There are so many times, looking back, that I am thankful to God that I did not get my way. As my husband and I grow closer -- we are about to celebrate fourteen years of marriage -- I think he would agree that this would be true for many of our mutual desires and aspirations, as well. So, let's get down to some specifics. During the year 1999-2000, I entered the RCIA program at our parish dedicated to St. Andrew. I also enjoyed teaching three year olds at our parish preschool where Maggie, then three (and not in my class!) and, Joy-Beth, eighteen months, also attended. It was a relaxed schedule, three days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30. We came home and ate lunch and all sacked out for a big nap. The next year was my neophyte year (the first year as a full-fledged Catholic), and I began to stress out about schooling and religion. I wanted the girls to go from K-12 to Catholic school, preferably on the same campus for all these years. Pinecrest Acedemy fit the bill, but it was far from our neighborhood and so very expensive.
So, I started lobbying the grandparents, hard, I might add. They were to be the patrons of this plan -- why would they not? Jerry and I spent alot of time writing the application, taking the girls to interviews and, to some success, we received support from the grandparents. Our children were accepted and we were set -- God and his lovely orthodox school would handle the rest! (And, a lovely, holy place Pinecrest remains to this day.)
God had other plans for us. We were to experience a "personal 9-11" right about the time of the New York event. I had become very sick after Jay's delivery in February of 2001. The summer before Maggie was to start kindergarten and Joy-Beth was to begin PK-4 at Pinecrest I was a very sick woman. I was pale and cold, incredibly cold. I was sluggish and yearned to rest. I kept saying that if I could just sleep for a month, I'd snap back to my normal, energetic self. God allowed tragedy to unfold in our family during the months that ensued, beginning that summer. I still get choked up revisiting this painful time.
The end result was that we had to pull back. Maggie finished the year at Pinecrest thanks to the generosity of friends who could drive when I could not. Joy-Beth left Pinecrest and was taken back at our parish preschool. My friend Teresa bought a car seat for her at a garage sale and became chaffeur to Joy-Beth during Mommy's prolonged illness. Mommy and Daddy soldiered on the best they could in the face of disaster. We clung to our faith. We both begged the Lord's presence, and, as always (eternally, in fact), He did not fail us.
There is more, so much more. Enough writing for now. I am grateful for the pain because it helped us to grow stronger.
Sweet Virgin Mary, hold my hand, take me to your Son who wants to embrace us even in our misery, especially in our misery. Mother of God, protect us from bitterness, lighten our load and teach us to make our hearts like unto your own Immaculate Heart. AMEN