.... Without making mention of this: Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad! This weekend marks a milestone anniversary for my parents; I cannot mention how many, though, Mom would certainly object. Let's suffice to say it's a doozy! Given pastoral obligations here in DePere, I was unable to get home to wish them well -- I will do so later in the weekend. But not only did the Norbertine Community of Saint Joe's Priory send a beautiful flower display to the house, but I must admit, I did have Mom and Dad in my thoughts and prayers all day long.
In between the appointments yesterday morning, I did have the opportunity to give them a call and wish them well. Yesterday, much of the afternoon was spent at GBCI for a Pastoral Visit at the request of an inmate. Between waiting to be processed in and out of the system, and then the visit itself, the entire afternoon was occupied at the maximum security facility. Mom had plenty of questions about the visit upon my drive back to DePere; my work there both intrigues and worries my mom -- I couldn't share all of the aspects of the afternoon with her, but she is happy that I completed the day 'without incident.' - I appreciate Mom's concerns, but I've NEVER felt as though I was in harm's way in that particular setting. It seems as though it doesn't matter how old I get, I'll always be the baby of the family, and parents will still be parents in their care and concern for their kids. That's kind of cool, isn't it?
In the early evening, I would join my friend and parishioner, Dot, in conducting a wedding rehearsal for Saturday's 3 PM wedding. For a moment, I thought about Mom and Dad again, with the hope and prayer that Annie and Matt will have as many good years together as my parents, and that they too will be able to weather the ups and downs that my siblings and I have thrown at my mom and dad over the years -- hopefully Annie and Matt will come through it all just as blessed!
Friday would finally end in Two Rivers as I would root for many of our Notre Dame students whom I know who were running track for sectionals on the way to State. Many of the Tritons did extraordinarily well -- congratulations to the individuals and the school in their successes.
As I sat there in the stands with many parents, I was joining them in their heartfelt cheers as they challenged and affirmed their sons and daughters. At that point, I had a flashback to my own parents, once again, and remembered the days they would head over to Jaycee Park in Antigo to watch me take part in the 100 and 200 yard dashes and in the 440 and 880 yard relays that were the normal events in which I took part. I remember Dad's car -- along with the cars of others lining the side of the track. And get this, once I'd be running past the car, I could always expect a little toot from Dad's car horn affirming the way. Yes, it's a little different from the Friday night lights that I just experienced, but it certainly was an expression of support and affirmation, albeit with Antigo's own unique inculturation!
Late last night, Mom and Dad called one last time which gave me the opportunity to "wish them a Happy Anniversary before it's all over" as we often do at the end of a milestone day. Mom and Dad know that I have a wedding today and the Pentecost Mass on Sunday -- so I was somewhat coy with them when they asked when I'd head home to say hello. That's with good reason: they want to know when I'll return so that they can have the perfect lunch or dinner waiting for me upon my arrival! They've done that for all of us for so many years -- selfless service, indeed. This weekend, they'll have to keep guessing so that maybe -- just once -- someone else [yours truly] can return the favor to them!
So until we meet later, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad -- and thanks for teaching your four children well!