Come Back To Me

Cradle Catholic, Cafeteria Catholic, devout Catholic, Roman Catholic, and for those who want to do the very minimum, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.  At one time or another I have been all of the above.

I won’t go into the scandalous cover-up orchestrated by the Vatican.  I will say that the pedophile priests make me sick to my stomach and my heart aches for all of the abused.  All of it being done in the name of God.  There are a lot of Catholics who have abandoned the Church because of this, and I understand and have nearly done so.  What I am trying to explain is why I have decided to stay in the Church.

Because I am a Cradle Catholic it is all I know, it is home. After having been away for the last three years, I started going again sporadically. One Sunday in November I went to St. Ambrose in Parchment, my home parish, and felt a real peace there. Walking down the same aisle I walked to marry my Husband Sam, that my Son walked to receive his First Communion and Confirmation, and the pews I sat in with my family for so many years. My Mom and Dad and Sam. The choir did an exceptional job that day and it moved me. I seemed to hear in my mind the hymn “Hosea”.

When Mass was over, I went over to our choir director and told her I wanted to come back to choir and sing and she welcomed me back with open arms as did the rest of my choir family. I was home. It was a small miracle, The Lord touched my heart and lead me back to where I belonged. I am singing at 11:15 Mass and love it. I know God loves all of us, all we have to do is believe and try to be a better person. We will fall and he will pick us up, it doesn’t matter where or if we attend a certain church, as long as we are trying, he knows and will answer our prayers and give us the strength we need to get through this life.

Bottom line is I am a different person since all this happened, I love my life and look forward to making a difference with everyday I am given.

The Summer of Sixty Five

Temporarily Insane

It’s been dang near 2 months since I posted on this site.  Here’s some stuff to catch you up on whats been going on in my wacky life this summer.

Let’s start around the first of May when I went temporarily insane and bought a little red sports car.  Yup, a 2005 Honda s2000  Just like the one Sam bought when he was temporarily insane out in Washington.  We called his illness a “Midlife Crisis”.  I knew the universe was speaking to me when the guy I bought the car from knew Sam, it was the same color and year as Sam’s and only had 28,000 miles on it.  It has been the highlight of my summer and am planning on selling it next spring.  Fun’s fun, but let’s not get  carried away.  I mean two cars?

A couple of weeks later I decided to dip my toes into the on-line dating pool.  (Son, you may want to stop reading here.)  I have been out of the dating scene, if you will, for quite a while and things are so different it’s stupid.  Tinder, E Harmony, Plenty Of Fish,, Our, you name it, I’ve been on it.  Just trying to figure out if there are better sites than others.  No, not really, is the answer to that one.  The men still make all the decisions as to whether you meet or not.  To me if a guy likes your picture or winks at you there is interest.  Not so much…I have changed my profile umpteen times, because casual, dating and fun all mean SEX in guy-speak.   All the guys on E Harmony want a soul mate, Tinder is for Hook-ups (sex), POF isn’t too bad, met a guy from East Lansing that had a thing for older women, (don’t ask) and one who just wanted to give me a massage..for the love of God, I don’t want someone I haven’t met yet to talk about touching my body.  Then there was Michael from East Grand Rapids on  Tinder who was nice and met me for coffee here in Kazoo.  I saw him twice before I found out he was just trying to get over his 20 year old girlfriend (he is 51) who left him.   I kid you not, as Jack Parr would say.   I will leave this subject by admitting I don’t get excited anymore when I have an email about a match.

Of course this wouldn’t be a blog post if I didn’t mention my journey with grief.   After 3+ years, I am finally realizing that I need to forgive myself for being the last spouse standing, if I am ever going to start living again.  I have been so busy trying to gird myself against the pain of the loss, that I am not able to appreciate all that is going on around me.  I am merely walking around from place to place trying not to think about how much I am hurting.  To do this, I will make peace with Sam’s memory, apologize one last time for all my shortcomings during his illness.  As he would tell me often, “Theresa, that is water under the bridge” or “That’s a sunken cost” when I came home with another purse or pair of shoes.  I know it sounds absurdly simple, but he would be the first person to tell me that it needs to be done so I can join the human race again.  It is not going to happen overnight, but it is a goal worthy of me and all who are going through an unimaginable loss which is part of life.  So every time I begin to feel guilty about the past I will think of Sam’s smile, or laugh, or the way he looked at me and our family with pure love.  It is a tough road but we have to give ourselves a break and some of that love we are missing.  Peace Out

"And Isn’t It Ironic?"

“Life is bitter-sweet,”  my friend Sandy said with tears in her voice. My dear friend in Vancouver knows from experience just how true that statement rings.  She lost her Son, Tony just over a year ago and still struggles as any parent would, yet she is preparing for her oldest daughter’s wedding which is a very joyous time.

Over the past seven years I have done nothing but hope and pray to be closer in proximity to my family and friends.  Finally making it to Chicago in December 2009, I was ecstatic!  Just a three hour drive to our family and friends.

On April 19, 2010, Sam was diagnosed with stage four head and neck cancer.  He went through radical surgery which removed a softball size tumor in his neck, 50 lymph nodes, his right tonsil, right jugular vein, thyroid gland, and a baseball size tumor from the back of his tongue.  Enduring six weeks of radiation and chemo just to make sure they killed anything left.  Compared to that, the bleeding ulcer, 6 unit blood transfusion and high blood pressure episode narrowly missing a massive stroke were a walk in the park.

Fast forward to January 2011.  Hoping it would be a better year, we talked about trying to take advantage of the housing market and look for a home in Michigan where we would eventually retire.  We found our dream home on Lake Allegan, about 30 miles northwest of Kalamazoo.  We closed on the house in mid-March.

A month later we discovered Sam’s cancer had returned, this time in his right lung.  This time no cure.  This time palliative care is going to be the only treatment.

Are you sensing the pattern here?

The sweet is living in our dream home, being closer to our friends and family and living each day to the fullest.

The bitter:  well….you know.