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Showing posts from January, 2016

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I'm sassy. I have a big mouth. I say mean things that I thought would sound witty. Very often, the filter between my brain and my mouth gets shut off.

When I was growing up, my mom would come home from parent teacher conferences, and I'd be waiting for the report. I was a good student, so I was never really worried about grades. My mom would sigh and say, "They all said the same thing. You're a good student, and you have a big mouth." Yeah...

I like to think that I'm honest. I also know that "honest" sometimes comes across as "brutal." I don't intend to be mean, or put people on the defensive, but it happens. You'd think that by this point in my life, I'd have this figured out, but ... no.

Proverbs 15:4: "A soothing tongue is the tree of life." One must assume that a sharp tongue kills.

When I decided last year that it was time to look for a new job, I had to take a good, long and  honest look at myself. I knew I had…

Catholic Tourism

We traveled quite a bit by car when I was a kid. I loved going to new places, but I got horribly car sick, so it wasn't always a fun way to go. (The smell of a new car still makes me nauseous.) Then my mom discovered Dramamine and I slept. They'd wake me up for meals and rest stops, and then I'd get drugged again.

The first thing we did when we checked into a hotel was find the phone book. My dad would locate the closest Catholic church and figure out Mass times. Then the vacation could proceed.

If there was a Catholic shrine or anything Catholic related that was worth a visit, we would go. And because I'm a complete geek, I loved it. I can't say the same for both my sisters....

Servant of God blog has this amazing list of Catholic shrines here in the U.S. Wouldn't it be great to plan a road trip around these? (And I don't get car sick anymore - so long as I'm in the front seat...)

My husband and I stumbled across the one in Kennebunkport, Maine. It was…

More miracles from the land of the dying

It's been about six weeks now since Mom passed away. I still find myself making a mental note to call her, then remembering...

There were plenty of miracles surrounding my mom's last days. One of those miracles was hospice, which is frankly a miracle in and of itself. The folks who do this work/vocation are truly called to a ministry, even though most hospice care is not typically religious in nature.

My mom, a retired RN, was a hospice volunteer for many years. Her role was mainly to help the spouse or caretaker of the patient for respite - a wife could go out and get her hair done or a son could get some groceries. One of her favorite "patients" was a gentleman who loved to play cards; they would spend an afternoon playing.

Mom had hospice care in the nursing home. One afternoon, when I was there with both my sisters, the hospice social worker stopped by. She was a thin woman, with dark hair, cut simply. She had large, soft eyes behind trendy glasses.

Now, I must …

Eric Clapton, Mary, Motherhood and Me

I've often felt like a failure as a mom. Still do sometimes. It was rough raising our kids; they came with a lot of "stuff" they had no control over.

When they were little, I was pretty sure that with enough love, sunshine, therapy and nutritious food, they'd all turn out perfect. I'd have handsome sons and beautiful daughters who loved visiting Mom and Dad, who were all active Catholics and who stunned everyone who met them by all they'd overcome.

You might imagine reality is a bit different.

This is not to say I'm not proud of my kids. I am enormously proud of them. But the family I have is not the family I pictured 20+ years ago. And I thought that meant I'd done something wrong.

It must be my fault that 4 of my 5 kids don't go to church. It must be my fault that I've got two kids that struggle with drug and alcohol issues. It has to be my fault that I've done more psych hospitalizations than most ER attendings. I had social workers on…

Back To Work

After two months of being unemployed, I'm finally back to work! It's a good feeling. Not being at work made me rather lazy, I'm afraid.

We are made to be creative and productive. It's imperative for us to feel valued and part of something. That "something" might be volunteer work, it might be caring for young children at home, it might be rocket science.

In 1981, St. John Paul II wrote the encyclical Laborem Exercens. There is a section on work and human dignity.

God's fundamental and original intention with regard to man, whom he created in his image and after his likeness15, was not withdrawn or cancelled out even when man, having broken the original covenant with God, heard the words: "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread"16. These words refer to the sometimes heavy toil that from then onwards has accompanied human work; but they do not alter the fact that work is the means whereby man achieves that "dominion" which is pro…