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Monday, May 09, 2005

Bittersweet

I've had moments of such great joy lately, but they are tinged with sorrow.

Yesterday, my youngest daughter graduated from college. Besides the inevitable inconveniences -- interminable processions of graduates, uncomfortable heat -- it was a wonderful time of celebrating accomplishment and being a family. We certainly know how to laugh together, my children and I, and the dinner after the ceremony was the best Mother's Day present I could have received. But, we all knew that that one who would have been most delighted was Julia's father. And he wasn't there.

My older daughter told me about a recent incident when she was riding home in the backseat with my son and his best friend. One will be studying for the ministry, one is in seminary preparing for the priesthood. A lively and charitable discussion about the meaning of the sacrament of Communion in each denomination was going on in the front seat, and at one red light, they both whipped out their Bibles to clarify what concepts they were referring to. I'm sure you understand the deep happiness, almost a silent chortle, that overtakes a mother when hearing a story like this about a child whose final attainment of adult maturity and well-being was not always forseeable during adolescence. Yet something is missing. I'm sure that if it is for Dave's good, God is allowing him to witness and even participate in these good things. But I have no one here who shared the uncertainty and so with whom I can share the depth of joy and gratification that I know now.

Bittersweet. Joy and sorrow, neither overtaken by the other but comingled.

I understand Mary the mother of God a little better now.

5 comments:

Julie D. said...

I can easily understand those bittersweet feelings ... but am blessed to still have someone to share these with. Thanks for sharing this because I suddenly feel as if I have a little more insight into Mary as well, both before Joseph died and afterward.

Therese Z said...

Wonderful story. And St. Joseph is a good addition to thinking it all over.

A great test of faith, in a different kind of hardship, knowing that the Church teaches that Dave is alive with Christ and can intercede for all of you, and can see what is happening, but wishing there was a concrete miracle of proof.

Sparrow said...

God bless you and God bless your family.

justin said...

Know that this indescribable emotion, which you've just described, can most closely be understood by your children.

As the children of a mother who has probably lost many nights of sleep hoping that they would choose God's will over their own, they've recognized that calling, and have affirmed their understanding of your nurturing, by the very reason for your joy these recent days.

I speak from my own recognition of the absolutely palpable joy I detect in my parents, though I'm already 24 and on my own, when they encounter situations where I've chosen His will over my own.

Happy belated Mother's Day! God bless you.

Deborah said...

I was thinking of all of you on Sunday, both the terrestrial and the heavenly. And though I cannot know what you and Dave shared in terms of actual thoughts and words, I pictured his wide grin -- make that really just a beam of pure joy -- and I could hear that Michigan accent he assimilated so strongly as he thoroughly enjoyed himself as a proud father. And I pictured all of you together with him, celebrating your "kids."
It's dreadfully hard when that can happen only in the heart right now, and not in the flesh.
But this, too, shall pass. I wish you peace and joy. I cherish you and my adult nieces and nephew. And I honour the man and woman who helped to make them the wonderful people that they are.
Hugs and kisses to all, but especially to you, dear Roz. Almost three years ago, I teetered on the edge of where you have gone, and so I bless you and commend you and, best of all, I pray for you.

 

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