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.