February 11 musings

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Sorry this is a day late. I had it all written out in my brain, but then yesterday turned into one of those days, running hard to stay on track from beginning to end. I'm still recovering from two nights in a row of only 3 hours sleep - I am wondering how long I will be able to continue midwifery as I age, given that it takes me longer and longer to recover from the sleep deprivation.
February 11 is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is also the birthday of Thomas Alva Edison( who, BTW, was home-schooled). It is also the birthday of another Tom, a guy I dated in High school for nearly 3 years. He's dead now. I don't know when or where or how he died. I occasionally pray for his soul, especially around February 11.
I seriously dated 3 guys before I met my husband. Two of them were cradle Catholics - the other later converted. They all played roles in my eventually becoming Catholic.
The first was Thomas - I met him at a dance at Bedford High School, Bedford Massachussets, in 1968. I was a freshman at Bedford High, he was a junior at a local Catholic HS. I don't know who introduced us, but we struck up a conversation about science fiction, which turned out to be a common passion, and rapidly developed a close friendship. He took me to a talent show at his High School, and while on campus I saw a sign advertising a club meeting for some 'right wing political organization' (I was a flaming feminist liberal at the time). I made a casually derogatory comment and tied the group to the Catholic church (again in a casually derogatory way). Rather than agreeing with me or getting angry, he challenged me to find out what the Church was really about. We dated through the end of the school year. He left to go on a school trip to Ireland about 2 weeks before my family left Massachussetts to return to Southern California. He and I stayed in touch for several more years - He went on to college at St. John's in Annapolis, and eventually went to either Haiti or Jamaica ( I can't remember any more, my mind plays tricks on me) to teach Math. He sent me a copy of Newman's "The Idea of the University" as a gift when I graduated from High School. I often think that had we remained in Massachussetts, I probably would have ended up married to him. I never went to church with him, but part of our dating caused me to really start thinking again about faith and God.
Todd was the next guy I dated. We met shortly after I registered for the High School from which I eventually graduated. It was a large public school in the part of Los Angeles where I had previously lived from age 7 to 10. Although my former elementary school classmates were also in that high school, I did not reconnect with a single one of them. I guess that I was just too different after having left and then returned. The 3 years when I first lived in that part of L.A. were the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, which I attended at a small Anglican grade school. When we lived there the first time, my parents were active in the Anglican parish. During our absence, there had apparently been some kind of (financial?)scandal and the parish had been forced to close its school. Also, in the intervening years, my parents had stopped attending church entirely. I think partly it was an effect of their marriage as it was beginning to unravel. My mom would attempt to go Easter and Christmas but it wasn't the same. Todd had been raised low church Episcopalian and had gone to a Lutheran elementary school. He and I occasionally attempted to go to a Sunday service at the Anglican parish, but neither of us drove and it was a pretty long walk. I was also hurt and upset about the unspoken things that had happened, and so even as I was trying to explore faith and religion, I was also being pulled by the predominant culture of sex and drugs and rock'n'roll. Todd and I dated for about a year, and then broke up - but we remained friends (still are, to this day - he's my elder son's godfather).
Tom - I don't even remember how or where we met. It was an intense and eventually troubled relationship. But he was raised Catholic, and his mom (who I am sure is now or soon to be in Heaven - she died 20 years ago) was a wonderful witness of a loving and forgiving Catholic mom. When I started dating her son, and hanging around her house, she invited me to go to Mass with them. She invited me to sit in on CCD class. She answered my questions with great patience. I am sure that she prayed for me as she prayed for her sons and daughter. It was while I was dating Tom that I went through formal and informal classes to prepare to become Catholic. Because I was dating Tom, I decided to go to the local Catholic university rather than any of my other options. It was on the campus of that University where I was rec'd into the Church on my 18th birthday. It was through attending that University that I met the man I eventually married and with whom I will soon celebrate 31 years of Matrimony.
God has His plans. I would never, ever, have imagined all the bits and pieces that would eventually come together and put me where I am now. Last night at our Cursillo's Ultreya meeting, we were challenged to think of a time when we experienced "not a co-incidence but a god-incidence". There have been so very many times in my life when something that I thought was a devastating blow turned out to be a blessing. What is that saying? God writes straight with crooked lines?


I never did cursillo but hope to one day. I love "God writes straight with crooked lines"?

Have a wonderful Sabbath...

What a lovely post. It is neat to see how you got from point A to point B!

Nice, Alicia. Hope John doesn't get jealous though, reading about those other guys.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on February 12, 2005 6:40 PM.

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