Saturday, January 27, 2007

Baby Love

There is nothing more precious than when your child falls asleep on you. As I sit here and type this, Colin is laying on my chest sleeping. He won't have it any other way today. I've nursed him and lain him down on the sofa next to me - he won't have that. I've tried putting him in the car seat - nope, not that way either. No, today he wants his mommy and only his mommy.

I sit here in awe of the miracle of life as I breathe in the sweetness of this precious child. How amazing that a year ago he wasn't even alive in any sense of the world. Now, I can't imagine life without him.

How amazing it is that God granted Chris and I these children to care for and raise to be good Catholic men one day. The job is overwhelming when I think about it sometimes. We have such a huge responsibility on use - to prepare these children for heaven. I ferverntly pray every day that we are worthy of this task and that we will be granted the wisdom to achieve success.

I have not always been a good Catholic. When I was a sophomore in college, I was hit by a drunk driver and the crash killed my 3 year old brother Brian.

I remember being at the hospital when our pastor came and told us that God wanted Brian with him. I remember being so angry at Father Mullin that I almost put my hand through the wall - I did actually hit the wall after he said that. I couldn't fathom that God would need a 3 year old boy with Him and not with his family. I stopped going to church except when I was home and my dad made me go. I just didn't like God.

Then I spoke with the chaplain at college. He explained that God doesn't ask us to forgive to point X - he explained that God expects us to get as far on the continuum of forgiveness as we are able to. That really helped me in my dealing with the anger I felt towards the man who killed my brother. But I was still mad.

Then my dad and I talked about the whole "God wanted Brian" concept. My dad's opinion is that the only role God played in the whole crash was that he took Brian instantly so that he wouldn't suffer. He explained to me again about free will and how Jeffrey Bowman was given free will by God and that he chose to drink and get in his car. He explained that God was very sad that this happened, but that he didn't believe that God said, "Okay, time for Brian to come to heaven; let's see how we can make that happen". This really helped me to put God's role in perspective for me. I realized that he was a kind and loving God who didn't want us to hurt, but his primary goal in our crash was to keep Brian from suffering. This made sense to me.

Now you would think that I would rush right back to church. Unfortunately I had been out of the habit too long to just start going back to church on my own. Oh, I wanted to. I tried to go with a couple of friends to the church at Georgetown University since they were supposed to have a very active singles group. That fizzled out as it was a haul to get there. I would go to church with my dad and sister Kellie when I would stay at their house over the weekend. I always felt so good afterwards and resolved that I wanted to feel that way every week. However, then my laziness would set back in. That is, until I met my future husband.

Chris has been such an inspiration to me. When we started dating I found out that he went to the church that my parents had been married in many years before. Now this is significant because my parents were married in Herndon, VA in 1967, but then did not live back in VA until 1998. So it was a very "weird" coincidence for me. So I started to go to church with Chris. And I found God again. He wasn't ever missing - he was just waiting for me to return to him. Going to church with Chris is one of the reasons I knew that we would spend the rest of our lives together. He challenged me (without even knowing he was doing it) to be a better person and a better Catholic. I feel blessed every day that he is in my life and that through him, I came back to the Lord.

When I start to feel overwhelmed about the responsiblity Chris and I have for the spiritual well-being of our children, I remember how Chris helped me return to the Lord, and I feel more confident that we will be able to be good Catholic parents and that our domestic Church will help our children grow closer to God.

I pray that my children will never face the kind of crisis of faith that I suffered, but I know that if they do that Chris and I will be here to help them through, just like my dad helped me.


Elizabeth said...

This is a lovely tribute Cindy.

Alice said...

I am deeply moved by this story, Cindy. Thank you for telling it.