I know I don't blog all that much any more. The days fly by too fast, and the nights even faster. I blink and another month has gone by. It's surreal. And that is when things are good or bad. Busy is busy.
When things are good, we chug along like a choo-choo train. Chug-A-Chug-A. Chug-A-Chug-A.
And then something takes our breath away. Stops our choo-choo train in its tracks. Maybe a parent has fallen ill. Maybe it's a friend. Maybe we lose a job. Maybe we struggle with something physically or emotionally.
And sometimes...several things hit us right where it hurts. But it's confusing because it's not us, directly, but it still impacts us in a meaningful and real way.
That is where I have been lately. One thing directly impacted me and then all sorts of indirect impacts that make it all feel like one big avalanche on my train track of life.
Things hit me harder than they used to. I have always strived to be an empathetic person, but somewhere along the way, I started taking even more of the feelings within myself. When I see a friend struggling with a particularly hard cross, I admire the strength but I break down and cry thinking there is no way I could shoulder that sort of burden. And I wonder how they go on.
Maybe it is this stage of my life. I'm right on into my 40s now. Is this what middle age is all about? Watching parents age...being hit over and over again with announcements of illness among friends and family...struggling to stay afloat amid the turmoil of everyday life?
I have prayed a lot lately. I'm sad to say that I had gotten into quite the rut of not praying enough. I haven't been to confession as often as I should. Thankfully, I've been to Mass. But lately, I've pulled out my rosary more often, I've spontaneously busted out a St. Michael prayer, and I've simply shut off the radio in the car and asked God to please (PLEASE!!!) heal people, comfort the parents of those stricken with illness as well as the friends and family. I have begged our Blessed Mother's intercession and asked God to please (PLEASE!!!) comfort me, help me to understand why young and old alike must carry these crosses.
Recently, I've had Gregory on my mind and how I felt in the months following our loss. Part of that is because Sarah opened up and wrote about it. But part of it is taking in all the hard information of the past few months and finding that I process it with Gregory on my mind. That was a huge moment in my life where I lost something so dear that the only way to move through the grief was to realize that I gained a powerful intercessor in my little saint. That experience, I believe, prepared me to open my heart to more heartache as I experience the suffering of others in a completely different way than I did before.
In all of our trials, Jesus is close to us. He is close to those who suffer and ache. I remember when I felt Him close to me. And now, I can see how close He is to those around me experiencing pain in life that I cannot ever imagine and no one can take away except for God, Himself.
If you're reading this tonight, please keep some people in prayer. I want to ask that you keep a man, and his family in your prayers for continued healing. I ask that you keep a woman who is loved by many children and families, and her family, in your prayers and ask for healing, strength and peace. I ask that you keep a child who is a strong and beautiful and positive influence on an entire community, in your prayers (her family, too) and ask for healing, continued strength and peace. I ask that you keep a young man just on the brink of his magnificent life, who is ill...please pray for him and his family.