Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Dn. Virgil is gone to New York this week for a senior trip to the Archdiocese.

Tomorrow, as previously noted, is my birthday. My birthday is forever doomed going to occur in Lent. The past two years he has made me a birthday cake from scratch. Last year's was all crumbly and lumpy, like a chocolate volcano. I was so disappointed to find out I wasn't "allowed" to come on the trip, so disappointed to realize that he was going to be away on "my" day, that I started missing him early. And very emotionally.

I realize that it's over-emotional, but that doesn't mean that I've been able to stop. It's a good thing I have tasks to accomplish to take my mind off the fact that there's a husband-sized hole in my life right now. I am beset with thoughts and images telling me that he'll be in an accident and I'll never see him again, but I don't think those are from God, so I am doing my best to pray hard to dispel these thoughts. I still tear up, like a giant baby, about once an hour at work.

Being at work is good, except that I'm getting to the part of my to-do list that I've been putting off (it's not important, but I should still do it) for a couple of months now. It's a little weird not to be putting out fires, but I'm pretty sure this is only a brief reprieve, so I should make good use of this time. In the evenings, I've been making plans to go to the gym (last night), and go grocery shopping and have dinner with a neighbor (whose husband is also on the trip), and attend the choir rehearsals. There's also quite a bit of administrative stuff for the concert to prepare for: getting a hold of Fr. Alexios for information about St. Mark's and whether he'd be able to say a few words during the concert; getting together with Diana to go over solo pieces; getting binders and music and information to people who need them; and getting the program finalized and printed out. And I need to schedule a confession, always a difficult task. I came too late to chapel last night to find a priest to ask.

Last night, as I was going into the gym, I was chatting with a student coming out. He remarked that my being away from Virgil and missing him so much sounded like another form of fasting. Reading this post on fasting also helped me take a step back and evaluate how what I was feeling was dominating how I thought and what I did.

I have been leaning too hard on my husband. Yes, he can take it, and gracefully, but it's not good for either of us. I look to him for reassurance on everything. This morning, I got up on the third snooze (not the fifth or the sixth, as usual) and was out the door with time to get fuel and still be early to work (not five minutes late, or just barely on time). I even had to make all of my own lunch. I haven't sliced bread in months, much less had to get the loaf out of the machine.

I know comparisons are odious, but I look around at my peers and I see adults: one has a little baby and another on the way* and is going to Ethiopia to see whether their family has a calling to missions; another has a baby with one on the way* and is struggling to cope with being a stay-at-home mother and writer while her husband is gone much of the time; another is expecting,* with her husband gone, and yet extends the hand of friendship to me, inviting me over for dinner tomorrow night. I struggle for half an hour to reply to an email from the last of these, stressed because I have to make decisions about what I will do in the next two evenings, without any feedback from my husband about what I do or how I phrase things in the email.

*I don't mean to say that the only people I admire are pregnant, or that it's all I think about, but I am especially impressed with people who not only have things together to the extent of being able to handle (not just physically) the demands of being responsible for life besides their own, but are expanding in other realms of their lives as well as being gracious and hospitable. Writing out a list of these three, however, has made me realize that God has given them to me as icons, holding out a hopeful picture of the strengths he would like to share with me if I choose to keep working on myself.

Oh, it hurts to grow, but how little and small and ugly I am now! Pray for me, a sinner.

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Blogger Mimi said...

Sigh. It's so difficult to feel left out. Hugs and prayers.

My son's birthday is Sunday, his is always in Lent too.

Tue Mar 20, 12:09:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Laura said...

I will pray for you. This can be a hard thing to deal with.

My birthday is always during the Dormition Lent. And my patroness is St. Mary of Egypt...always during Lent!

Tue Mar 20, 01:18:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh, Magda. That school can be so...so...*Byzantine!* I wasn't allowed to go to NYC either. I wasn't allowed to go to Greece on the senior trip. They started making "allowances" for the married guys the year my husband went, and he only had to be away for 4 weeks, instead of six. You know what? That sucks. I think we should just start saying it: it isn't fair! And yes, you can always find someone worse off than you, but the fact is that the system could use a little work. And it ain't gonna happen if we just sit back and tell ourselves not to complain.

I can assure you that after graduation you will also go through periods of time where you will see unfairness. I really honestly think we need to start talking about this stuff openly, so that we all know we have sisters to talk about this with.

I hope you have a happy birthday, and I hope the two of you are able to celebrate extra special when Dn. Virgil gets back.

Wed Mar 21, 01:37:00 AM CDT  

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