For those of you who visit this blog, what is your everyday life like? Are you interested in being in touch with others of like mind? Do you have questions or need advice, and don't want to post on this blog?
One of my friends, Kristen (who posts on this blog) and I have been chatting back and forth over the past couple of months. We have found it fun-- and even helpful-- to keep up with each other, sharing our day-to-day lives in all of their traditional glory. Today, an idea struck us: others might, too! So, we thought, why not start a twitter following? Twitter would be an anonymous, safe, and fun way to communicate back and forth!
If any of this sounds like something you would be interested in, then you may find me as "ATradWife."
Wives, please ask the permission of your husband before following. Also, as a word of caution to all, create a new name and / or protect your tweets!
I look forward to getting to know all of you better! :-)
~ Traditional Wife ~
"Happiness is having a very large, loving family... in another city!"
So says a little nick-nack that my mother and I found together last summer at a boutique. We had laughed so hard over it, she insisted that I had to have it. Sometimes I agree with those words-- and I feel so blessed to be able to love my family from a distance. At other times, however, I would give anything to live near my family and be daily a part of their crazy lives. This past week was one of those times.
On Wednesday, my cousin passed away. She died as a result of a severe automobile accident on her way home. Her sister had driven by it and had remarked that, "Whoever was in that car could not have lived." It was true. A team of over 500 people (in one capacity or another) had worked so hard to save my cousin's life. She had never regained consciousness, however, and although it was a miracle that she held on as long as she did, my cousin died a day later while on life support. In truth, she would probably not have wanted to live if she could have.
The loss was still difficult. While we had grown apart in later years, my cousins and I had all grown up more like siblings than extended family.
Today, we laid to rest our departed loved one's body. I had not been in our family's old church in seven years, but it still felt like home. The memorial service was extremely touching. There was so much laughter mixed with tears, in remembering the beautiful, vivacious, independent, tomboyish girl we all loved and missed. She was not remembered with rose-coloured glasses, but the honesty of being able to admit who she had been brought much comfort. It was one of the most beautiful, uplifting funerals I have ever experienced.
I am still, however, in a state of shock. It keeps hitting me in small waves what has happened. The grief is not over. The hardest part of all of this was not receiving the news of her death, nor was it the funeral and burial. No, the most challenging aspect of our loss to deal with will be tomorrow morning, when we wake up and real life will begin again... without her in it.
It is in times like these when I wish with all of my heart that my Husband and I did not live so far away from my family. I have been holding much anger in my heart against him for this very reason. While I adore our new home, while my Husband's new job is extremely prestigious, and while I am glad that we at least live near one of our families, I hate it all. I would trade it all in an instant to be a 'country girl' again. I try not to tell this to my Husband, though. I do not want him to feel down over his success-- or do something stupid about my hidden feelings. No, I try to be a good wife. But I have to find a better way to change the resentment.
I do not deal with grief very well, either. Instead, I tend to pull away and shut down emotionally. I do not lean upon him as he would like. I scowled at my Husband this afternoon when he remarked-- after I lamented that I've probably cried over the past two days more than in the past 10 years-- that it barely makes up for them.
Well, life has been changed forever... It's time to get with the program and change my life along with it.
This evening, one of my cousins was driving and went to pass someone. She lost control of her vehicle and hit a tree. After the paramedics finally rescued her-- it took nearly half and hour to remove her-- she was rushed to the hospital, put into the critical care unit and on life support. My cousin had suffered brain injury, broken bones, internal bleeding, and many other issues. At one point, during surgery, the doctors said that a miracle was occurring-- beyond all hope, my cousin was responding and fighting for her life. Nevertheless, she took a turn for the worse and is dying. Her last breath could be at any moment.
This is hard for my entire family to take. I am in shock. My cousin is one out of 24 of us first-cousins on my mother's wide, and she and I grew up together nearly like sisters. That is how close-knit my extended family was, and although in our grown-up years we cousins have become more distant, that bond of childhood years makes itself feel so very present.
I wish that I could say I knew where my cousin stood in regard to her relationship with Christ. I do not. Not even she knew, when last asked. I fear so greatly for her soul. If God would allow, I would suffer Hell for her that her soul might be saved. But I cannot. I am begging Him that He reached out to her one last time, and that she responded to Him.
The loss of life is sad. She was so young-- she would have been 25 soon.
The reason I am writing this-- beyond asking for prayers-- is for a much deeper reason. I love each and every one of you readers. This little blog has reached across the globe, from east to west, although many of you do not write in. That is more than alright. To those of you who read this: I pray that I may have been able to impart some bit of wisdom to you, that your life might have been touched in some way, or your marriage improved.
Yet, all of this means nothing if I cannot touch your heart for Christ. If I could just one thing of you, it would be this-- seek the Lord with all of your heart. Turn to Him. Amend your life, if need be, and live unequivocally, irrevocably for Him. I wish to spend eternity in Heaven with each and every one of you.
I will most likely be visiting home very soon for the funeral. Please keep my family in your prayers. I pray that I might be able to be a blessing to them in this time of grief. Thank you so much.
Sacred Scripture says: "A wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish will pull down with her hands that also which is built." (Proverbs 14:1; Douay-Rheims)
Several days ago, I was reminded of this verse. The moving company that my Husband and I hired quickly dismantled our home, one neat box of belongings at a time. It seemed that, in no time at all, everything we had created together was reduced to bare walls and empty rooms. And, as we shut the door behind us for the final time, the ghosts of our life there faded into a myriad of other secrets kept by the flat's four corners.
I have to admit, I did shed a few tears at the final parting. It was truly the end of an era.
I had feared that this transition would be harder on me than it has been. (That is not to say things have been easy, merely somewhat easier to bear.) This past weekend marked the 7th anniversary of my leaving home to become Catholic. For those of you who are long-time readers of my little blog, you will know that it was not a pleasant time in my life. Yet, I am glad that it helped to make me into who I am today. For every challenge, there is a blessing.
My Husband and I had been staying with his family for the past several days, living out of a suitcase. Last evening was our first overnight stay in our new home. The moving company finally brought us the rest of our belongings, and so we are now up to our ears in boxes! Well, that is not quite true. We have made quite a dent in said boxes, in a concerted effort towards getting things settled.
As I was putting together my kitchen-- which is the heart of our home, and my favourite room of all-- I felt very much like the first part of the scripture verse. Linings were added to the cupboards. Dishes were washed and put away. The pantry items were neatly arrayed. My several frilly aprons were happily hung up in their new spot. I began to think, what of the spiritual application? Here I am, building up my home with love and hard work. How much more so ought my marriage be built up through faith working through love?
What is love? As a priest recently reminded me, 1 Corinthians 13 is the ultimate discourse on charity, which is the truest form of love. To quote from the Douay Rheims version, verses 4-8a, "Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up, Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away..." I wondered-- Am I building up my home with patience, kindness, selflessness, gentleness, and prudence? Or am I tearing it down with contention, bitterness, and self-interests?
I think that perhaps building a home is a lot like building a stone fence: it is built one stone at a time. It also takes a lot of effort to create just a little patch of it, but it can be so easily torn down. In my own life, I make great strides most weeks toward building up my home and my marriage, but one major blow-up (taking up a mere 15 minutes) can have devastating effects. This has not been the case for a couple of weeks now, thanks to be to God, but it is something to think about and be aware of for the future. If I truly wish to be the prudent woman of the proverb. I must continue to build up instead of tear down. And, if a mistake is made, I must humbly accept correction for it and make reparation to patch up the "hole" in the "fence."
As for everyday life, it has been a blessing. My Husband and I have been lavishing our love upon our sweet toddler niece. Since I babysit her in the afternoons and evenings, she has gone everywhere with us. We are certainly getting very good parenting practise. Especially putting our home together with a little ankle-biter running about. ;-) I am further convinced that there is nothing so precious as the sight of a man holding a child. When I see the man I married-- a very stately "alpha male" type-- singing silly children's songs to our niece, doing something to make her burst into a fit of giggles, or rocking her to sleep on his broad shoulders, it absolutely melts my heart.
As to our new home, I could not love it more! It is a flat inside of an old converted textile mill. There is so much historical scope for the imagination! I feel a very personal connection between myself and the women who used to work here. (Perhaps there is a story in the making, eh?) I have to admit that I simply adore the exposed brick and high ceilings. My favourite features, aside from my beautiful kitchen, though, are the windows. Our windows expand nearly the entire length, from top to bottom, and the view looks out an old bridge expanding the river. Best yet, each window has a very large "window seat area." I fully intend-- once all is settled-- to curl up there some sunny afternoon with a good book!
It does not yet feel real, somehow. It is like I am living in a fairy-take. All of this keeps hitting me in little waves, though-- and I think the largest one of all will hit me when my Husband begins his new job and I give him our traditional farewell kiss.
I must share, though, a beautiful thing with you. It happened on the day my Husband and I moved in to our new home. My niece and I were playing together when, suddenly, I stopped. Something had permeated my subconscious. I strained to listen more attentively. Indeed, from another flat, a woman was praying. I immediately recognised it as Holy Rosary in Spanish. A joyous smile beamed across my face, and I began to recite the words along with her. I was reminded of my pilgrimage to South America-- particularly, the day in which my group had walked the streets along with thousands of locals, praying the Rosary and singing. That same day, so many miracles had occurred, my Husband's new job being one of them. To me, it was a hug from God-- and a beautiful confirmation of His hand in our lives.
Truly, I praise God for His little blessings. And I pray that my life may continue to be something beautiful for Him.