Sleep

How long can one go without a good night’s sleep? I am beginning to understand why sleep deprivation can be considered torture. I do not recall the last night I slept more than four hours without waking up. I realize, of course, that when my children were babies I did that, but it was twenty years ago!
I cannot actually put two thoughts together that make sense, nor can I focus on anything more than repetitive type tasks at work.
I have tried various remedies: lavender, melatonin, calcium, wine, reading boring books; I fall asleep but can’t stay that way.
Maybe my life’s stresses are catching up with me?

Death

Two weeks ago my grandmother left this earth to go to her eternal reward. She was 91 yeas old and had cancer. She died on the feast of the Visitation, which was a comfort to me and a blessing for her.
The funeral was a few days later in NY and I am still trying to make sense of it. Not her death, but rather my family’s response to it. My husband says we feel it differently and maybe more than the rest of the family since we lived near her for over 20 years, while everyone else was much further away. We also took care of her these last 3 years as she declined in health.
I have spent so much time thinking of the strange things my family said in regard to heaven and hell and religion. I really have not come to any conclusions except that I am very sad about the loss of having my grandmother in our lives.

Troubles

Question: is one day with no major trial to much to ask for? One suggestion is for me to stop answering the phone, checking emails, or talking to people. That just does not seem very practical.
I have to remember that God gives us all the grace we need to take care of our trials.

Graduation 3

Tuesday morning at the most terrible hour of 6:00 am I and a friend drove my daughter to the convention center to her graduation. Then we waited on line until 7:00 am to get into the hall and save seats for the rest of the family for the big event. Promptly at 8:00 am the procession began and by 9:10 am all had left the room. I think it was a record time for about 400 students to have their names called, shake about 7 people’s hands on stage, take a picture with the principal as he handed each their diploma case. This was in addition to the speeches by the superintendent of schools, principal, valedictorian, salutatorian, and class president; a song; and moving the tassels from one side to the other.
Our daughter graduated 9th in her class and had more cords then she was permitted to wear. Now, we have to get ready to leave for college in a month.

Graduation 2

So, last Saturday we made the hour trek down to the Convention Center and watched our son walk across the stage for earning his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts. Peter graduated Cum Laude and is now a member of the American Culinary Association. And, most importantly, he has a job!
The behavior at the event left a bit to be desired: air horns, people leaving before it was over, not standing as faculty processed in were a few examples. What is the problem with people acting properly in public? I felt better though about the fact that poor behavior does not seem to be limited to Church events, it’s everywhere!

Holy Spirit

In ten days we will celebrate the birthday of the Church. The coming of Pentecost is a great time to pray the novena to the Holy Spirit and ask for the gifts we all need to navigate this world we live in. The link will bring you to a printable version from EWTN. http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/pentecost/seven_tx.htm
The Descent of the Holy Spirit is my favorite mystery when praying the rosary. I can see the Spirit rushing forth with a great wind, and then each disciple being so filled with the Spirit that the only possible reaction is to go forth and tell the world about our Savior. The courage and wisdom they received is for what I too pray.
Imagine if every Catholic in the world prayed for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and then acted on it. We would truly see the Kingdom of God!

First Communion

When you are a DRE the end of the year brings First Communions. In my case, for 177 children, at three different masses, on two different days in two different languages. I think it is all ready to go for Saturday and Sunday. And I will not tire of answering questions that I find totally irrelevant and superfluous, but are important to parents. What kind of questions, you ask, how about this,”Are flowers in my daughter’s hair a problem since they cannot carry flowers?” or “Is a tiara okay if is not too big?” or the favorite this year is “Can my daughter, who has never sung in public before, sing a solo at First Communion?” The last one from a mother who does not even know who is in charge of music at our parish and wondered in the email if, “you, (the music minister) ever see or talk to the lady in charge of Communion, because I don’t know who it is.” The answers are, in order, flowers in the hair are fine; yes; no. I have learned to make no other explanations because if I do I may be a bit caustic or even border on the condescending. I just deleted possible responses, too ugly, even for me! Alas, the weekend will bring stories, I can promise you that, and they will make me want to laugh, cry, scream, and wonder. I just pray, so I can keep my tongue under control and it all seems to work.

Graduation 1

So, this past Tuesday, 9 of us who have been studying together for 3 years graduated from our diocese’s “School of Christian Formation.” We were awarded certificates which state we are now an “Agent of Evangelization” and well equipped to teach all whom we encounter. We also got to shake our Bishop’s hand when he gave us the certificate at the Mass. I hope the pictures we took come out so I can put them in our parish newsletter.
The saddest part now is that we won’t get to see our wonderful instructor every week. We were so blessed to have him for every course. He is by far the most intelligent man I know, as well as a great priest and canon lawyer.
Now I am on to the next graduation… my wonderful son’s on May 19!

Losses

Easter Sunday dawned and with it our hope in the Resurrection restored. Christ our Light shines for us. Yet, since the Wednesday of Holy Week all around has been loss and sadness. My list looks like this: one of our parish priests is leaving to discern his vocation for the next two years, two sets of friends are moving to another state, i am getting my daughter ready to leave for college, my son had a car accident and now has no car at all, my husband still has not found employment, my grandmother is getting worse, a good friend’s ex-husband won’t help his daughter with college expenses, another friend had an unexplained seizure and is not quite herself because of the medicine she is taking, another friend has 3 brain aneurysms, there’s more but I am starting to feel like I am whining!
So, on the positive side: both of my children are graduating and excited to begin the next phase of their lives, we are all healthy, my son was not hurt in the car accident, my husband loves me and I love him, all of the pregnant women I know had safe deliveries and healthy babies, I have completed the lay ministry formation program and am graduating, my daughter has her prom gown, and more.
So, in the balance, I can trade my sadness for joy and tears for dancing. Lord, give me the grace to do so.