So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up … Galatians 6:9
Our life in Maryland started badly when I rented the townhouse in Laurel without Mom seeing it. We were in agreement about it, but she actually never saw the townhouse before I signed the lease. In my spatially-deficient mind, I didn’t think our bedroom set would fit in the master bedroom and, given that information, Mom reluctantly sold it in Ohio … only to discover it would have fit. And so, another piece of our history was left behind.
Mom got a job at a non-profit adoption agency strictly on her resume, a phone interview and glowing recommendations from Dr. Wiley and Dr. Martin. But even that didn’t go smoothly. We had to juggle packing and moving dates, bringing us in on the 19th [of June] with our belongings on the 22nd or 23rd. “I was supposed to start on the 18th!” Mom wrote. Of course, she panicked but her new boss, Bill Pierce, called and when Mom explained what was going on, he assured her the job would be there when she got there. “That was a huge weight off my shoulders,” she wrote.
Her last entry in Ohio was, “Good byes are rough and when you’re saying them to your daughter and 10-month old grandson it’s unbearable.”
We finally got on the road at 10:30. At 11 the water pump on her car went and, of course, no one at Hyundai had a part. Another delay … Another – perhaps ominous – chapter in the transition to Washington.
Don’t get me wrong, the townhouse was nice – perhaps a bit too modern for Mom’s taste – and in a nice suburban setting in Howard County. Our rent was more than our mortgage. Mom certainly made the best of it, giving the house her own personality … but I don’t think she ever bought into it as “home.”
We weren’t there in this quiet development more than a couple of weeks when a woman was killed when her car was carjacked just a cul-de-sac away. She reached in to grab her baby and was dragged for about a mile. The incident actually, I believe, was the first time the word “carjack” was used. And we were worried about the crime in DC!
Mom didn’t particularly like her job. After reorganizing the office, she would come home and complain there wasn’t much to do. The office was in an old brownstone. Her office was on the second floor, but all the printers and copiers were on the first floor.
One day, I picked her up for lunch. As we sat there eating Chinese, she again was complaining about the job. I told her if she wasn’t happy, look for something else.
In an uncharacteristic way, that’s exactly what Mom did. She came home from work that night and informed me she had given her notice … the spur of the moment … without another job prospect. I don’t know if I was proud of her or scared she really did take notice of my spontaneity over the years.
By happenstance, she discovered the job at Trinity Missions. I don’t remember how it happened, but I think I mentioned she was looking for a job and someone at the chancery told me about it. I told Mom and she ran with it.
It was a good fit for her. Her analytical mind and organizational skills drove Fr. Dennis and Fr. Steve crazy, of course, but she was a good support system for the Vocations Department. She had a knack for following up and the personality to draw potential candidates into the process.
Fr. Dennis was on the road a lot, but Fr. Steve was in the office. He nicknamed her “Grizelda” and became a close family friend. In fact, he was part of one of the milestones of our life together … our Silver Anniversary. He officiated at a renewal of our vows and was surprised to be custodian of two rings – one from each of us to be given to the other. Both of us made him promise not to spoil the surprise, since neither of us knew what the other was giving.
Thinking back, that was so typical of Mom and me. We didn’t have to “discuss” things … we knew each other so well we knew what made each other tick. We were always on the same page – maybe with a different translation, but always on the same page.
To be continued …
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Prayer doesn’t need hours of time with lots of words. Pray now from the heart for whatever is foremost in your mind.