Thank you all for your heartfelt prayers and words of wisdom as regards recent events. The past several weeks have been a trial, and like most trials there have been many blessings. The worst part of this past ordeal is that I’m still carrying it with me. The images, the thoughts, the fear are still very close to the surface. In 27 years of marriage and mothering I’ve dealt with many crises, and certainly some were more serious than this. I don’t recall feeling quite the panic that I felt on Wednesday. As a result, I’m having to rethink many of the things I’ve been doing of late. It is a heartrending reality that it literally took the blood of one of my children to wake me up to a few realities:
- I’ve been putting my concern for my grandmother above my vocation as wife and mother. I didn’t realize it until now, but I have. I had done it while she was staying with me and was “called back” into my proper place by my confessor. I didn’t realize I had slipped back into that old habit.
- I’ve been absent even when home. In other words, distracted. I’m trying to keep my priorities straight while here, but it’s still easy to get caught up in managing Grandma’s care from phone and computer.
- I’ve been racked with guilt. Because I’ve stepped out of the natural order, everything is disorder. I’m working to change that. This accident was a real wake-up call…
The day I left to meet Grandma at the orthopedic surgeon’s office, I had left the children in the care of their older brother. I would only be gone briefly. He was certainly old enough and mature enough to supervise. The ensuing accident was due to no negligence whatsoever on his part. It was an accident, plain and simple, one that could have happened while I was at home. But it didn’t. It happened while I was away, and my poor, dear boy had to deal with such fear and horror…I still shudder to think of it. He handled things manfully and with great maturity. I’m proud of him, and yet I will not put him through such an ordeal again. This is at his request, as well. The time will come when he will assume greater responsibility, but lately, he has had too much thrust upon him.
God is calling me back to home and hearth. And trust. I must trust that Grandma is in His hands, not mine. I can love her, visit her (evenings), call her and pray for her. But all other care for her must come after my husband returns home from work. Doctor’s visits will have to be handled some other way…
We can never be truly happy or at peace when we step outside the bounds of our vocation…choosing to do what seems right and good to us, is not what we’re called to. We’re called to do that which God has chosen. If I abandon my vocation as wife and mother, to give solace to the sick, the poor, the homeless, or in my case, my elderly grandmother, I am not glorifying God no matter how good my intentions are. It’s a real balancing act, one which requires a great deal of prayer and discernment.
I love my vocation as wife and mother. I love the merciful way that my Lord and God continues to call me back…back to a place of order and out of chaos.
*painting by Robert Duncan