Saturday, October 31, 2009
Hands down, this boy was my easiest baby. He slept through the night almost from day one. He was also my largest. Weighing in at eleven pounds, one ounce, the nurses gasped when he was born. One of the funniest things was that I didn't even know I was in labor with him.
I had had a restless night, as one often does at that late stage in the game. But I wasn't feeling any contractions or anything. Dave was on the three to eleven shift then, so he was home with me during the day. I went to the bathroom about mid morning and saw some yucky stuff that the doctors call "bloody show", and I casually said to Dave, (who was making lemon cake for me, ) "I think I should call Dr. Powalski". I did and the doc said I should head for the hospital so he could check me out. I took a shower and then vacuumed the living room while Dave took his. We took the younger kids to my next door neighbor and off we went to the hospital. It was the day before my birthday.
We get to the hospital and they tell me that I am already five centimeters dilated. I laughed. Here I was vacuuming and I didn't even feel anything!!! The nurse taking care of me asked if we knew what we were having and I said, "Yes, a boy and we are going to name him John Paul." She could not believe it. Her son's birthday was that very day and his name was, you guessed it, John Paul! I received extra special care! And John was to be my extra special birthday gift that year. I held him all day on my birthday and praised God for my extra special gift. I can remember like it was yesterday, holding that warm bundle next to me, and just crying with joy.
With my John Paul, I discovered the beauty of breastfeeding. Can you believe it? It took me until the sixth child to breastfeed. It just didn't work with the first two. The three after that, I just didn't bother. But a nurse in the delivery room, who also happens to be a friend, convinced me to try it again. So I did.
And I couldn't have had a more perfect baby to do this with. He slept great, nursed great, (that big boy was hungry!), just an all around happy kid! He still is.
John Paul had the funniest run when he was little. He would run with his head, like he was going to charge at something. I also had more songs I made up with his name then the rest. Sung to the tune of the opening song for Catdog, (if anyone can remember that Nick ridiculous show), it went something like this, "I got me a baby and his name is John Paul, he's the cutest baby of them all, John Paul, John Paul, alone in the world is a little John Paul." Yeah, that is about as creative as I get, sorry folks.
John was barely a year old when we became involved at the mission. He grew up hearing the song, "God is a good God", and as he began to speak, we would pull up to the church and he would say "We are at God is a good God". He also used to call my spiritual mother "God is a good God". He just associated everything at St. Luke's as God is a good God.
That was also the year that all over Western New York there were statues of buffaloes. Every time he saw one he would yell out, "bubbalos!!!!". It was the cutest thing and soon everyone in our family was yelling it out.
Today, I have to tell you, John Paul is one of my most talented children. He is musically gifted. He started playing guitar last year and within months had written a song. Not a masterpiece, a very simple tune, but impressive. Just recently he started playing the drums. The man who is teaching him had the biggest grin on his face when he taught him his first lesson. His face said, "this kid's got it!". Never saw a grown man so excited!
John Paul can also speak with many different accents. We will be sitting at the dinner table and he will ask someone to pass something with an Australian accent. He is learning Spanish in school and I was in the room when he was learning new things from his teacher and I was delighted over how well he could pronounce the words. He is amazing.
John Paul is a softy. He will still, at the age of eleven, climb into my lap for a hug and some mommy time. He doesn't like to see me work hard so he is the first one of the younger set to jump up and help me clean. Yesterday when everyone else was goofing around, John cleaned the bedroom he shares with his three brothers. Unasked, and all by himself. He also surprised me by unloading the dishwasher. I went to the cupboard to get a glass and found all of my cups and glasses, neatly arranged.
He can also be a bear cub. He loves to wrestle with his big brother Tyler and he is tough. He really holds his own. Sometimes I worry that Tyler is going to hurt him, and I will hear him laughing but I don't know if it is from fear or fun, and when I step in, he says, "Oh, mom, I was just laughing, I'm okay."
He is so funny. He can come up with the funniest things. His jokes are so good! He has us laughing at the dinner table more than anyone.
He is smart and works hard at school. He loves to be organized like his big bro Jacob, and he loves to read the Hardy Boys.
He is one of the most easy going of my children and he is really good. I hardly ever have to discipline him. What gets him in trouble is his insatiable curiosity. He likes to see how something will burn, oh, like bread bag twisties. Or he will take things apart, just because he wants to see how it is made. Problem is, he doesn't know how to put it back together once he has taken it apart! He will take the sticks used for kabobs and poke holes in lemons, tomatoes and any unsuspecting veggie lying around, just to see what happens to the food product. He has to be reminded once in awhile that this is a waste of food. He doesn't do it to be destructive, (like when he wrote his name on walls and furniture, just to practice), he is just so curious about these things. You can just see it in his face when I have to remind him not to do these things, it's like, "What? I just wanted to see what would happen!"
He is a joy. I mean a real joy. I can't wait to see what he does with his life! Sometimes, I can't wait to see what he is going to do on a daily basis, because the boy is just so darn entertaining.
This next story illustrates my John Paul to a "t". One New Year's Eve about two years ago, we were heading to the cafeteria at the mission where we were going to enjoy some food, fellowship and karaoke. John Paul was leading our family and with arms outstretched, he said, "Everyone outta my way. Cause when I get done singing, there won't be a dry eye in the house!"
Wouldn't you just have to love a kid like that? I really, really do!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
One of my new blogger friends, Anne over at Imprisoned In My Bones-Releasing My Inner Jeremiah, granted me this lovely, surprising award. What an honor, being a newbie and all to blogging everyday, to receive this. And doesn't the name of her blog catch your curiosity? Go check her out. But before you do that I have to name six little known facts about myself, and then pass this on to six other gorgeous bloggers who get to do the same thing. So here goes:
1) I hate beets. For most people this would not be shocking, but for me it is and it is shameful. Because I am Polish, and Polish people love beets. I don't. I hate them. I don't even like the smell of them. And here I am Polish and everything, and I don't like beets. I do love duck's blood soup and golumbki. So that saves me from having to turn in my card.
2) I was a cheerleader in seventh and eighth grade. For our Catholic elementary school's basketball team. I quit dance class after ten years of taking dance and loving it just to be a cheerleader. Which leads to little known fact number three:
3) The real reason why I wanted to be a cheerleader was because I had the hugest crush on one of the players. He was the love of my life from first grade until about freshman year in high school. What was really cute was that his first name was Michael and well, mine is Michelle. Isn't that adorable? He was!!!! The thrill of my life was when I got to do a personal cheer for him every time he scored a basket. I would pray to God and do twelve Hail Mary's that a) I would get his name and b) he would score so that I could cheer his name!
4) I love John Stamos. I am not a drooler of stars. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, who cares? But if I ever ran into John Stamos, they would need to get a street cleaner to clean up the puddle I would become. The man is gorgeous.
5) I love old musicals. When I was in eighth or ninth grade when all of my friends were sneaking into horror movies, my friend Donna Scalzi and I would go see the That's Entertainment movies. We loved watching the dancing and singing. Sometimes, we were the only ones in the theatre and we didn't care. We could talk out loud about what they were wearing or how they were dancing. For Donna and I, that was a fun Friday night!
So now I send on this prestigious award to six of my favorite gorgeous bloggers:
Allison at A Broken Fortress
Kim at baby yahyah
Lerin at Beautiful Chaos
Jennifer at Conversion Diary
Stephanie at The Digital Hairshirt
Mary Rose at True Confessions of A Prodigal Daughter
God bless to all you gorgeous ladies!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I was days away from giving birth to our sixth child, days away from my thirty seventh birthday and my hubby was working the three to eleven shift as a new nurse. It was early March and it was a Friday night and I was alone, big and running around after the rugrats when I heard a knock at my door.
There stood my father in law. I was surprised because he wasn't the type to just drop in without calling. I let him in and he said, "I am here to babysit. Early birthday gift. You have the night off. Go do whatever you want and I will stay with the kids."
When I got over the shock, I hightaled it out of there! Before he changed his mind!
I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it. My father in law is a wonderful man, with a really great sense of humor. With each pregnancy he would say, "I can handle six, six is my limit, if you have anymore than that I won't be able to babysit." Then the next one would come along and he would say, "Seven, seven, I can handle seven. But that's my limit". I loved to tease him about that.
So on a chilly Friday night, my father in law gave me the best birthday gift ever. I went to Borders and listened to all kinds of music and lost myself in books for awhile. I was only gone a couple of hours, but that was all I needed.
What a precious memory. What a kind act. I will never, ever forget it.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The entertainment industry, but specifically the music industry, prides itself on having performers that are on the cutting edge. They are touted as being shocking free thinkers, always outside the box, always ready to "shock" with new and inventive ideas and schemes.
And I look around and I see nothing new or shocking at all. Britney Spears. Madonna did it already. Lady Gaga, ditto. Mariah Carey, honey, it would be more shocking to all of us if you put your clothes back on and dressed like the church lady! It is all the same, you are not shocking us with exposed body parts. Janet Jackson did it already. Put your clothes back on too girl, cause we already seen your parts. No mystery or shocker there.
If they asked my opinion, and they won't, so that is why I have to write it here, if they really want to shock America, find us a musical star who dresses elegantly, is Catholic and true to his or her faith, doesn't sing about sex and actually has a good singing voice when the electric is out.
Now, wouldn't that shock all of us? Especially the singing voice. Wouldn't it shock everyone if the newest singing sensation was someone who wasn't shacking up with the guitarist from Pearl Jam, wasn't making babies named Shadow and Sprite, and could actually, oh my goodness, sing! And sing songs that didn't make mom and dad turn fifty shades of red as they dropped junior off to St. Al's Collegiate for the Hearing Impaired?
It makes me want to puke when I hear these singers, especially the females,talking about women putting their shoulders back and being strong women who are not afraid of their sexuality and of who they are. "Don't be afraid to be your own woman, and go do what you want to do!"
Except if what you want to do as that good, strong woman, in touch with your sexuality, is wait until you are married to "be" with someone. But wait a minute. That is really thinking for yourself nowadays. Any parent who has a child in college knows that if you brought your child up to wait until marriage, not mess around with sex or alcohol or drugs, you are in the minority. And your child will be the only one in her dorm room, or on her floor who hasn't had sex. And she will be looked down for it. Looked at as backwards, not taught correctly, etc.
Hmmm? Who is really thinking for themselves then? The child who goes against the grain and stays true to his or her faith and morals? Or the child who goes with today's crowd? Is it the one who lives through the persecution, even though they have made a decision for themselves that sex outside of marriage is not good for them or the one who goes along, sleeps with her boyfriend, cause everyone else is doing it.
Shocking when you look at it, isn't it?
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Meet my fifth beautiful child. Mary Jessica. Mary is thirteen and she is smack dab in the middle. There are four in front of her, and four behind her. And unfortunately for her, she is smack dab in the middle of brothers!!
Let's start at the beginning though. When Jacob was about nine months old, I became pregnant with Mary. I remember walking the floor with a crying Jacob, Dave was in nursing school and I was crying, thinking, "I can't handle the four I have, how am I going to have another one?"
Then I became upset with myself. I thought, why can't I be like the Blessed Mother, and just say yes and be happy about it. So that is what I did.
It was a tough pregnancy. Dave was gone a lot due to school and work. I remember being so huge, and bathing four children, bending over the tub with my huge belly. My feet hurt, my ankles hurt. And that was the summer my brother unexpectedly dropped off my seven year old niece. I thought my husband was going to explode. At me. Not my brother. I walked around for the THREE weeks I had my niece living with us, saying, "I am seven months pregnant, I can't do this". After two days of that, my dear hubby said, "I know, I know. We all know. YOU'RE SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT!" Oh, did I mention it was July. It was hot, my ankles were swollen and I was taking care of five children under the age of seven. Did I mention I was seven months pregnant?
It was the summer of my discontent. But then at the end of September, Mary arrived. We decided to name her after our Grandmothers, Mary after Dave's two grammas, middle name, Jessica, after mine. As sweet as can be. And a huge mama's girl. Always wanted to be with me. I was the only one who knew how she wanted to be held. My father in law would tease me. He would come to babysit and I would have to explain to him how to wrap her in her blanket, and show him exactly how she liked to be held. "Jeepers," he'd say. "This is the only one of your babies who comes with massive instructions". She wanted to be held really close. She loved to be right up against me, all snuggled up in a blanket.
And when you walked the floors with her, you had to walk the room diagonally. I kid you not. The child knew if you strayed from her pattern! Listen guys, I had a houseful of kids. I didn't care what it took to get this baby to sleep, if she wanted me to walk around the house counterclockwise I would have done it!
As she got older her eccentricities did not stop there. She said "yesh" and "note" instead of "yes" and "no". She had huge blue eyes that took up her whole face, as cute as can be. Which made people want to pick her up and hug her and smooch her. NO. Mary would have none of that. She would stand back and look at people like they were the oddest things in the world. She had such a snooty way of looking at people. We used to say she looked at all of us like she was saying, "There obviously has been some mistake. I do not belong with you people. I should be in East Amherst where my real family is!" (For those of you who are not from around here, East Amherst is a suburb of Buffalo where the richy rich live.)
She would attach herself to certain people, and there was no rhyme or reason. She would instantly know if she liked someone and that was that. Just now I was thinking, she loved my dad, God rest his soul. He loved her too. We went to the fair the summer following and he lovingly carried her around all day. She held onto him and I remember afterwards she smelled like his after shave because she had pressed her face into his all day. What a sweet memory.
People used to say that poor Mary has it rough with two older brothers right in front of her, but let me tell you, that girl can hold her own. I will never have to worry about her and guys. Anyone tries anything on that girl and she will slug them. I have been saying that since she was little, and as she grows, that does not change. Mary antagonizes her brothers quietly. Gets them all worked up. Then they start hooting and hollering and they get in trouble even though she started it. In our household, it is all about peace and quiet. The one who is the loudest is the one who gets in trouble, whether or not they started it. Mary is smart. She learned that quickly!
Mary admits that she is a tomboy. No girlie girl nail polish for her. Her style in clothes is fashionable but she only wears dresses when I force her too. She is much like her brothers in that I have to remind her that we own a tub and she should use it. I am hoping that will change now that she is a teenager!
Mary is methodically slow. It's because Mary is in her own world and easily distracted. You can send her upstairs to get something, and call her down twenty minutes later and ask where the item is that you sent her up for, and she will look at you like, "you sent me up there to get something?" laugh and say, " ohhhhh, now I remember..." Argh. In a family with nine kids, this in not an endearing quality to say the least. Although sometimes I think there is a method to her madness in that we now ask her very rarely to get something because we don't have the time to wait for her to come down without it!
When Mary was about four or five, we would all be running around getting ready for church on Sunday. Mary would be standing looking out the front door and no one would be noticing that she wasn't getting ready because we were all running around getting ourselves and the babies in the house ready. We would be ready to go and I would look at Mary in her sweat pants and tee shirt and say, "Mary, why aren't you ready?!!!" And with a serious face that child would say to me, "Where are we going?" Yes, yes. The child would actually ask me where were we going? Like it was something new for us to be going to Mass on a Sunday. Like she never even noticed all the commotion going on around her! "Why, are we going somewhere?"
She's better now. Now, she is only looking for her shoes when we are all walking out the door. The child has been dressed for an hour and a half but doesn't look for her shoes until she see us all walking out! I love her but sometimes.....
Mary is my "sit and talk with me in the kitchen child". She will sit on the stool at the peninsula and entertain me for hours while I cook or clean. We have silly talks and she can make me laugh. She is also the best with the two little girls. She lets them sit in her lap for hours and entertains them on the computer. My best cleaning days, are the ones where Mary takes charge of her two baby sisters.
Mary also makes friends easily. Friends of all ages. Grown ups and teenagers and toddlers just love her! She has the best personality! Her best friend, Carla's family, totally love her. They are an immigrant Hispanic family and everyone from the gramma to the three year old little brother love her. When she goes for a sleep over she stays for three nights because they won't give her back to me. The three year old brother hates me because I come to pick her up and he gets mad at me for taking away his Mary. It is so sweet and funny. She is a lovable girl.
She is smarter than she thinks. And funnier than she knows. I love having her around. She is a blessing in my life.
I love my Mary very, very much. She has a grampa up in heaven who I know is watching over her. He would be very proud of the young woman she is becoming.
I know I am.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
I am at that age where I will write something, look at it, and it just doesn't seem like it is spelled right. The word that I have seen a billion times, will look odd. So I use spell check. A lot. (Which is why I now know that a lot is not alot!)
But it doesn't work for homophones. It's not going to tell you if you used a word that sounds the same but doesn't have the meaning you want. Which is what happened to me last night. I don't just need spell check, I need grammar check!
So all I am thinking this morning is: it's a good thing I teach preschool. All I have to do is teach them what's red and what is blue. I can still do that.
Although today is Monday, so even that can be questionable.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Did you ever have a moment where you just all of a sudden realize a person's sacrifice? And God opens your eyes to the people in THAT person's life who make sacrifices? I just had one of those moments. My friend Nate misses all of us terribly. He is a part of our St. Luke's community, and I have known him since he was a teenager. Now he is a brave, young, man serving our country. He is a Civil Affairs Officer working as a Civil Team Leader in the Mosul Reconstruction Cell. I am not going to weigh you down with details, only tell you this, he is one of many who are trying to help build up Northern Iraq into a working, viable community. In Nate's own words they are:"nurturing economic development and progress, thus, turning the populace away from the path of insurrection and toward the rule of law."
Wow. I am bawling my eyes out thinking about what this brave, young man is doing. He had to leave his family, his friends, his faith community, and his absolutely beautiful girlfriend. I don't know his girlfriend, only have seen pictures but I have read what she writes to him on facebook, and I can tell you that this is a young woman who is beautiful, inside and out. She sacrifices too. She will be without him until May. God bless her loving heart.
It's easy to not even think about the sacrifices our American soldiers, armed services, etc, make every, single day for us. Until it hits home. Until the soldier is one of your own. And at the mission, when you are a part of that community, you are one of our own. Forever. I can now see the sacrifices up close. They are making the whole world a better place for all of mankind. They sacrifice so that others may have freedom. Not just their own countrymen, but freedom and justice for all. ALL.
I am so proud of my Nate. I am proud of his beautiful girlfriend whom I have never even met.
When we are sitting next to our loved ones tonight, munching on popcorn and watching movies, or in my case, the Sabres game, let's say a prayer for those who are sacrificing their lives.
Thank you Nate. I can't even wait to see you in May and give you the biggest hug. And bring your girl over. She's someone I would love to get to know!
God bless you.
Friday, October 16, 2009
One of my nine reasons I love being a mom: Teresa. After a long day of children and driving and responsibilities, I was met at the door tonight by this smiling face and the words:"Mommy, I was waiting for you!"
Then we went upstairs with blanky in tow and rocked till little Resa was all loved up and sleeping.
This is my treasure. This is my joy. Thank You God.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
First, because she is my friend and sister in Christ. I wrote about Sandy a few months ago. She is such a beautiful person, full of love and joy for everyone who is blessed enough to know her. She has a sweet and pure heart. My heart aches for her loss tonight.
Secondly, as a mom I can only imagine how his mom, Sandy's sister feels. Losing a child that young, has got to be devastating. You carry this child in you, you nurture him, love him, know him before anyone else does. Sadly, this little boy leaves behind his twin brother. My heart just aches for that family.
This little boy did touch a lot of hearts before he died. He was a hero among the people he lived with. The street he lived on recently had a party for him so they could all say their goodbyes.
Why? Why did this have to happen? I love God so much, but when something like this happens, I ask Him, why? It is a mystery. One that is far reaching. It makes me look up at the big night sky and know how we are really all connected by one Creator, one Father. When I see how I can feel the pain of a woman I have never even met. When I see that I can grieve the loss of a child that is not my own, and that I will never know him, but know in my heart that we are all connected to each other. In our humanness, compassion, understanding. We have to feel for each other. We were created to feel for each other. "He ain't heavy, he's my brother."
So tonight, in that spirit of love and compassion and mercy, please say a chaplet or a rosary for a family you may only meet in heaven.
Rest in Peace Ben.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Very lively discussion.
I am in apologetics 101 boys and girls.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
When I love my children, I give freely. I don't expect a lot, cause they are kids, and heck, I am their mom. I love them with all of my heart so I do things for them out of pure love. With my hubby, I expect love back, but this is a marriage, so I am certain I will get it. Now sometimes I don't feel very loving, or he doesn't feel very loving, but all in all, we love each other very much and neither one of us is going anywhere. We have been here 20 years and we like it here!
Then there are the people I serve. I don't expect a thank you, much less any love being shown. Some of them are just incapable of it. That's okay. I love them as best as I can, and I have learned over the years that the ones who love back are few and far between. But again, I honestly don't expect anything. I just love for love's sake.
My stumbling block are the people in my life whom I consider very close friends. I don't have a ton, though I do have many friends. Just a few that I would call really close. And not very wisely, I expect that they are going to love me to the same degree that I love them. And when I think that they don't, I get jealous, prideful and unhappy! And sometimes, we are not someone's cup of tea, and that is okay too. Not everyone is going to love me, that doesn't make me or them a bad person. That is just the way it is.
So this is my struggle. Loving all who God puts in my path without counting the cost, without comparing myself, and wondering why I am not good enough. I guess that stems from my childhood as well, and only God can heal me of that.
But I am on the right road, and lately I have just been focusing on how Jesus loves me. How God loves me. I am smart enough to know, that when I can truly understand how much God loves me, it won't matter one bit whether or not anyone else does. And that is what I am working on right now. So keep me in your prayers and if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to write them. I am open to anything that might help me on this journey.
God is good and He will help me through this. I believe it.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
My community is getting ready to celebrate St. Faustina's feast day and so we started a Triduum yesterday. (hope I spelled that right. Why do I think spellcheck won't know the difference?) Tonight was all about "pure love" and boy do I struggle with that. You know, the "love is patient, love is kind" thing. Loving and not expecting anything in return. Who can do that? I would love to attain that. My dearest hubby says it ain't possible because that means perfection and no one can fully attain that. I am glad he said that, cause I couldn't see me achieving that in my life time. I suppose the closest I come is with my children, and even they can get on my last nerve if they don't give me sweet kisses!
Still, I do want to try harder to love and have less expectations of people. That is a HUGE problem of mine. My wise old hubby says, "keep your expectations low! Then you will never be disappointed." I bet you are thinking, "wow, what a blessed woman to have such a smart, all knowing husband." Nah, it can get really annoying! Ha. Just kidding honey. Just kidding.
I know I will write more about this later but all I want to say is, why is love so hard?
Friday, October 2, 2009
"Doc" as we all knew him, trained me by being one of the first people I had to deal with when I first came to the mission. I had no idea. Looking back, I really didn't. So about a month or so after my own alcoholic father passed away suddenly from a stroke, God sends me Doc. Doc was an alcoholic who looked much older than his years. A lifetime of alcohol and being out on the road will do that to you. But it was like God led him right to my family. I had lost my dad, the kids their grandfather, and then we meet Doc.
Doc loved my family. My son John Paul who is now eleven was just a little over a year when we first started helping out. Doc helped John learn how to walk. Our family would go to pick up garbage around the mission and when John Paul got tired of being in the stroller, Doc would walk him around the mission. He had endless patience with John's slow steps. He would just walk around in circles with him. One time one of my children fell in the snow and Doc hurried scooped up the child and dusted him off, so loving and so gentle. That was so many years ago now, but I still remember it, because I was thinking about how someone who could seem so crass to the rest of the world could be so gentle with a child.
Doc had his share of problems. Oh, like he thought he was God. Literally. If someone said, "Thank you God," in his presence, he would say," You're welcome". He also thought he knew better than the Catholic church. He was always trying to get my husband to join the seminary he was going to start because he knew better than some of these priests and he was gonna do it himself.
Doc could also be very annoying. Especially during Mass. He would shout out, "Alleluia" all during Mass. And when I say, all, I mean, ALL! Some people got used to it, I never did. Sometimes I have to admit, it aggravated the heck out of me. But that was my training ground because there are a lot of things at the mission that I have to overlook, no matter how aggravating they can be. People can be annoying. I know I can! I once told my brother missionary Eddy, "If I didn't have to deal with people all the time, I would be perfect!!! It's when I have to deal with others that I mess up. And it's all their fault!" Eddy and I had a good laugh over that one. Wouldn't we all be perfect if we didn't have to deal with others?
Doc had a tough life. I saw him fall for a woman once. A woman much younger than him who was an even worse alcoholic. He loved Sally so much. She died a few years back from alcoholism. He was at her funeral and he talked to me about how sad her life was. She came in and out of his life, but he took her back every time. He felt sorry for her. I think she was the love of his life. I saw the compassion in him at that time.
But alcohol consumed his life. He couldn't stay away. And he could B.S. with the best of them. He was like a cat, nine lives, not only health wise, but jail wise too. He was always one drink away from being put in jail, but the guy always managed to get out of things. Amazing. He has been physically ill for so long. I remember one Easter vigil a few years back when I honestly thought the guy was going to go into cardiac arrest in the aisle. I pictured my children bawling their eyes out while daddy did CPR on Doc. Blessedly that was a worry that only happened in my head and not in real life!
Over the last couple of years, Doc hasn't been around as much. I think it was getting too hard for him to walk down the street and come to the mission. So my encounters with him were actually quite pleasant at the end. Still, I will miss him. I have already cried a few tears over his passing and I know, being the emotional mama that I am, there will be plenty more.
I mean how could I not? When I look back on things, he is one of the reasons why I became a missionary. The people you help get under your skin, sometimes irritatingly so, but you discover how to love. Really love. Without thinking about what you are going to get out of it. And people like Doc have taught me how to love better and better.
Rest in Peace Doc. May God grant eternal rest unto your precious soul.