Wednesday, March 19, 2014

For St. Joseph

Hey.

It's your feastday tomorrow, which is actually today now because I stayed up too late.  I thought it would be a good time to say some of the things I've been wanting to say to you.  There are quite a few, so brace yourself.

First of all, just so you know, if you were planning to confuse me this year, you've succeeded already, and we're only not even three months in.  You know those things I was praying to you about, the things I trusted you with because I know I can always count on you, because you've never not come through for me?  Well, they're not going so well.  I wasn't even talking to you for a while, I was so annoyed and frustrated and bothered and bewildered.  I don't know if you noticed, but anyway, sorry about that.  And I didn't really mean that about finding someone else to pray to from now on.  Well, I sort of did, but I'm over it now, obviously.

Remember that time when I was thirteen or so and had a piano recital that I was so nervous about, but I found that little plastic statue of you somewhere and brought it along and kept it on the arm of my seat while I waited to play my piece?  It was the first time I really thought of you as a real person, not just that silent guy in the Gospels.  And then you pointed out that I was actually born on your other feastday, the first of May, and I thought that was so cool.  I still do.  Thanks for getting me through that recital.  And thanks for helping my parents sell our house a few months later so we could move to Cobble Hill and live near other Catholic families, I know you were involved in that.  It formed my whole childhood, and I'm still so grateful.

Remember when I went to college for the first time, at twenty-one, and was so scared I broke down crying in church the last Sunday before I left, and everyone saw?  Remember that tiny statue of you, from a miniature nativity scene I think, that someone found in a crack of my bedroom door in my college residence, and I knew you were looking out for me and everything was going to be okay?  I still have it.  That was the first time I noticed that you seem to like following me around, calling special attention to yourself during times of especial change in my life.  My friends and I have a running joke that whenever you start catching my attention more than usual, it's time for me to look out, because it's a sure sign something unexpected is coming.  It's happened again and again.  I love knowing that you're looking out for me that way.

Remember that cheesy glow-in-the-dark statue of you a friend of mine gave me sometime during the eighteen months that I was so sick?  Remember how I'd lie on my bed in the dark, when I couldn't stand anything anymore or find the words to pray, and stare and stare at it, a little greenish blob in the darkness, as if doing that would somehow keep me from falling?  And it did.

Remember the long, long road we walked together, you and I with all the other people who love me in heaven and on earth, and how it kept looping around in directions that didn't make any sense to me at the time at all, and how I'd fret and whine and complain at every twist?  It must have seemed so silly to you, who could see where we were going and the reason for it all, but you never got mad at me, never turned your back or told me to just shut up already.  You waited until I was done whining, and then looked at me with love and pointed to where Jesus was hanging on the cross, all bloody and waiting.  And then when I realized how stupid and self-centered I was being, you let me cry.

Thank you.  Thanks for all the things you've done for me, since you decided my Mom should go into labor on your other feastday, although she didn't even know who you were back then.  Thanks for listening to me whine today, and when I was done, looking at me with love, and pointing to Him, and letting me cry.  Thanks for never giving up on me, even when I was at my worst.  And all those things I've been praying to you about, thanks for looking after them, even if I don't understand or like how you're doing it right now.

I really love you.  I know you know that already, but I wanted to say it.

Happy feastday.

Love,

Clare

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