It was Easter Sunday, and the line to get inside the St Mary’s Catholic Church in downtown Austin Texas was wrapped around the block, even in the rain.. but I needed to get inside that church and hear the word of God, so I slipped in behind a group of a couple of other college kids I didn’t know, and we walked up the side of the steps into the building and into the breathtaking church that was packed so tightly, you nearly had to stand shoulder to shoulder anywhere you could find a spot. I squeezed my way to a corner of the church where I actually had breathing room and when I got there…my jaw dropped. I was speechless. The church was stunning, Gold leaf ceilings, hand carved woods, mosaic floors… I literally thought the pope himself was going to walk out and greet us. I had been so nervous that I wasn’t actually going to find a spot and I was so happy that I could finally stand and rest… God placed me here for a reason, he knew I was planning to have a very special conversation with him, it was a long time coming, and this was the right time, and right place for that.
As the Priest spoke, I reflected on many decisions I had made in my life, many bad and many good, the most recent being that I have removed all the negativity from my life. I do not speak ill of anyone, behind your back, to your face, as a joke, as opinion, it is simply unnecessary. At first I saw nothing change except me being a much more positive person and then, I saw my life dramatically improve. The negative people fell out of my life, my work and love life improved. Over the years, every decision I have made has made me feel like I have slowly lost control of my life and the people I have had in it. I speak from my experiences, I came to the church with the intent to find answers and standing there reflecting.. it was hard to not cry thinking back to all the memories I had with the last 3 years of the things I had and lost. I used to put the blame on work or stress or drama but today I place the blame on myself because I am an adult who takes ownership and responsibility of things that I can control. I am my own person who can control my own thoughts and my own words and my own opinions. I control my mind, I control my situations and standing in that church, God gave me the guidance I needed to understand that I needed to realize that sooner than later. I thanked God for blessing me with that strength now and asked him to continue to bless others who needed it most. Then we started our hard conversation..
It’s like, you know when you walk into your parents, or your grandparents, whatever helps you relate, after its been days or weeks since you have seen them. You know they are going to let you in the house. Of course they are going to open the door excited to see you, they love you. You’re going to hear the usual how have you been, hows work, questions before they hit you with the BAM. Why haven’t you come to see me sooner questions? My door is always open for you questions. I will always be here for you and I will always love you conversation and that’s gonna hurt you and that exactly how I felt standing in the church on Easter Sunday.
3 years ago you could have asked me to attend church with you and I would have said in a foolish demeanor that, I am a Christian and I do believe in God but I don’t need to go to Church to prove that. How foolish is that. I reflect back on just think about how much I have learned since then. It shouldn’t have taken me sitting in that hospital bed with blood in my brain, full of fear that I was going to die that night in the ICU room with Ricardo holding my hand to change my mind to attend church, and it should not have taken me another year to actually have THIS much needed conversation standing in the crowded church with my Lord.
I bowed my head for what seemed like forever.. and it took everything to control my tears….and in that moment, I finally started the conversation that I should have started months ago..
God.. I know it’s been years.. years since I have been here and i’m sorry. I know I’m not catholic but I didn’t wanna be late and I needed to be in your presence. What am I doing? I have felt so lost for months.. no… years. On and off friendships? Like.. is this for real? Am I not putting my efforts? Is work more important? I need my job. I obviously need to pay for my car, but my job is everything, its more than my job, its my career, its my path. I work hard so that I have the opportunity to go somewhere in my company, but maybe it’s backwards and maybe it’s just friendships that are just no longer and I need to just let it go and move on in life. Things do change and the tides do bring in new sands.. I am an adult and I’m willing to breathe in that new air. I accept that..but it hurts.. why can nothing ever be constant?
Lord, I’m looking at this beautiful young family in front of me, They seem just about my age, maybe older.. I remember Ricardo and I talking about having a daughter for months and months! We talked about how she would have my hair and how she would have his eyes,How she would have my brows and hopefully both our smiles, and we would laugh about how Ricardo would have to clean the shotgun on the front porch when she got older..and I can still clearly remember the night that I was laying in the bed at night with Ricardo a couple months ago like it was just yesterday.. and he broke the news to me that he didn’t actually want to have another child. My heart is still crushed to sand… and God I don’t know how to put it back in its form,,. After the stroke doctors told me that I would never be healthy enough, for Sofia. We had even went as far as picking out her name. I guess that was another very hard lesson in life that you would one day give me words that I would someday share that the world would someday see…
God, I miss my Godson. I know hes just a phone call away but I feel like I’m’disappointing them. I feel like we maybe let them know a lot of what went on in our personal life when Ricardo and I were fighting and I feel like, I’m just dumb for doing that. I made myself look really badly for speaking ill of him.. It was a really silly mistake but people can unknowingly make a judgment and not know it. It just feels like I’m doing something wrong if I do call but if I don’t call it feels like I’m doing something wrong and maybe that’s why there are so many Godparents out there that aren’t seeing their Godchildren… I need your guidance on that and I feel so lost. I don’t want to be another Godparent seeing their Godchild once every 30 years. I want to be active in his life. Whether he learns to love you as his Savior or chooses another religion, I want him to know that You will always love him and he is Saved.
I looked up with tears in my eyes, and the the Choir began to sing in perfect harmony and it took my breath away… I bowed my head and closed my eyes….
I feel like a lot of my life has changed even before I just walked through the double doors of the church, and it’s true. I am not the same person as I was yesterday or 4 weeks ago or 4 years ago, I am ever evolving. Everything you have been trying to teach me has led to this moment and its really,. its a lot to take in.
Ricardo…he crosses my mind on a daily basis. I really miss him. You put him in my life and right now in this moment hes gone and everyday I see how he was the only one who has my best interests. God I walk through hospital doors weak without him. My spirit isn’t the same and everyday I am strong with you but he is my soul mate. He pushes me to value my strengths so much more when I walk out of the doctors office weak, he makes me realize how far I have come, no one in the world does that for me, it’s just to get something from me, he truly values and appreciates my hard work. It’s not just for a date, it’s for me to realize that I learned how to get out of the hospital bed on my own, I learned how to stand up if I fell down, I learned how to not get dizzy without the walker, and everyday, he reminded me of those strengths. His love, reminded me. I am ecstatic for the things that he did for me. He loves me in a way that I used to not understand because back then, I could never value what love was because I was so negative and love is intended to be positive. I think that’s why we had failed so many times in the past. I think that’s why we drove each other crazy. I think about how we met and how we evolved. I think about today and where we could go and how we could grow but I can’t do it without you and my faith. I have found the positivity in my personal life here that I lost somewhere along the way because I lost you, but I found you.. I promise I wont do that again. I promise I will be here on Sundays. I hope Ricardo and Isaiah will come with me, I think they will really enjoy it, being in here is really peaceful.. Thank you for blessing me with you strength, thank you for holding me up in Church today, thank you for getting me here in time and getting me to this spot, thank you for all the plans, God it’s been so hard, but your plan works best for me. Please teach me to find the courage in all the situations that I face on a daily basis when I fight alone in the hospital rooms, please help me to continue to learn the lessons that you are trying to teach me when I am hurting from the situations that I put myself in, and please give me the strength to always smile in the toughest situations, I cannot to it without you.
As I took a deep breath and prayed for his strength in the church, I asked for his help to find the right words to say to Ricardo when I came back into San Angelo that evening, because my heart and my mind and my Lord knew that I needed to make things right with him in order to make things right in my life.
To be continued.