Last week was not my strongest or my best. But, it was. As I waited for my anger to subside and my normal to come again I went to confession. I was mad, but not at God. Still, I was pulling away. In the confessional I admitted this. I was reminded that there was no way to move forward without going to my Father. I was encouraged to pause and go to Him.
By the weekend I was feeling better. Although I had not hit the pause button yet, life was getting ‘normal’ again.
This morning was Psalm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. My pause came to me.
It was during the Responsorial Psalm, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me.” I was singing, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me,” while staring at the crucifix covered in a purple cloth, I couldn’t see Jesus, but I felt him.
My heart started moving. Moved at the sacrifice made because of my sin. I could hear and feel. Jesus carried the weight of all the sins in the world on his cross. The whole world.
My cross, as heavy as it seems, as many moments that pass when I feel it crushing me beneath its weight…it is nothing compared to the weight of the whole world.
Mass went on and kids were restless, Rowen and Charlie shoved each other all the way down the isle after communion. We debated where to eat after Mass.
The way my heart had moved though…all day I found myself reflecting, not on the weight of my cross, but on the many blessings that came because a sinless man, the son of God, died for the things I’ve done wrong.
I went grocery shopping today and Rowen went with me. I’ve been feeling racked with guilt. He takes daily corticosteriods for his Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The steroid effects are so harsh and they are so hard on him. I’ve been torturing myself wondering if it is the right thing for him, wondering if he would be better off without them, wondering if he would be worse or better without them, wondering if he is miserable because of them.
Rowen is a soul I can sit next to without a word passing between the two of us and know exactly what he’s saying. Life moves too fast too often. I paused today getting groceries. It was just the two of us and I could hear him. He is a happy soul. My boy is a happy soul. The time I spent with him today calmed the anxiety I’ve been wrestling with.
First thing this morning, before Mass, one of our cats was missing. It turns out he had jumped down into the sewer and could get back up. My husband had to lift the manhole and I had to hang half way into the sewer to get him out. As I thought about our rescue effort later in the day, I had to laugh. One, because I was hanging through the sewer manhole in my pajamas. Two, because in November I went to a rescue and adopted two 12 year old cats. It wasn’t my husband’s favorite thing I’ve ever done, but now he teases me and says I’m running a cat hospice.
He is so funny and when I do something crazy he finds a way to love me anyways. I thought of the August I finally quit all forms of gainful employment to be the mom I wanted to be. He might have stressed about the money, but instead of voicing it to me, he sent me flowers with a card that said, “Happy Retirement.” I’m a lucky woman. I never doubt his love or that he was meant for me.
After this, I started to look. I started looking for my blessings. It is funny what you notice when you look. There was a man behind me in the checkout line. I overheard him talking to someone. He has two grown sons that were coming over for dinner. You could hear pride and happiness in his voice.
He noticed how full my cart was…it take a lot to feed a family of 8 for an entire a week! He teased that he could put his food in my cart and I wouldn’t even notice. He was jovial. My attention turned to Rowen and tasks at hand. I noticed him watching us, Rowen and I. I could feel him wishing time would rewind. He would love to have his boy in the front of the cart again. At that moment I felt very blessed to have my son so little and to be sharing the moment with him.
Later in the day I heard myself laughing. It is my mom’s laugh. My relationship with my mother has been a stressed one during my lifetime. My childhood was one that left me recovering. But, I can remember my mom laughing. She had a great laugh. When she was happy, the whole world was happy. I feel lucky to have that piece of her and hope the same for my children…that when their mom is happy their whole world is happy.
I can fault myself for not getting the laundry done or the the floor swept or not getting the most healthy dinner on the table. I can question ever decision I make as a parent. My kids don’t. They want me to laugh and I want them to remember me laughing. I want us to be happy. Our happy is never going to look like anyone else’s happy though.
Happiness does not come in a mold. Happiness is authentic. We find it in the blessings that come from the journey God gives us to get to Heaven. Those blessings and the journeys are authentic. God gives each of us our own.
The Lord knows the sorrows in my heart. There are times when the sorrows take front seat. There are times when I forget the blessings and I fall into despair or anger or jealousy.
But when I pause. When I take a minute and I let the quiet set in. When I take a minute so I can hear. When I take a minute and turn to Him. That is when I see the blessings, remember the joys, find my peace. When I pause and I turn to Him I find the strength to go on, to be happy, to the be the wife and mom I was meant to be. When I pause and turn to Him, I can find the right again even when the wrong is loud. His voice his stronger. When I pause and go to Him, I am stronger.