Working our way into Holy Week

Here we are on the cusp of the holiest week in the Christian calendar. Holy Week. What does Holy Week mean to you? For me, traditionally, it has meant a week of prayer and chruch. In the last few years it has been a source of uncertainty for me because of the hard times that my individual parish has gone through. Still deciding on where to attend for Palm Sunday Mass is even up in the air and not determined and there are only 24 hours to have that completed. My son, 17 doesn’t really know at this point whether he feels that he wants to practice the faith that has been a huge part of our lives for the past 17yrs together and the past 30something years for me. It is hard when you see someone you love struggle with their faith. It is harder yet, when intellectually you know that you must step back and allow your child to figure out his faith by himself. I remember a few years ago my mother was distraught because most of her children refused to attend Mass, but also argued that faith has nothing to do with sitting in a building on Sunday and pretending that we all love eachother and then walk out of the building and bash every family and everyone who sat beside us for an hour. Not necessarily meaning that my family did this every Sunday, but we were definitely guilty of being that way at times. I said to my mother at that time, that she gave us this gift of faith but at some point you had let them figure it out on their own because ultimately the relationship that each of us has with God is extremely personal. At the end of our life we will stand alone with God and explain our lives and what we did or didn’t do. Now facing the same situation I am having a difficult time sitting quietly by as my son struggles, because, unlike my siblings I see the pain that he has when the subject is brought up. My sisters didn’t seem to realize that when they turned their back on their relationship with God, not attending a service, but their relationship with God that life got hard and has remained hard. Does that mean that God is punishing them? Not it means that they are punishing themselves, because they have already known the love and joy of being in a relationship with God. I can say this because I am speaking from personal experience. I have gone through the lightness and joy of being secure in my relationship with God. I am also FAR too aware of the darkness when I am not. Currently I am not secure. I am suffering and that, I think makes the struggle I see my son going through even harder. The thing that I have found is that the more you try to force the relationship, the harder it is to get it back. Desperation is how I feel. I am also very sad that my son cannot even have the conversation. I know that if I continue to try I risk him running so far away that he might never find his way back. He is tired and stressed and I know that he is not mature enough to see where some of the problem lies and how it can be fixed. I do feel, however that it is time for me to stop allowing his struggle to be mine and return to church regularly. I don’t want to go alone, but as I said earlier, at the end of my life I will stand alone so why wait until then to try and make up for lost time. My faith is mine, it is not Hayden’s. His faith is his, not mine. So, even though I return with a heavy heart, for I loved sharing my faith with my son, all I can do is pray for both of us to turn into God and find the light again. I hate the division between me and my God. I can’t live through it anymore.

Where to attend. This becomes my new dilemma. I promise to delve into this situation more, but the time is not right for me. Holy Week is a time of reflection and renewal. I cannot disgrace this week with words of explanation of hate. There aren’t the right words, but I hope that by recording them, I might find some understanding of what happened because for the past two years it has eluded me completely.

I ask that everyone pray for peace and healing in the Catholic church, even if you are not Catholic. I believe we are all a family and the way we practice our faith is what speaks to our soul. Whether that is Catholicism or some other denomination. The Catholic church needs to heal, needs to fix the things that have disgraced God’s law and God’s love. I am not excusing anything that has come to light in the church, rather I would like to tear it down in order to rebuild it strong, true and morally sound. My prayer is for that, not to continue to hide behind the curtain of the cloth, it is time to heal and reunite and care for those who have been wounded by our actions or non-actions.

I pray too that I will be able to reach that part of my soul that is hurting with the emptiness of not having the relationship that I have had and want back so badly.

I pray that however you plan to worship this week and leading into the three days of prayer and ultimately celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, that you find healing for any of the hurts that plague your life or your family’s life. With prayer and devotion we will all come to the light of the resurrection with joy and thanksgiving.

Until we meet again, God bless you this Holiest of Weeks.

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Welcome to Friday

I guess if I want you to join me on this blog I should try to come here more often. I understand how busy life can be, but I believe, and starting with me, that we all need to take some time out of our day to spend with others in a place of peace and sharing.

However, I know that life is hard sometimes. I find life hard a lot of times. Being a single parent is difficult for a lot of people. I am definitely blessed in that department. I have been forunate to have a child that has been relatively easy to raise. He is graduating highschool this year and has made me proud by continuing to be a good child, most of the time. He hasn’t done a lot of the things that, frankly most of us parents did as teenagers. I didn’t do a lot of bad things but I was definitely out of the house more than he is, and we didn’t bring friends over that often. My parents didn’t like it very much. Which brings me to another reason that I am such a proud parent. I have already mentioned that I am a single mom, I am from a strong Catholic background and still practice today. However, I was 19 when I got pregnant, which, as you can well imagine did not go over well at all. When I was in my 7th month my son was delivered stillborn. I know that there was some relief for my family when that happened, although I am sure that there was some sadness. A year later my son was born, which REALLY didn’t go well in my family for a very long time. It is still a source of resentments and difficulty in my family, on both sides really. I have a lot of resentment towards my family, that I try to work through daily. I felt abandoned and unloved for the sins that I committed and I felt guilty for the hurt and embarassment that I caused my family. A lot of that stayed very strong in me for a long time, some of it has not healed yet. Therefore I cannot expect my family to be truly over everything that has happened and I do not. Over time, though, things did not really improve whether my personal sensativity or truly hurtful behavior from certain family.

There had to come a time, however when the active hurting of one another had to stop. I know my part and so I decided that the best way to stop the things that were happening was to walk away. In no way does this mean that I stopped loving my family, but they are living their own truth and it doesn’t match mine, and the best way to honor them is to not engage in the treatment that we were all a part of, myself included. It is not an easy thing to walk away from one’s family. It is extremely painful and the wounds don’t heal over time, they are sometimes worse than in the moment that the decision to walk is made.

Within the last couple of years I have lost two uncles. I have friends who I have walked with through the pain of losing their mothers or fathers, and even their children and I feel guilt. I know that each of these friends would move heaven and earth for one second, one hug, one more moment with their loved ones and I have made the choice to walk away from mine. I fear the emotional explosion that I am sure will come when I lose a parent to death. Unfortunately I feel as though I have already lost them in so many ways. My heart has already broken so many times over that I can’t seem to heal with my family or they within themselves. I watch other families that build eachother up, I pray that I have been that for my son, even though he has had to live within the chaos of his families. Every holiday that comes and goes without contact from my family hurts deeply. To have a child that has still remained loving, happy, and loving to me as he has had to face this is truly a testament to the soul within that child.

With ALL of that said, I don’t think that we can allow situations like this to run our lives. We have to believe that we can and should be happy about the blessings and good things we do have in our lives. With trials comes understanding and a better appreciation for things that do come from the bad. This may sound crazy, and I am 39 years old now, but in the last couple of years I have actually made some real girlfriends. Women that I don’t try to be anyone other than myself. I have one girlfriend who is much older…slightly older…barely noticably older than I am who has, in a lot of ways mothered me through a lot of my adulthood. Our friendship started slow, and got to a fairly strong point. One day, however, we crossed a huge bridge of conflict. Something very strange happened to me, we fought, and worked together, and fought, and then her mother passed away around the time that we were just starting to quietly speak to one another. Death does something inside of a person that screams to me to push aside myself when faced with someone else’s pain. Along with that, the mother of this friend was a dear friend, a beautiful woman and a joy to spend time with. My son adored her, and for all those reasons we wanted her and her daughter to know, that nomatter what was between us, this woman’s life needed to be celebrated and remembered. She deserved to know that people loved her and were there to help her reunite with her husband and say good bye to her family. The strange thing that happened to me, is that where I was in such conflict with this friend, and I had never before overcome conflict with another woman in my life, I did. When I realized that it had happened and that the hurt and hurting had stopped and I TRUSTED it, I was almost knocked off my feet! I didn’t even think something like that was possible. I credit the heart of that mother and the true nature of what friendship and love really is to this happening. When that happened, I, unknowingly, began to trust that I might be able to have other friendships that I trusted that completely with other women. Again, sounds strange, because there are all those cards and plaques and poems and girlfriends days, that sing the praises of having girlfriends, the importance of having girlfriends and to be honest I thought it was a bunch of BS!

As I sit here today, I can honestly say that I get it.I may not be the best at being girlie with my friends like some, but I honor and love dearly the friends that I have. I know that I have one of these true friends in one lady that I have known since I was 13, but that is all and we don’t see eachother as we should, but I know that she cares and I know that she knows I care. That is a great feeling to have.

So as I close today, I wish all girlfriends a happy night, and a great life. Thank you, my friend, you know who you are, for showing me the power of real friendship. I love you.

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A Day Late and A Day Early

Good evening everyone. I say everyone, because I hope that someday I am speaking to the masses and we are sharing our lives. We are people on a journey together and I would like to make the world a better place by working together to lift one another up.

However, life isn’t always pretty is it? We suffer hurts, setbacks, confusion and an awry of difficult times; illness and yes even death. Have you experienced any of these things lately that you would like to share? I am not looking to here from simply single moms in a seat that is similar to mine. I would love to hear from you as well, but I would like to hear from everyone. Men sitting at home wondering where the road seemed to go the wrong way. They young mother who is not sure this is the dream that she had for herself. The unadult getting ready to graduate and decide what in the world is next. The university student who wonders if anyone cares that I am so lonely, and that I am dealing with something that is completely over my head and I don’t know where to turn to. The young pregnant teen who, while so deathly afraid to face their parent, so desperately need their love and support right now. To the mothers that have done this by themselves when those parents who did find out so long ago, couldn’t bring themselves to give you that love and support. Are you struggling with you faith? Your sexuality? The bullying at school or in the work place. Are you struggling in a country a city or a town who is not allowing you to be who you are and have put in you a space where you are fearful. You are not alone and together we can support one another to face the day and see the sun of tomorrow. Because there is sun and beauty tomorrow.

We need to change a lot of the ugly in this world and if I can help you and we can help eachother and others, there is so many things that we can do. I promise you. I speak of faith, because I am a woman of faith, however, my view of God and the love of the Alpha and the Omega and there are a lot of people that will not agree with me, and that is okay. I am not here to try to find out which religion God wants us to be a part of. I am here, on this earth, to do His work and that is to be kind and spread love. Peace to you all.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of my Irsh Friends that the ones who wanted to be last night. Happy Birthday to all of the amazing people that I share my birthday with as we go forth tomorrow turning another year greater!

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Welcome to Reaching the World

Welcome to my blog, I think that sharing our lives can have great results, but then again can have just as equally opposite results. I welcome all comments, because in life we all have to deal with the good and the bad.

I look forward to your feedback and maybe a friendly banter on your opinion of my words. We can’t learn unless we grow and sometimes others can see what we cannot about ourselves, so please, within the lines of respectful communication agree or disagree with me.

To start with, I will share a little about who I am and how I came to be here writing to you. I am 38 years old, and I am holding fast to the number because in mere days I will have outgrown it and face the fact that I am going to be the age that, in my mind, my mother is frozen at. That is a strange feeling, getting old. When I look at myself there are days when I ask, “Are you sure you are only 38??? Well I guess you MUST be using enough moisture lotion!” Of course the person inside doesn’t feel a lot older than 21. I imagine we all feel this way inside.

I have been a single mom for pretty much 18 years, and although the pocket book has been tight at times, I wouldn’t trade the relationship that I have built with my son for anything. I was raised to be a “good little Catholic girl”, which I was, most of the time, however I became pregnant at 19. Now, I know what you are thinking, “pregnant at 19? Such a good little Catholic girl”. I know, not my finest hour. Needless to say it didn’t go over very well in my childhood home. A lot of chaos ensued, believe me. Relationships were irrevocably distroyed and changed. A very difficult 7 months followed which resulted in my burying my first child. A perfect little boy, so small and so precious. A time in my life where I understood what wanting to die means. To my mother’s relief a way to sweep this most embarrassing time in our family firmly under the rug. Unfortunately for her, I didn’t heal very well mentally and felt that having a baby was the only thing that I needed. So, about a year later, my beautiful, sweet, perfect, tiny baby boy came silently into this world. After suffering a stillborn birth a year prior, having him come into this world so quietly was scary. Shortly after his delivery, he made a noise that was not a cry, more a mew of a sound, but it could have been all the bells of all the cathedrals trilling in time around the world. No more beautiful a sound had I heard until that moment, and no more since then. The sound barrier broke in that moment and I knew that God was telling me that He had given me this gift. My only response was a continuous message back to this amazing God of mine; “Thank you God, thank you God…” over and over. Once they hooked him up to all the tubes that were helping him to breathe, they wheeled over my son, my 3lb two month early son, to my head where he instantly grabbed my finger and stared me straight in the eye. There were many people in those first days that believed my son would be going to the Lord, but after that moment I knew that God was showing Himself to me in that stare. “Trust in My gift to you Danielle, for I have given him to you, and you will find abounding joy in this child.” That is what was given to me in those seconds of my son staring me down. Of course he could have been saying, “Careful what you wish for, this is gonna be a bumpy ride”. However, we always see what we want to see don’t we? I do believe that I was handed this child right from God’s hand in that moment, and I believe that still to be the truth. I have been a single mom since he was 3 months old, in the physical sense, but from that moment in time, where the world actually froze, I have been a single mom because nothing else matter to me but being his mom. This would be the start of a journey that made me lose friends and some family because of that last statement, but there isn’t a lot that I could change about that because it might have cost me the relationship that I have with my son today.

I metioned in the last paragraph that I was raised to be a “good little Cathlolic” girl and that didn’t always work out according to the measuring tape my parents held for that title. I would never claim that I was perfect. I have had to confess my sins and make amends in life, that’s for sure. However, I still believe my creed and I still try to be a good person. I would like to say that I attend Mass faithfully, but the last couple of years have been hard on the parishes that I live in and attending Mass has seemed rather difficult. I will delve into that more a little later on. What I wish to point out here is that I am still a Catholic, whether I am experiencing a dark night of the soul or not, so I am not here to have anyone come at me bashing my faith. Does that Catholic church need some serious work? You bettcha! I am the first to stand up and say that the Church needs to be healed and needs to make a lot of tough decisions about a lot of people in it. I am also the first to stand up and say, beyond those things, in the quiet of my soul, pushing aside the things that I think the Church has wrong, I am a Catholic. I believe in God the almighty, creator of heavan and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ His only son who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day He rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. I believe those things, even if I believe that we, as Catholics, have a lot of work ahead of ourselves in order to, truly, be doing the requests of our Father in heaven. I believe that we all have to follow our soul song and that leads some of us to Catholicism, but it also leads others to other faiths. What reaches one soul, will not reach another. You must listen to your soul song, because that, I believe, is our Creator speaking to us.

As this blog grows and you add your comments to me, I hope that we can share and grow together. Please remember that we are all here together and we all have the right to be heard, loved and happy.

Bring peace to your life, from within yourself and you will find that others will grow in peace towards you and themselves. Reach out to the world with positive light.

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