I will be away from the computer, as far as I can tell, for the next week. My dad has this habit of coming and sitting right beside me as I type or check email when I'm in his house. He just wants to be with me and I just want to be alone when I'm online! So, we'll see how that goes. If I'm silent, you'll know why.
Last evening was spent at one of dearest one's siblings, celebrating their 25th anniversary. Have I ever told you dearest one has 11 siblings? We were the lone non ultra conservative Mennonites there in a crowd of 100 plus people. That was okay. After almost 25 years of marriage ourselves most of the people in the crowd know who I am. There was a time in my journey where my dress and head covering was not much different than these people. That is a long story.
This morning I went to my AA meeting and later had coffee with both sons. There is something very comforting to me that despite them making decisions that are contrary to how we raised them, they come and ask us for prayer. I am so thankful for that.
Last night youngest son and his girlfriend came with us to the anniversary celebration. If you can picture all these women wearing modest dresses and head coverings and my son's girlfriend walking around with a low, low top, belt buckle that had LED readout of her name and tight, tight jeans. I was pretty proud of how she made herself at home in the crowd. I thought back 25 years to me being in that exact situation and now I know why everyone knew who I was. It's hard to be anonymous when you stick out so much!
My mother-in-law did not want dearest one and I to marry all those years ago. I don't blame her. Last night as I greeted her and we talked about her own upcoming holidays I lamented with her about how she was going to spend hers. She whispered to me that I knew her better than some of her own children. And later on in the evening I went to say goodbye to her and I spontaneously said, "I love you." And I had to think of all that has transpired in the past 25 years and if there was(is)hope for me there is hope for anyone. She has been a beautiful example to me of what a mother-in-law can be. I love her for her honesty, compassion and her sense of humour. She had 11 babies in 14 years and kept her sense of humour through it all. And even though she had to stop having babies her heart ached for one more and so they adopted another child. She has understood my own heart ache for more children when I too, had to stop having them.
Tomorrow is another 25th anniversary celebration and then Monday morning I leave bright and early. I will be visiting a friend who is in a hospital between here and where I am headed. She was transferred there a week ago. She had a double lung transplant two and a bit years ago and she is in rejection. Thankfully her body has rallied and she is better than she was a week ago. Her name is Karen if you feel led to pray for her. Through my own lung issues she has been a beacon of light and hope for me. Someone I could phone when I ran out of spoons and not have to explain a thing....she simply understood. We know one another so well now that we can tell by each other's greeting on the phone how limited the other's spoons are.
Tomorrow I will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Mass. Here is a prayer by Catherine Doherty that speaks to my heart. God bless you.
O Lord of Hosts,
I stand before you
with a heart full of tears
and a soul filled with repentance
for all the moments I have been away from you.
Sins of my past life stand before me
in all their horrible nakedness.
And I have only your mercy to fall back upon.
But, then, it is an infinite mercy,
so I throw myself into its sea
and swim to the shore of your love.