Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The communion of saints

On Sunday, I went to Mass at St. Patrick's in Washington, DC. The church was renovated about 15 years ago, and like my parish, kept the depth and beauty of the old, while allowing the Vatican II liturgical reforms to reshape the space. The dome above the sanctuary is surrounded by icons of sixteen saints and blesseds and as I waited for Mass to begin, those contemplations of the Exercises which invoke the communion of saints began to rise once again.

I thought of my own personal saints, those who have gone before me "marked with the sign of faith" - then realized with a start what the date was: August 16. It was the 28th anniversary of my first marriage.

We celebrated our fifth anniversary nine months to the day before he died. We briefly wondered if we should do something special for the 5th, but I can remember Tom saying "let's wait for the 10th!" There was not to be a 10th for us to share, not even a 6th. Hard to imagine that now we would have been married for so long. I sometimes wonder what our lives would have been like if the events of April 15, 1987 had not happened. Would I have a child in college? or two? But I can't imagine a world without Crash and Barnacle Boy.

Math Man and I will celebrate our 17th anniversary soon - and I realize that I celebrate the "odd" years as utterly as the "special" ones, and in fact each day as gift. But I still feel as if I'd somehow slipped out of the time stream for a while, and the proper order of things is upset.

Last night I dreamed of Tom ... it was so vivid, the communion of saints all over again. Grief is not linear.

I wonder if the recent story line in Funky Winkerbean prompted some of this?


  1. Thank you for the reminder to celebrate each day!

  2. Oh, Michelle. I'm thinking along the same lines as I prepare to teach a big group of first year students for the first time in a while....And reflect that I would, most likely, have one of my own--if the events of May 15, 1992 hadn't happened.....Shalom.