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Posts Tagged ‘play’

Who Am I?

Advocate, anxiety

Barefoot, bellringing, blogger

Child of God

Daughter, depressive

Extraordinary

Follower of Jesus

Grand, gullible

Hugger, hiker

Individual, idiotic

Jubilant, justice-seeker

Kooky, knowledgeable

LFBTQ+, lover of all

Mountain watcher, Mental health advocate

Nana

Ordained

Padre

Queer

Romantic, rambunctious, rainbow

Sarcastic, sister

Theologian

Unique

Veritas

Welcoming

Xcellent

Yellow (one of my favourite colours)

Zillions of kisses

 

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Last week was a very emotional and very hectic week. I had three 12 hour work days in a row, accompanied by all kinds of driving into and out of the city. It seems I didn’t take the time to rest or eat properly and it threw off my physical balance in many ways.

I was at a meeting in the middle of last week, where I learned that a long-time friend and mentor had been charged with abuse, some of which dated back to 25 years ago. He is one of the reasons I became a priest and was a gentle and wonderful mentor for me. At this meeting he was named and I heard that more charges are forthcoming as his case comes to trial at the end of next month. I was devastated, to say the least. The individual who was speaking about him made no attempt to hide their hatred and contempt of him. I tried to speak a few times and could not find the words…so I left the room and went for a bit of a walk, went to the bathroom and splashed some cold water on my face, to keep from crying.

When I returned to the room there was an uneasy silence, as though someone had told the person who was mouthing off that I am close to the person who has been charged. The silence was deafening as I resumed by place at the table and the meeting continued. When the meeting concluded I made my apologies and left without staying for lunch. I needed some time to clear my head.

On the way home I started thinking of all the time my friend and I have spent together. Of the hugs and long conversations over tea. Of the invitations to come and stay with him and his wife, after I had left the community. He is a new grandfather. He is a father. He is a husband. A brother. A friend. When he was first charged I was in shock. To hear of subsequent charges saddened me. And now to hear that there are more charges again from 15 years ago makes my heart ache.

The ache is not so much about his guilt. I don’t know if he is guilty. And now, with this information about to go public through the trial, his life will never be the same. I pray to God that there has been a huge misunderstanding and he is not guilty of that which he has been accused. But whatever the outcome, in the eyes of society his is forever tainted and will never be remembered for the good he did. The good may be prefaced and then the charges mentioned. If his is guilty it will be front-page news. And if he is found not guilty he will be lucky to have a footnote somewhere.

Hearing about all of this also stirred up memories of my own childhood abuse. A subject I have dealt with and continue to deal with in healthier and healing ways.

It has been one of those weeks when I have had very little time to be alone with God. To be alone with my thoughts. And it has hurt. I attended a workshop on Saturday as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada and the Residential School Survivors. One of the members present was a Residential School Survivor and she shared her story. In the middle of the workshop I had to step out to inter the ashes of a man I had not met, but had gleaned some information from two of his friends. It was difficult to connect with the family as there had been some estrangement.

So here was me, feeling inadequate to the task of journeying with this family, and seeing many in the large crowd hold each other close. There were tears and some laughter and the stories began to be shared around the grave. When I returned to the workshop, they were in the middle of lunch and I was seated and presented with a piping bowl of homemade soup. When the day finished I went to visit with a young friend who is very pregnant (three days overdue and counting) and she is longing for company.

She has decided to raise her baby alone, with the help of her 11-year-old son and her close friends. We chatted for a while about how she is feeling and suddenly I realise she is reaching out to me and saying what a comfort I must have been to the family. “Be gentle with yourself” she told me…something I have said to her.

And as I drove home after an extraordinarily long day, knowing that Sunday was going to be equally long, I asked myself what I done for myself, lately. The answer is not enough.

This week is also a heavy week, but I am carving out time to do things for me. I will walk in the morning with the dogs. I will go out and get my hair done tomorrow. I will do the visits I need to do. I will stop and smell the roses as I go about my day. I will stretch and breathe and bend and laugh and play.

I will make time to be alone in the silence with the Creator. And I will find some peace in the silence as I pray for my mentor; for my friend and her healthy delivery; for myself and for my family.

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