7 a.m.: spiritual direction
I met with Fr. C, the priest who married us and my spiritual director. As I thought it would be, it was a perfect way to start off a day filled with so many hazards to the heart! Fr. C is such a good listener, and also has a gift of saying the right thing at the right time.
Big takeaway this time (he's said this before; I could hear it everyday!): "Your marriage is complete," he reminded me, "even without the gift of children. Children are a superabundant gift. But even if that gift never comes, you and Mr. M have something beautiful to offer the world: your love for each other." (Of course my heart feels like it has a big, big hole not being a mother...but it is so good to be reminded that our marriage isn't "lacking" or "less than" because we haven't been blessed with children...and extra good to hear this from a priest.)
8 a.m.: breakfast at a coffee shop with Fr. C and Mr. M
We treated Fr. C - an early Father's day gift =) After he left for his Sunday duties, Mr. M and I stuck around at the coffee shop to read (him: "The Idiot"; me: "David Copperfield"). Also a great way to ease into Mother's day - there are few better pleasures than reading a good novel with a hot cup of coffee!
11 a.m.: mass
Thank you, Jesus, the "theme" of Mother's day was very understated. A mention at the beginning and end, a prayer for mothers (without standing!), and that's it. The pro-life club was selling carnations, and the priest said you could buy one and put it on the Mary altar if you didn't have a mother to give it to. I bought one and put it on the altar for all those still waiting to be mothers and for those who have lost children.
12:15 p.m.: a blessing
(Before I describe what happened after mass, let me say that Mr. M is long-time friends with the priest of this parish, Fr. R, who is quite charasmatic, outgoing, loud, a "big" personality, as they say. From all my experiences with him, and from what Mr. M has told me, he has a heart of gold and love for God that's wide as an ocean...but his approach can be a little "in your face"...)
After mass, Mr. M flagged Fr. R down to say hello. Fr. R says to him, "Well hi! Did you get that wife of yours pregnant yet?" or some such thing...I'm blushing to my toenails as Mr. M says, "No, well...we actually could use your prayers for that. You see, we've been trying to have kids..." Fr. R: "Okay, got it." And then immediately, in the middle of the church, which is not empty but everyone is milling around, Fr. R puts his hands on our shoulders and says, loudly, "Heavenly Father, make these children of yours fruitful. Amen!" Then he says, "Watch out now - that should do the ticket!"
I choked back tears, both embarrased and a teeny bit annoyed (but see above - I know this priest's personality) but also so touched that he would immediately give us a blessing, knowing that that's what we needed above all else.
12:30 p.m.: brunch
A delicious repast cooked by Mr. M's older brother. Just the 4 of us (me, Mr. M, his brother, and their mom, at home.)
3ish p.m.: a text
Out of the blue, a friend of mine texted me to say, "Thinking of you today! Praying for you and hoping all is well." She knows our struggles, and her words made me cry happy tears because I was hoping, just hoping, that someone would reach out.
4:00 p.m.: a viewing
On Wednesday, the mother of a good friend of ours died. She had battled cancer for 2 years, so it's been long in coming. She's younger than my mom, and her daughter and her husband are newlyweds like us. I can't think of many sadder things than attending your mother's viewing on mother's day...so of course we had to go and support them. Their trial and heartache really puts things in perspective...I am blessed to have my mom still, plus a great MIL.
7:00 p.m.: dinner
Simple, leftovers, at Mr. M's mom's home. I was actually quite glad to not go out because of all the hoopla everywhere about mother's day. It was nice to stay at home and get some quiet time catching up and laughing with Mr. M's mom.
All in all, our plan worked =) I was grateful to have someone else to focus on during mother's day, so it didn't just become a navel-gazing pity party. Oh! And Mr. M got me a gift =) Two tickets to go to a lavender farm in June. Fun!
(p.s. Even after being filled up with spiritual direction, mass, and a blessing, still when I got a pregnancy announcement yesterday, on the way home, I cried. Does that ever get easier? I'm grateful that my pg friend emailed me - she did so out of sensitivity, I know, and that means a lot. It's just hard when you want that blessing so, so badly.)