Monday, September 15, 2008

Feast Days...

I'm all action. I can talk the talk but I'm not so good at walking the walk. There have been two feast days this week that I really wanted to blog about but didn't find the time.
The first was Sunday....The Feast of the Holy Cross and today...Our Lady of Sorrows.
Suffice it to say that sometimes, they slip by me and while I might not mention them here...they are never far from my mind. Our pastor (Fr. Fred) gave one of the best homilies I've ever heard this past Sunday. He talked much about our own personal crosses and how we deal with them. At times, I felt as though he was talking directly to me. Crosses are a big issue with me lately. We all have them and we're always trying to get rid of them. However, these crosses shape our character. More importantly, they shape our souls. It was said to me once that if I could choose between the troubles (crosses) of 20 strangers or those that are already mine...I would more than likely stick with the ones I've got. What she meant was that sometimes we see our own small world as unbearable, and then when we see others lives....we realize that we really don't have it so bad.
I met a woman today at the local American Cancer Society office. Her name is Elena. She shared with me her cancer journey...and I was floored. I won't go into all the details, but her breast cancer spread to her liver. She was given two years to live.....10 years ago. She is an amazing woman and now shares with others her story of suffering and hope. She has an amazing smile and I felt a connection with her instantly. She shared her home phone number with me and said I could call anytime. As an added bonus....and a more important one in my view....she's Italian!!! She is originally from Brooklyn, NY (her accent would give her away) but has made her home here in Jacksonville for many years. We spent just as much time talking about our mutual Italian hertitage....about NY and SF deli's....we complained about the lack of good Italian food here in the south...and she shared with me her husband's recipe for eggplant parmesan! From her and from many other great friends that God has brought into my life, I've learned that the joy is in the journey!! She said to look at my mastectomy scar and my portacath scar as badges of reminders of the fact that I'm not really in charge of anything. God is in charge! And I'd really rather He be in charge anyway....I tend to make a mess of things!!

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