A good wife is the crown of her husband…
But it wasn’t all peaches and cream. The pressures of life started to take their toll on Mom. She started to physically not feel well, which opened the door for Satan to enter her mind and soul. Only through the grace of God was Satan held in check.
In June 1991, she wrote:
I’ve been filled with so much anger I couldn’t go to Mass. I was supposed to serve Sunday, but I couldn’t receive much alone serve! … Food is nil … [we have] no money and I end up feeding extras every day and night. Guess I’m just having a bad 2 1/2 years!
I’m breaking here, because, despite Mom’s despair, she turned the focus on others.
“Joe is down, so I guess I best not be!”
Then she adds, digging deep into that well of faith,
Comes right down to it, my problems are small in comparison to others. Somehow, the Lord always manages to give us enough faith and strength to move on … Trust the Lord! I keep reminding myself over and over. It’s a battle for me when it comes to finances but He’s never let us go hungry.
We hosted two guys from the Celebrant Singers in 1991. One was from Poland who told us of life back home and how hard it was for women to try to get enough food for their children. In Mom’s own words:
After listening to him, I realized just how lucky we are. Even though we are going through some very difficult times [my “missionary” role hit some unexpected rocks, Deanna’s pregnancy, balancing a very fragile checking account, virtually going paycheck-to-paycheck], we haven’t experienced that type of hardship.
In that same journal entry, July 13, 1991, she added:
I’ve felt as if I am in the midst of “muck” and unable to see clear, fresh waters. I’ve struggled on my own. I’ve felt loneliness and despair. I’ve forgotten Jesus is here – right next to me. All He wants me to do is surrender – totally. I do! I realize I am not in control and I don’t have any answers. I long for the peace amidst the storm only Jesus can give. I want to be able to sing “It is well with my soul” through this difficult time. I need to put com-plete trust in Jesus – trusting and knowing He alone can work the miracles.
Of course the miracles she sought were not necessarily the ones the Lord had in mind. Things at the paper got worse. While it was being received well editorially, we just couldn’t get over the advertising hurdle and the board was getting restless. Scott started playing football and got hurt (dislocated finger) in practice … before the season even started. He also made quite an “impression” in his first game … suffering a concussion. Hmmm, maybe that explains a couple of things.
But it was the everyday miracles that probably were missed at the time that stand out.
I knew Mom needed to “get away” and took her with me to Arizona for the Catholic Press Association meeting in 1991. Again, her words, “The trip was so relaxing I wish we could go back … plush robes …mints on your pillow … nice pool.”
Dee had Zackary James at 10:27 p.m. on Aug. 6. As Mom wrote, “I almost delivered him in kitchen! Her pains started two minutes apart. She left here at 8:50 – in hospital at 9! He has Siccardi nose and looks like Jonathan when he was born. He is precious.”
Then there was the job for three opthamologists. She came to love that job – and Dr. Wiley came to love her work – just as I started seeking greener pastures.
Despite the turmoil in her soul, Ohio stands out as one of her most memorable experiences. “The hardest thing I have ever had to do was leave Ohio,” she wrote.
But it wasn’t the time … it was the house. “I have moved around a lot in my life, both as a child, and after getting married,” she also wrote. “I had dreamed and hoped when I married I would finally have a place to settle down and actually have roots. It wasn’t until your dad uprooted us once again in Ohio that I came to the realization I would never have the security of roots. A place I could actually call ‘home’ wasn’t something I would ever know … not on this earth. That was always my ‘dream’ [and] it was difficult to give up.”
So, this is about as good a place as any to transition to the next chapter … Washington, DC.
To be continued …
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: It is not enough to be busy. The question is: What are we busy about? — Henry David Thoreau