I dropped my 16 year old son off at Montfort Youth Retreat on Sunday. He has attended Montfort Boys Camp and now Montfort Youth Retreat since he was 11. That makes this his fifth year. I have never had a hard time with his absence. Well, I hadn’t had a hard time with it until this year. I don’t know why this year is different. I left him on Sunday with a sense of the bittersweet. The brothers who run the camp tell me he is nice young man. He knows most of the other boys at least by name, and they all know him. Of course not many people his age share his name, so he is known for his unique name. He also has curly, red hair that has sometimes been an afro. It is hard to miss.
He has sometimes been shy and unsure of himself. He has occasionally been self confident to the point of cocky. This year he seemed to me to be self assured but not cocky. He is serious, but not overly so.
I think this year he truly is a young man and not a boy. He is intelligent and articulate. He is a deep thinker. He was confirmed in April. He chose Augustine as his saint name. He embraces his faith and has chosen to be celibate. He tells me he chosen celibacy because there has been no shortage of offers from young women who either do not know to guard their chastity or do not care to do so. I enjoy his company most of the time. Perhaps that is why it was so difficult to drop him off this year.
I guess I just miss him.
Mother’s day brings to mind things that I don’t often think about anymore. While I have four living children, I had two other pregnancies that ended at around seven weeks gestation. Both of these losses were devastating. On Mother’s day I think of these two children who were so small that I don’t know their genders. One of these children was very my very first pregnancy. The other was my third pregnancy.
On Mother’s Day I also think of my three stepsons and all of the “stuff” that comes with being a step mother. It is a fine line to walk, to be supportive and loving without over stepping the invisible boundaries. There are bittersweet memories of things like helping with homework and realizing that their mother was not really capable of helping them with it.
I look to the Blessed Mother now and pray that I can learn from her even know that my children are grown and nearly grown. I pray that I can achieve even some small part of the goal to be like Her.
Thank you for all the gifts you have given me. Thank you for my children and my stepsons. Each of them has taught me something.
I haven’t written much here this year. We have had a very busy year. One of our children has had some mental health issues this year and getting medications adjusted has been a challenge. In December, I was hospitalized between Christmas and New Year’s Day with a MRSA cellulitis. It was weeks before I felt half way normal again. In February I threw a bridal shower for my older daughter. In April, my older daughter married her long time steady boyfriend, and the day after the wedding my mother was hospitalized and in an induced coma on a ventilator for 10 days. In between all this, we have helped care for my next door neighbor who has been recovering from a medical emergency for the last 2 years. It appears that there may be an end in sight for her health issues. I am grateful for faith, because without it I might despair in all of the tumult.
Thank You for all the learning experiences this year. Please help me to continue to grow beyond my comfort zone and to be the woman You would have me be.
My children are now mostly grown, and my youngest is a high school student studying to be an electrician in the public high school's vocational program. If I could have homeschooled this, I would have, but I could not give him a vocational program at home. I will continue to share what I know and what we have successfully used to get to this point.
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