We all know that hindsight is 20/20 – and if we knew then what we know now, it would totally change or challenge our perspective on past events. And that is how I will begin the journey of how I became who I am today ( this will take several posts, so I hope you will join me through my history- good, bad and ugly)
Step in the time machine with me and away we go!
I am finishing up my Bachelor’s degree and believing life is a wide open and lovely place. Young and carefree.Studying what I enjoy and looking forward to a bright, successful future. But God has other plans for me (that ole hindsight)…
I am out and about having a great time with friends – a little too fun, but then, around 1:00 am, I get a pang inside telling me i need to go home. I pull up my street and can see the house lights on and lots of cars parked outside. “What in the world is going on at my house at this time of night?!” My stomach knots up, my head spins and I go inside. One look at my mom and I know, I just know, what happened – and it’s gut-wrenching. I feel like life is in slow-motion – need to find a support, need to breathe, need to make sense of it, need to scream – i do – “it’s not true” – over and over and over again. If I say it enough times I can reverse the tragedy, right ? Nope.
My father died. He died of his second heart attack.
I became totally broken right then and there. My heart, my mind, even my body started its own war. Right then and there.
I can’t get out of bed. I don’t want to get out of bed. Life is not worth living because God takes your loved ones away. Good people die. I’m angry at God and life is full of muck and mire. Depression seeps into my bones and I sleep, am forced to eat, and sleep some more. Days go by – “Why?!”
We need groceries so my mom tells me to go to the store. I throw on some shorts, a faded t-shirt and flip-flops and reluctantly go, feeling like a puppet, grateful to have someone pulling my strings. I am lost.
I walk in the door and shiver at the blast of cold air. “Let’s make this quick.” Grab some strawberries, hit the deli and head down the spice aisle because my mother needs salt & pepper. Easy enough, right? I am looking and looking and I can’t seem to find them. Maybe they moved them to a different aisle. “It’s always there- you just have to know where to look for it.”
I look up and there is a man, a priest , with the most familiar eyes, yet I cannot place them speaking these words to me. I reply and thank him for his help. He asks me if I went to a specific school/church in the area, and I say, “yes.” We exchange small talk about the people we know; and, this whole time I’m asking myself, “why am I talking to this random guy in the grocery store?”
Because it’s in His plan.
He takes a breath and states he has a present for me- something he was told to give me. I’m a little taken aback, but I go with it, thinking I’m in the middle of a grocery store, what is really going to happen? And he’s a priest! Out of his jacket pocket he takes a small, blue, velvet box. His eyes meet mine and he says, this is a miraculous medal ( the token of Mary ), and it was blessed at The Basilica. It’s for you.
My father! ( My Father )
He wore one every day. I don’t know what to say. My eyes sting and swell. I look up, and he’s gone. “Wait!” I say, “I didn’t get to say thank you!” I run up and down the aisles, breathless. Gone.
I carry that medal with me everywhere. It gets me moving. It brings me back to life.
It’s ALWAYS there – you just have to know where to look for it…