personal

It’s Wednesday, right?

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in personal | 6 comments

I seem to have lost all sense of time. That’s either very good or very bad. I’m going with very good. Ok. Maybe just plain good. No. Maybe it’s just not necessarily bad.

The holidays wreck my sense of time.

How are you faring in the new year? Any resolutions? I’ve resolved not to resolve anything. It’s quite liberating.

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today’s goal

Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in personal | Comments Off on today’s goal

I’m going to do one thing, and do it well. With my undivided attention until it is finished.

I’m going to turn off the damn phone, too.

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rain and more rain

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in personal | 1 comment

rain

I am unapologetically watching the rain make huge puddles outside my office window while being mesmerized by the drumming sound against the aluminum storm shutters.

How’s your Friday working out for you?

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Pursued by the cross. Again.

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in personal | 5 comments

san damianoI heard the sound of metal scrape concrete before I saw the small crucifix swept out from under the wire shelves. I have no idea how a crucifix made its way into the recesses of my garage, but I picked it up, sad that it had been lost and left in a dark corner for so long. There was a time when my family made twine rosaries for Rosary Army, so it could have fallen out of a back pack years ago. Well, God’s timing is never off.

I rubbed the crucifix clean against my shorts and put it in my pocket for later.

As I swept, I remembered that earlier this year I rescued a cross getting trampled by high school students when I was leaving work. It used to be I could find money on the ground, but apparently the new thing is finding crosses. I’m sure it’s no accident that these treasures inspired an afternoon of prayer.

Unlike the plain cross from before, this one, the San Damiano cross, survived its ordeal almost scratch-free. Its beautiful detail is familiar, as I own a full-color crucifix given to me years ago. My long association with the Franciscans came rushing to me this morning as I continued with my task of cleaning out the garage.

I was born in the beautiful city of Santa Clara in Cuba, a city named after St. Clare of Assisi. I can’t think of St. Clare without bringing to mind St. Francis of Assisi — together they co-founded the Franciscan tradition, a tradition I’m intimately connected to even though I didn’t know this until very recently. The values that have been passed along in my family most certainly come from this Franciscan legacy.

A deep faith, commitment to prayer, and perhaps most evident, a love for the poor coupled with servant-leadership seems to run deep in my family. I have a great uncle who was a Franciscan Friar in Spain, another great uncle who was a diocesan priest, and of course, my grandfather, Daniel, who led his community of Legazpia as its mayor.

My grandparents were surrounded by Franciscans. Capuchin Franciscans served their community in Santa Clara, so much so, that my grandmother joined the Third Order of St. Francis. I discovered this on my trip to Cuba last fall, where I not only reconnected with family, but reconnected with places that were meaningful to my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. The church where I was baptized, closed by the communist state, lost the Capuchins serving there. Fifty years later, the church has re-opened with a Capuchin Franciscan assigned as pastor. Other Franciscans have returned to the area as missionaries.

Service to the poor and the community has been a tradition in our immediate family, too, and I now recognize where the sensibility for this came.

Recently, my husband came home from running errands and placed a small statue of St. Francis on my desk. I appreciated the gesture, but looked at him quizzically — I’ve never had any kind of devotion to St. Francis that would warrant such a gift. My husband shrugged and explained that he saw the statue and thought I’d like it. At any rate, it seemed odd and out of place to have the saint lying in a pile of discards in a discount store.

I’ve often said that the saints seem to creep up behind me and chase me around until I pay attention to them. Maybe St. Francis is trying to get my attention. It wouldn’t surprise me, I mean, this past year I seem to have been surrounded by his followers. What must he want from me, I wonder.

St. Francis taught we must take up Christ’s cross daily. I have done this twice, literally, and I don’t think I need to find a third cross to get the message. But what cross am I taking up? I already have crosses to bear– some entirely mine, and some that I share. I don’t think my answer is in any of those.

While praying before the San Damiano cross, St. Francis heard the call to rebuild the Church. I wonder if I’m being called to the same, in some small way, through evangelization. I love Jesus. I want others to love Jesus, too. Maybe he’s calling me to something new.

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goodbye…hello

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in personal | 14 comments

window

I wasn’t going to do this. I had no intention of one last blog post from this house — this home of 20 years. But it just got real, folks, as I was walking around deciding what I would take in the car, and what would stay until we figure out just how much (or little) room we will have in the new place.

So many details. How often are we caught up in the minutiae and never do anything? I know that has been my distraction and downfall. Now, though, it seems like the minutiae is more than insignificant details. No — they are in fact quite significant.

I’m walking from room to room taking a mental inventory, not just of items to throw away or take, or a monumental to-do list of painting and repairs, but of the silliness and joy behind those things.

Only recently did I learn the full scope of the science experiments conducted by the kids in the jack-and-jill bathroom between the girls’ and boy’s room. Great. I would have killed them dead had I known. Now I laugh, and laugh with them as they confess. It also explains the state of the sink.

The scratches in the hallway from the dog running in place unable to get purchase.

The uneven air-conditioning that makes our bedroom a sauna and the rest of the house a meat-locker. It’s bad when guests refer to it as the arctic zone.

The view from the living room into a welcoming and soothing back yard.

The honeysuckles. And roses. And blueberries. And strawberries. And lightning bugs.

chapelI sat in Adoration last night, thinking of all these things and what I would miss, and felt suddenly so very lonely and apprehensive about the move. I’m leaving everything I’ve known for 20 years, exchanging it all for a different view, a different house with memories not yet made.

I looked upon the altar in the chapel one last time, too.

Everything I settled my gaze upon would be replaced with something new. Except the One thing that never changes. He is here. He is there. And suddenly it was all ok. I won’t be going into the unknown at all.

 

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it’s not quite goodbye

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in personal | 8 comments

windowI sat on the raised fireplace hearth this morning and drank my coffee while I nibbled on some madeleines. We packed up the heavy furniture last night, and the only thing left are smaller pieces we can take with us on the back of a pick-up truck. It’s too soon to say goodbye.

madeleinesThe bitter coffee and the sweet cakes pretty much summed up my mood.

Last night, in the silliness that comes in the late hour after a long day, my son and I spoke loudly across the house to hear the echo. It was funny.

This morning as I look beyond the windows to the sunny day, I notice that what we’ve left behind is his great-grandmother’s trunk, filled to over-flowing with a lifetime, many lifetimes, of pictures. Of memories lovingly made and perhaps long forgotten. I call the dog and hear my voice echo again.

Everything is an echo as the memories of this room come back. When we moved in, there was a terrible baby blue carpet, freshly installed, so we kept it. There’s no accounting for taste in the 90s. It was the decade that spawned nylon track suits as acceptable attire. I know, I had a hot pink and teal one that I just unloaded at Goodwill.

We spent our first night in this home sprawled on that blue carpet, watching tv, and making little blanket pallets to sleep on. It started a family tradition of many pallet nights, with finger food dinners and family-friendly movies on Friday nights until those evenings were replaced with football games and school dances. Sigh. A lot of time has passed here.

We replaced the ugly blue carpet with bright wood flooring after the kids were grown.

I’m the one that’s blue today.

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