Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Beginning of the Odd Year

Yesterday I hugged my son and told him I loved him.  He told me "I love you Mom."  Which, if you don't know, hearing a grown man utter those words to you is the sweetest thing on earth...  anyway, I drove away and cried.  Great huge heaving sobs that left me gasping for breath.  I lost it in other words.

I am not a good "brave face" person.  If I am feeling it, it is there.  I can put aside my feelings at work and be professional, and I thank God I can, and that I have the opportunity to.  But if someone asks me, I don't try to pretend that I am ecstatic that my son is going to be gone to the middle east for a year, leaving his young wife and infant daughter.   I think it would be dishonest to do so.

I went through a year where my son was in Iraq - during the worst year of that war.  I lived through that. I did it with what I would consider "grace."  The grace that comes from faith.  I don't have the kind of faith that tells me that nothing bad will ever happen to me, but the grace to know that God will get me through anything that does come my way.  My friends thought I did that well too, so I know I am not being delusional.

But I am not ready yet.  I am not there yet.

Here's where I will get into politics - which I intended not to do on this blog.  But during the 2008 election, I watched perfectly intelligent people seem to lose their minds when they jumped onto the Obama bandwagon.  My only hope was that they were really much, much smarter than me and that I just failed to understand what the guy was saying - which seemed to me to make no sense at all.  I hoped this.  And I even hoped it into the last 2 years.  But the last week has convinced me that I might have been right in believing the guy is a good looking, intelligent, articulate, well-connected guy with no real moral compass.

The middle east is blowing up and we have insinuated ourselves into the mess with no clear idea of why.

And this is no longer academic for me - if it ever was.

So, the beginning of the "odd year."  The TV has to be shut off or turned to mindless things where hard news shan't bother my pretty little head.  I am grateful for my lenten resolve to go to mass or adoration for the duration of lent.  Those are the best hours of my day right now.  I may have to continue that past Easter.  I will make myself busy, busy, busy.  I will find ways to serve others so that I am not thinking of myself 24/7.

I fear if I don't walk this very fine line I will lose my mind.

And the rosary every day.  Oh, what consolation I find in that!  I have many rosaries, but my favorite came from the Vatican - a gift from a friend.  Red glass beads.  I think I might buy myself a rosary with smooth wooden beads - smooth, without all the edges and facets of my beautiful red beads.  Austere beads.

Any prayers are greatly appreciated.
p.s., This evening as I was driving to adoration from work, I stopped to give a man some money.  It was after I drove up to the redlight and stopped that I realized he wasn't begging!  He was just sitting by the road, not even at the light.  He had no sign, no outward signs that he was begging, and yet, I just made the assumption, stopped the car, rolled down the window and shoved a bill at him.  He took the money just the same....


  1. Ok, this is serious enough for you to go on my daily list of special prayer intentions for bloggers. Wait there while I go and write your name down.

    Ok, you're on it, I will ask Jesus and Our Lady to answer your request personally, which, if I have listened properly, is peace, apart from circumstances? I'm going to go one further and request Our Lady's joy for you, which also co-exists alongside uncertainty. I know it does, I've experienced it. This peace and joy comes from heaven, so only heaven can remove it, the world neither knows about it nor has any power over it's distribution.

    John 14:27
    'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.'

    Ask Him yourself aswell Mary C, for peace. He promised to be with us, and unlike mankind in general, (including me)He never broke a promise in His life!

    I'm going go post you a hymn now.
    You're not alone, ever.

  2. I've posted it. The first song didn't play so I deleted it and posted another one. God bless Mary C.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with you MC. I will keep you and your family in prayers.

  4. I hope you have ample opportunity to spend time with your daughter in law and grandbaby. When I think of your situation, I would want to be in the thick of things and also try to ease their sorrows. Idk--but it seems to lift the heart, and provide a bit of camaraderie.
    You have my prayers.

  5. Thank you everyone. Your prayers are very much appreciated.

    Kelly, Unfortunately, my daughter-in-law is very shy and terribly intimidated by me. She is a wonderful young woman who actually respects her elders, etc. Our family is so blessed to have her among us. But it is hard because of this. I'm working on it though :)

  6. Ah! got it. Well, many prayers in that direction as well!

  7. I have a sister named Mary, and a sister named Christine, so a visit here reminds me of two others each time. In this post, your anxiety comes through loud and clear. Many issues to explore.
    I choose two for now:

    1) Try this link and read it aloud daily:

    There are several prayers involved on that page, specific to your current needs. Further, satan is a created being and cannot read your mind. He can HEAR what you say, so say scriptures aloud for him to hear that you are one of them Jesus folks.
    If you read in silence, he hears what you utter and exacerbates your fears.
    Psalm 91 is a psalm of pure protection.

    Satan knows this as well,and chose a portion of Psalm 91 to tempt Christ in the desert:
    "For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.
    With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone." (V. 11-12)

    I strongly urge you to read this Psalm aloud, as well as your own choice of other prayers on that link.....daily.

    2) Letting go is an almost impossible task, for a heart raveled around a child raised. Yes, we all know they are on loan from God, and never ours, but His. But "good-bye" smarts a heart that holds any love.

    I was mom and dad to my girls as a single dad, and they left just as my mom died. Dad was gone 24 years before. Now, I was an orphan, albeit the benefit of being raised Catholic is to have 10 siblings of 12 children still alive.

    But parents and children are gone, and I did not take it well at all, MC.

    Last spring, I found an empty birds nest, in a tree I was trimming. The parents constructed a wonderful home, gave birth to a new generation, raised them, and left. As a dog lives seven years for each human years, birds have it worse and see their new home and family kaput in one year...even less.

    I took that bird's nest and put it in my car, above the back seat, on the top shelf area, couched by the rear window. It is a warm sight for me to see each time I come to my car.

    And, as I am driving, I often use my rear view mirror and look back. The traffic is noted, but so too is the empty nest. My eyes turn forward to drive, but the nest remains in my mind. It is a reminder of a season with a home full of happy gone....making homes of their own, and children too. That nest helps me let go, just as the birds had to let go.

    Find a birds nest after it is unoccupied and stuff it in your car as I did. Place your memories there each time you look at it (it will surprise you how often you look back while driving).

    Looking back is healthy, and avoids blind spots that can be harmful. But looking forward is why God put our eyes in front of our head, instead of on the back.

    Sometimes, when I am at the cemetery visiting mom and putting in flowers, I take the bird's nest out of my car and put it on top of dad, next door.
    I go about my work, recalling the nest they made for 12 kids (a 13th died at birth, so I have 6 before me and 6 after, but 2 sisters died in youth).

    Then, when it is time to leave, my nest goes back in the car, nestled in the rear window anew.
    My own little birds are flying now, and the nest reminds me to pray Psalm 91 aloud for them, for the angels to care for them now. It helps.

  8. Your son will be safe in Kuwait. My brother has been there for a year and a half. Anything can happen anywhere, but from what my brother describes, it's like being at a mall. The Kuwaities are all fat and happy from their oil money. It's not like Lybia or Egypt or these oppressed countries. Try not to worry too much. I know it's hard. It was hard for my mother at first too, but she's gotten accostumed to it. Keep in touch with him through email and phone, skype if you have it. Have him take a few pictures and email them back to reassure you. You have my prayers.

  9. Sorry Mary Christine, that I am just getting around to reading this now. Surely you can count on my prayers for your son as well as his mother who loves him so much. Good to hear that you are finding comfort in the Rosary. Though it may be difficult to see it this way, you, too, have been given a share in Mary's life by having a son that you can only helplessly watch as he goes about what he feels he must do to support his family. I know that by your devotion to Mary through her Rosary, she will keep your son under the protection of her mantle.

    Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
    Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


    I have prayed The Memorare many times when my son was being bullied and tormented in school and Mary always answered my prayers with the same haste with which she sought to aid Elizabeth. She will do the same for you.
    God Bless!