Today was a strange day. I awoke and felt that I had made a lot of progress. Things felt better, I had great mobility, and I was able to make it through mass with less discomfort than the previous two days. But then around noon things took a nose-dive and the pain has pretty much only increased. What is going on here? According to my doctor's office, I can take 800mg of Motrin every 6 hours with a meal, but that really hasn't helped much. Add to that that I choked on popcorn tonight provoking a cough reflex that really hurt the tummy and incisions...and well, let's just say that evenings/nights are pretty rough.
Having said that though, we just finished watching episode six of Band of Brothers. For you BoB fanatics you'll know this as the "Medic" episode in Bastogne. Having just watched these men and their courage and sacrifice, their heroism and there incredible fortitude in the face of extreme pain and a shortage of morphine, plasma and bandages...yeah..I think I'll just shut up now. Cushioned on my couch with four pillows a down comforter and a quilt. I'll keep offering up my "Triscuits" and "sardines", but let's be real..I've got it pretty good.
My reflection for the day has been on something Fr. Bob said at mass this morning. Today is the Feast Day of St. John Marie Vianney who is the patron saint of the Year of the Priest (June 19, 2009 - June 19, 2010. Fr. Bob talked about how when St. John Vianney was a young boy, he was rather large and his mother would send him out to play. The only problem was that he would go and go and go until he was too tired to go any further, and then he would just lie down and wait for his mother to come find him. Eventually his mother got tired of walking all over to try and find him and he got to big for her to carry, so she gave him a small statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and told that when he was too tired and didn't know how to get home, that she (the Blessed Mother) would help him. So, St. John Vianney took this statue with him the next time he went out to play, and when he got to the end of his energy, and was too tired to go any further and didn't know which way led towards home, he took out the small statue that his mother had given him. But what he did with it is something that few of us would have expected. He gave her "little boy" kisses all over her face and proclaimed his love for her and then threw the statue as far as he could. He then ran to get it. He then kissed her and reiterated his love and threw her again, and thus, after repeating this numerous times, he found both the energy and the direction to reach home.
What I draw from this is a lesson perfect for the type of day I've had. Sometimes you feel like you just can't go a step further. Sometimes you can't tell which way is up. Sometimes you're just too tired to try and go home. Sometimes too many options or directions seem like possibilities. Sometimes you just don't think you can make it one more step. Sometimes you feel lost and just want someone to come and show you the way "home". St. Mary, the Blessed Mother, is just this person. Contrary to what some think the Catholic Church teaches, we do not worship her or idolize her, nor attempt to put her in the place of Christ. Rather, she is the woman, chosen by God himself to bring Christ into the world. In the main points of His life and ministry she is there and she wants nothing more than to show us the way to her son. Contemplating her life and her fiat (her "yes" as recorded in the Annunciation in St. Luke's Gospel) can only lead us to closer in union with Christ. And so, in the times when we feel lost, discouraged, exhausted or just in need of a hug, sometimes the best thing to do is call our Mom.
Things I'm grateful for:
* A wonderful care package from the Popcorn Factory that came from Dave's family. Super yummy, thanks all!
* A visit from my Aunt Susie and Uncle Ed, who brought me Aunt Susie's famous chicken salad (so yummy!) and blueberries
* My little four year old neighbor boy that came to the door this evening to tell me that "I hope your tummy feels better Suzy. I brought you a Popsicle to make you feel better. It's apple!". Oh my gosh, could anything be better than a little four-year old with Popsicle dripping down his face at my door holding out one for me and telling me he was praying for me and hoped my tummy felt better soon? I think not.
* Our freedom, that so many unthanked veterans fought and gave their lives for. Thank you.
* For pro-life politicians who are working hard to protect the dignity of life in the context of this Health Care Plan.
* Tomorrow I meet with the small group leaders of Women of Grace, and Thursday I will lead the group. Both meetings will take significant endurance and energy. Please pray that I will have the fortitude and lack of pain to make it through.
* The we will succeed with getting the pain management under control. Not so much to be loopy, but not so little to be in pain.
* That I would feel well enough to work soon. I took last week off, but really wanted/needed to be back this week. Each day delay feels like an eternity for me.