I lived in Seattle for nearly ten years. I've been back in Minnesota for almost that long. Hard to believe so much time has got behind me. In fact, today is my 19th wedding anniversary. Although it does seem like I've been married awhile, it certainly doesn't seem like that long.
It was shortly after I moved back from Seattle that I started to actually see how there was an under current to my life. A plan not of my own doing. We hadn't anticipated remaining in Seattle for so long, but the engineering job market had cooled a little and because my husband didn't have a lot of experience in his field, we were lucky to have a good job and a roof over our heads, so we remained pat.
Moving away from my father and my large extended family was hard, but in retrospect, I needed the distance to just be me instead of a perpetual caretaker. I also needed some time to see my mother's family for the wonderful souls they are and not fault them for not living up to my expectations of how and what they should've done when my mother was sick for all those years. Although I was incredibly homesick for the first year and grieved at the loss of my mom, time and distance worked wonders.
Finally, after almost ten years, the opportunity to move back to MN arose. Hubby moved back to MN first and stayed with my father while I stayed in Seattle another nine months to complete a project at work and to get the house ready to sell. Upon moving back, I took a year off and spent time with my father and completed a huge genealogy project with my aunt. It was a very blessed time, but I didn't quite see God's hand in all of it at this point.
I had always been close to my father, but in the year I had off, we went to breakfast once a week and I saw him every day on the weekend. I talked to him every day on the phone, sometimes it was several calls a day, just to share things that had come up.
My husband was wonderful to allow me this time to get reacquainted with my dad, but after a year, it was time to start looking for work. I hadn't been back to work at my new job more than a few weeks when I found out my father was terminally ill. Unlike with my mother, the prognosis was not good and he was only given a few months to live. Turned out he only had a few weeks. I took a leave from my job to move my dad in with us and care for him. He was only at our home a week before he passed away while holding my hand. I was so blessed to have had that time with him. So incredibly blessed.
It was at this point that I could see how all the dominoes had fallen into place. How God had some how wrenched me from my life in Seattle and brought me home to provide me with an uninterrupted year with my father. But, God had only just begun to grab me by the scruff of the neck. There was much more to come.
After nearly 15 years of marriage, we had a baby. And, then another one. Huge sweeping changes happened in my life and I was no longer steering the ship. Maybe some day I'll write more in detail about this chapter, but at least at this point, I had learned to just let go and hold on for the ride.
Now, it's happening again. Or continuing to happen. I had been a happy girl in Seattle. Good job, friends, no oppressive snow, in control of things which suited my Type A personality perfectly. I was in control. Now I'm so far outside my comfort zone I can't even tell you how chaotic the past five years have been. When we were going through the pre-marriage talks with Father Ince, I was very open and clear that I had no maternal feelings at all. I had no desire to have children. It's not that I wanted a career, since I had none at the time and I'm just not that ambitious! It was just that most friends I knew wanted to get married and have kids. They would've had the kids first if it hadn't been frowned upon. Not me. I just could never picture myself with kids. Ever, never. I wasn't going to use artificial contraception, but I just wasn't mom material. Open to life, just not ever expecting God would turn my heart and make me yearn for a baby. I actually sought out several priests for instruction on this because all Father Ince provided for advice was, "Have two (kids) and then decide if you want any." Not very helpful when I was agonizing over this dilemma.
Well, now I have two kids and I'm not sure where I'm heading. I can see some ground work being laid and will just go down the path where ever it leads. I don't have a road map or even any road signs, but off we go.
Prayer of St. Patrick
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, and in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.