Mom!"  which I think is just weird.  Sorry,  she HAS a mother, and it is not me.  I gave birth to her and then did the responsible thing and gave her to a loving couple who could care for her.

On Saturday night I got the following message - out of nowhere.  I haven't heard from her since Christmas:
"I thought it over and this is the fakest relationship I ever had.  Please do us both a favor and forget I'd ever existed.  I'd thank you for life itself, but the fact is there weren't a real lot of options in 1967.  Enjoy your "real children" and don't bother responding.  Oh, I just realized I am flattering myself.  So, yeah, save it.  I'm absolutely positive Jesus would advise you similarly.  Best wishes to you and your REAL family for a happy, and wonderful life filled with lovely memories."

My first thought was that she was drunk.  The second is that she is very angry - maybe drunk AND angry.  I thought of responding and saying "As you wish."  But I just left it alone.

My own flesh and blood - she looks just like my mother - and I really don't want to have anything to do with her.

It is a sad thing.  Very sad.

The wreckage of decisions made when I was 14 years old.  I thought I did the right thing. I have no doubt that I did.  But now I am supposed to have another daughter - who is 43 years old?

God help me please.  Please.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Annulment

Yesterday I got the paperwork that proclaims my first marriage null.

Twenty-nine years after the divorce.  Thirty-one years after the marriage.  I was 18.  He was 20.  It was stupid and some adult should have put a stop to it.

I have wanted this thing behind me since 1972.  And yesterday it was.

It took 5 years to get the annulment.  The Archdiocese of Denver made me jump through hoops for 3 years, and then said because I could not find my former husband, it had to go to the diocese of the marriage - which was Chicago.  My pastor urged me to not let that happen.  He said that if I didn't have a local advocate it would just get lost in the shuffle.  But that didn't happen at all.

I had to prove again that I absolutely could not find this man.  I haven't seen him since 1974.  When he was breaking into my apartment.  Believe me, I can find anyone, but I couldn't find him.  Finally, I produced enough proof that he was unfindable.

They needed 4 witnesses.  Imagine finding 4 people who could speak to a marriage that lasted only 2 years and was over 29 years ago.  I had exactly 4 people, my three brothers and my sister.  They were sent long horrible questionnaires.  They each called me and said "REALLY?  You want me to do this?  What am I supposed to say?"  I told them to tell the truth.  Even if it meant they were going to write "I don't know," or "I don't remember."  One brother called me absolutely freaked out when he realized it had to be notarized by a priest.  He is married outside of the church and didn't want to have to face a priest.  I called my pastor for advice, he told me the priests aren't notarizing the person's marriage, just the paperwork, and to assure my brother he was fine to do that.  He finally sent the paperwork back, but failed to complete the most important parts.  I explained that to the person in Chicago, and they decided that three witnesses would suffice.

And now I have the piece of paper I have wanted for so long.  I felt no joy at this.  I don't know if that is because I am out of sorts with several things.  Another piece of my sordid past reared her head on Saturday night, and I will probably write about that later this week.  But not now.

What a mess of a life I have lived.  I have two more marriages to annul.  But those should not be difficult since I was not free to marry in the eyes of the church.

Why am I doing this?  My pastor said I should.

The first time I met him was in the confessional.  A man had just mistreated me and I came straight to confession.  I went to a church not my own, since I couldn't face anyone I knew at that time.  So, I walked into that confessional, crying, desolate, devastated.  I sat down across from the priest and told him "I'm a mess."  He asked me what was going on.  I told him.  I told him I had been married three times.  He laughed and said "You ARE a mess!"  I told him I felt like the Samaritan Woman.  He laughed.  He asked me to come and see him - and asked if I would mind waiting until after Christmas.  I waited.

And then I went to see him.  He told me I COULD do this.  He told me he would be with me every step of the way.  He told me it would be very healing to get a clean slate and clear away the wreckage.

And now one is done.  Two to go.  And I just want to cry.

I find great comfort in the words of Jesus.  How many times does he say "Your sins are forgiven."  Surely it is the ego in me that wants to convince me that my sins are too bad to be forgiven.  They can be.  I have repented.  I have amended my life.

I thank God for that.

Monday, May 2, 2011

We are called to be...

We are called to be this kind of person.  The one on the left, not on the right.  

When did the US become the kind of place where we dance in the streets over the death of a foe?  

I'm just as glad he is gone as anyone.  The military is in the business of protecting our country, and they have to do what they have to do.  I have nothing but respect and admiration for them.  

But us?  Jubilation over a man being killed?  I think we are behaving like the very people we pretend to be so superior to.  

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30

I just went to Mass in the town where I am staying for the race tomorrow.  It is a beautiful old church, and I was impressed that the church was full, and almost silent prior to the beginning of Mass.  It was lovely.  I was disappointed that nothing was said of Pope John Paul II's beatification today.  And Divine Mercy Sunday was only mentioned in passing.  

In my parish, Divine Mercy Sunday is a BIG deal.  And I like it that way.

I was disappointed - But I know what is in my heart and so does God.  

Half marathon tomorrow.  And the weather is supposed to be horrible.  28 degrees and snow.  Oh well.  In 16 more hours it will be over - good , bad, or indifferent - it will be history.  

And for now, I am going to the hotel dining room for their "special" for runners.... a $17. plate of pasta.  I am too tired and lazy to go try to find something more reasonable.  I need to get a meal in my belly and put my feet up and relax before getting to bed really, really early.  

God bless you all.

Friday, April 29, 2011


I was so upset about my plants being killed.  And then I saw what just happened to the thousands, if not millions, of people in the south.  One of my brothers among them.  I can plant new plants, or I can decide to not do that.  It is not that important.  

I have a race on Sunday that I feel ill prepared for.  It is supposed to be 28º Fahrenheit on Sunday morning, and maybe raining/snowing.  I will be outside running / walking 13.1 miles.  But the reality is, I am in my 60th year on this earth, and I have the ability to stay upright for 13.1 miles - and I will likely enjoy myself regardless of the weather.  That is something not many my age could say.  I am grateful for that.  

My family is scattered to the four winds (and this is probably what is really behind my sour disposition lately).  My son is in Iraq.  My daughter-in-law is in a month long training in another state.  My baby granddaughter is with her "other" grandparents in Nebraska for the month.  I drove by my son's house last night and it hurt me physically to think of the little family all split up all over the place.   In my opinion it just isn't right what a young family has to go through just to stay afloat.  When I was that age, it wasn't so difficult.  But it is now not then, and it doesn't help to dwell on the past....

I have an exciting weekend ahead.  I will stay in a hotel tomorrow night.  I will go to Mass in another town on Saturday evening.  And then get ready for a race.

I must focus on what is good.  And there is plenty.  And I must thank God for it.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Prayers Please

In the devastation of the tornadoes in Alabama is my brother and his wife.  I heard from his daughter, my niece, that a tornado hit 600 yards from their house.  There was a tree across their driveway, someone's roof in their backyard, and debris everywhere.   They had no power, water, or telephone.  

First I was grateful that they are OK.  Then I started to consider the fact that they are both in poor health, a day in that situation could be more than either of them could physically or emotionally take.  I asked my niece for an update, via facebook.  

Her latest update said they ate lunch, and at which restaurant (seriously?), and that they have a game plan.  No details about whether they are staying in the house or whether they have power, water, and telephone back.  I hope I will find out soon.  

I am so worried about my beloved older brother and his wife.  My sister-in-law since 1967.  

I know there are others in much worse situations and I am praying for them.  But I can't help but be worried about my brother.  

Prayers are appreciated.  

Thank you and God bless you.

Easter Thursday

When I place a photo on my blog, I go to my iPhoto collection - and look through the last year of photos.  Sometimes it prompts me to remember things - such as today.  This photo was taken a little over a year ago. It was a birthday gift for a friend.  But before I gave it to her, I took a picture of the blue hydrangea sitting on my desk in my office.

There's no good reason to post it today except it is pretty.

I remain in a testy mood.

Yesterday I wanted to start cussing at someone, but instead sat in my office smiling and praying.  One of my co-workers walked by and asked me "what that smirk was about" - so I told her I am trying to smile instead of swear.  She was satisfied with that answer.

I have a half marathon on Sunday - maybe the anxiety about that is causing me to be off balance.  Maybe it is this cold weather and intermittent snow.  Maybe it is at least partially the realization that a lot of my beloved shrubs and plants have been killed by my neighbor and aren't coming back.

I need to put my faith in God.  Faith and Trust.  And once I have done that, there should be little room for this kind of self-centeredness.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Or so says Robert Frost.  I think.

I moved into my home almost 10 years ago.  It was the thrill of a lifetime for me.  I was nearly 50 years old.  I had gone from homeless to renting an apartment, to renting a house, to purchasing a townhouse, and then finally to buying my own single family home in less than 10 years.  To say I was thrilled really doesn't touch the way I felt about it.  

When I was looking at it, I made sure I had an outdoor space to sit and read... that was the deck in the back of the house.  I thought it would be splendid.  I looked at the yard and planned where I would plant flowers instead of the rocks that were there.  

When I moved in, it was late September - 2001 - which was an odd time to put it mildly.  I never sat out on the deck that year.  I did, however, plant tulip bulbs all over the place in joyful anticipation of the spring.  

That Thanksgiving, I planned to stay home alone since I was working on my master's thesis and I was exhausted.  I had planned to do nothing that day.  But, as is the case every year, turkeys were on sale for like $3. a piece, so I bought one.  I love to cook, so I opted to make myself some mashed potatoes, stuffing, and the rest of the traditional fare.  I sat down, alone at my dining room table, and looked out the window at my neighbors gawking at me.  The whole family, the grandparents, the parents, the kids, the grandkids, the whole shootin' match, looking out their dining room window at me.  Loser, sitting at the dining room table, alone on Thanksgiving, eating a whole dinner - alone.  So, I got up and closed the blinds.  And suddenly felt like there was something terribly wrong with me.   

By spring, I had noticed that the neighbors behind me were really "in my face."  When I tried to sit on the deck, I felt like I was invading their personal space and so I stopped doing that.  My yard is small, theirs is large.  My deck goes half way to the property line, and sits above the fence, so we are almost eyeball to eyeball.  

I came to really really dislike these folks.   The nice neighbor who lives next door to me and is also in their backyard dislikes them even more than I did.  They have big gatherings in the back yard late into the nights in the summer.  I don't really care because my bedroom is in the front of the house, but hers is in the back, so it is an issue for her.  One time she yelled at the man "Shut up, you old bastard!"  Which I think is the only time I have ever heard of her using bad language or being anything less than loving.  She is the type of person who mows lawns that aren't even hers (like mine for example).  

Then one Sunday, I visited a church I didn't normally go to.  (It is now my parish, but it wasn't then.)  I nearly fainted when I saw my much hated neighbor marching up the aisle in his deacon's apparel.  He gave the homily that day and I saw the little jolt of recognition when his eye caught mine.  I decided I really had to stop hating him and his family.  

It has been a long process.  I started attending "his" church.  I introduced myself to him and told him "I live in your backyard."  He didn't argue with me.  I met his wife when I was on the welcoming committee with her.  I met their son, who is a lovely young man.  We are on first name basis now.  


They have a gardener who takes care of their lawn and garden.  They also work on it quite a bit.  It is beautiful.  They have a rock fountain as the centerpiece of it - I enjoy listening to it in the summer.  So, last summer, they apparently sprayed herbicide all over the fence because anything I had within 3 feet or so of the fence died.  This includes my ornamental grass that used to be gorgeous.  My honeysuckle.  Half of my lilac bush.  Two aspen trees.  One rose bush.  Various lilies and iris. 

I had hoped they would come back this spring.  I go out and check them every day.  Dead.  Dead.  Dead.  

I look over at their beautiful lush garden and I can't describe to you how very unchristian I feel about it.  Now when I see him at church, I think about how badly he has impacted my life and how he probably has never given a thought about me.  

I think I have to talk to him about it, but I don't know how I can without crying.  I have been crying just writing this.  

Some people just seem to get everything and they can't seem to stop there.  They have to destroy the little bit that other people might have.  

Sorry, I am not over my cold yet , and I am sure it is coloring my world in a dark, dark way.  

I will pray for him and me.  And I would ask for your prayers too if you would be so kind.

Thank you.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Divine Mercy Novena

I know it is late in the game if you aren't already aware of this Novena.   But I wanted to post it anyway.  The prayer for the fourth day, today, is particularly meaningful to me, as I have friends who seemingly (to me) refuse to believe in God...

Fourth Day
"Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me, 

I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."  
Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.

Read more:

This Divine Mercy Sunday is going to be a very special day, as it will be the day Pope John Paul II is beatified.  And I love Divine Mercy Sunday.

I will be in another town, for a half marathon the next day.  Hopefully I will be feeling better by then, because I am certainly not feeling well now.  And it has been eleven days since I have worked out.  I don't think I do "sick" well, this has been difficult for me.  I still made Easter dinner yesterday and we all enjoyed it.  But I am still sad over the people I am missing this year.  

But there is God's mercy for me too.  Even though I have enough self-pity to go around.  

Thank you Lord Jesus.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Resurrection of Jesus

Mary stood weeping outside of the tomb, and as she wept she stopped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.  They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him."  Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom do you seek?"  Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."  Jesus said to her, "Mary."  She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means teacher).  Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."  -- The Gospel according to John 20:11-17

Have a Happy and Blessed Easter everyone.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

STABAT Mater dolorosa
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.
AT, the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.
Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.
O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!
O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.
Quae maerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.
Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?
Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?
Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?
Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with scourges rent:
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.
For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.
Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.
Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:
Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.
Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:
Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.
By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.
Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.
Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.
Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.
Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;
Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.
Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;
Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.
While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

From the Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Brothers and sisters:  Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.  So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
In the days when Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.  Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Thank you Jesus.  May everything I think, say, and do give glory to you.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In an unholy world

southwest plaza bomb FBI Identifies Person Of Interest In Southwest Plaza Mall Pipe Bomb
I have shared here before that I live very near Columbine High School.  I think this area has a bit of collective PTSD.  Yesterday was the 12th anniversary of the massacre.  There was a fire at the mall less than a mile from the school.  When they found the fire, they found bombs.  It is just so macabre.  

How well I remember that day.  We all have our own stories.  Mine is not particularly interesting I think. I sat down at lunch to write a letter (to a priest), and checked the internet news first.  Then I saw this horror unfolding just a couple miles to the south.  I realized that one of my employees had two children at that school that day.  I realized I had to go tell her what was going on.  Thank God her kids were OK. As were the kids of the other employees who went tearing out of there that day.  Other parents from other places had other stories.  

Later I dated a man who had played a key role in the investigation of what happened that day 12 years ago.  His career had ended in disgrace, very public disgrace.  The story of his decline was all over the internet.    But I will never forget something he said.  One of our favorite things to do was to watch TV together - over the phone.  It was fun.  One day we watched an event taking place at Columbine.  President Clinton was visiting.  I don't remember what the event was, but he was sitting on a dais outdoors.  In the pouring rain.  There was lightening.  My friend said it would not surprise him if lightening hit the president and he died.  It would be consistent with the ruin that had tainted everyone connected with that tragedy.    My friend was later found dead in his own home.  I believe he was a victim of alcoholism, but I will never know what really happened.  I only know he died alone.  After years of a stellar career and a shining life, it all ended in disgrace.  

I have got a cold, a bit of a fever, and a constantly dripping nose.  It is pouring rain outside.  I need to be at work soon.  And I need to look good because I will likely meet a state dignitary today.  Might not too, but if I went to work dressed in jeans (as I sometimes do on days like this), I would be assured a meeting.   So I shall dress as nice as I can and try to be presentable and pleasant.  

I hope to be able to go to Mass tonight.  But if I need to come home and go to bed, I will.

God bless you all on this Holy Thursday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Wednesday

It is Holy Wednesday.
I will go to Mass tonight.

Yesterday I sat at a meeting at work, surrounded by people coughing.  I woke this morning with a sore throat and stuffed up head.  I don't want to be sick.  But if that is what is to be, I will offer it up.  It is such a small thing.

"The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.  It would be better for that man if he had never been born."  Matthew 26:24

Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy Monday

That's a photo of the church where the wedding was held on Saturday.  No, it is not a Catholic Church.  It is a church built in 1897 - and still standing.  On top of a mesa where no one has lived for probably a hundred years.  It was a beautiful day for a wedding.  

I got to spend a few days with my daughters.  They were kind to one another the whole time.  

But I got to see myself and realize something.  My eldest brother gets on my last nerve.  I love him.  I know he loves me.    But he gets on my nerves.  I try to smile, but I know it is phony and forced and I am sure he knows it too.

So, this morning I checked the Archdiocese's website and found confession from 7:05 to 8:15 at a nearby church.  I went there on my way to work.

When I got into my car to leave the church, I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for his forgiveness and mercy.  And I also thanked him that I am a Catholic and I can avail myself of this wonderfully healing sacrament - any day of the week.  

It is more effective than therapy.  It not only makes you FEEL better, but it truly makes you BE better.  The price is right too.  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Heading to the Land of Enchantment

My daughters and I will head out first thing tomorrow morning for New Mexico.  My niece is getting married there.  We will stay just Saturday night and head home on Sunday afternoon.  I will get to see a passel of nieces and nephews, and their kids.  I will see my eldest brother and the sister-in-law who has been in my life since I was 13 years old.  She is a sister to me.  

I lived in this town for 6 years when I was a young mother.  Unfortunately, those are not good memories for me since I was an active alcoholic at that time.  

Praise God!  I am not now.  And haven't been for a very long time.  26 years and 9 months to be precise since a drop of alcohol has passed these lips.  

I love the dry desert mesas and clear blue sky of New Mexico.  I love my family.  I have a chance to be with both of my daughters (which can sometimes be torture) for many hours.  We do all have our own rooms at the hotel though.  So there will be escape if necessary.  

Have a beautiful Palm Sunday weekend everyone.  I'll be back on Sunday night or Monday morning.