Wednesday greetings from the frigid Midwest.
Sometimes your life crosses another life for a brief span of years. Then time, distance, and new directions in both lives mean a sense of separation. Last night I experienced a reunion of sorts. When I first moved to Florida from Boston in 1985, I was terribly homesick and I was "adopted" by a family in the parish. Their oldest son was an avid runner and his enthusiasm was infectious, so I became a runner/jogger myself. This was a strong Catholic family, involved in our Catholic school and in many of the parish's ministries. I would head over to their home after Midnight Mass and wake up with them as the baby Jesus was placed in the creche and the gift-opening would commence. It just gave me that sense of being "at home" in a faraway place, distant from my own immediate family.
Last night, I had dinner with that oldest boy, now a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, his wife, and their four sparkling, witty, and just-plain-fun sons. It was a marvelous evening and it was such a delight for me to see how dedicated this family is to their Catholicism. I had this sense of some kind of fatherly pride as I watched them all interact, wondering if perhaps I had some small influence on this man's life.
These opportunities are rare, but when they do occur, one is left with simply a good feeling. We led the family onto a train on Chicago's transit system so that the boys could see Wrigley Field. The sense of wonder in their eyes was so gratifying.
I am grateful to God for the encounter, which brought so many wonderful memories back to my mind and heart, accompanied by a sense that I had contributed in some small way perhaps, to the Catholic foundation of this family of six. Thank you, Lord.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.