I found myself in that situation last Tuesday, April 19. That was the date when two major events took place for our family: Gail had major surgery in the morning and Jacob received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the evening. Gail’s recovery precluded her from attending Jake’s Confirmation. More on that in a bit.
Gail went to see our family doctor back in early February when she started to spot. Gail’s usually very regular so this was certainly out of the ordinary. After a few weeks of monitoring, a couple more visits to the doctor, and an ultrasound, it was confirmed in mid-March that Gail had cysts on/in her ovaries. The multi-cyst on her left ovary was the size of a tennis ball.
Needless to say, we were very concerned that the cysts were cancerous. However, it would take weeks to confirm or deny this so there wasn’t much we could do except to pray. Gail’s blood work and MRI came back indicating that Gail had endometriosis but the jury was out on cancer. So again we waited.
Today, my lovely wife Gail and I celebrate 15 years of marriage as we received the Sacrament of Matrimony on Saturday, July 8, 2000 at St. Paul Parish in Richmond on a beautiful and sunny day.
On our 15th wedding anniversary, here are 15 things I’ve learned about through marriage; they are all essential aspects of our union. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and some of the things might not ring true for other couples.
But these are things that I believe we hold true and dear to our hearts. Some of these things I’ve learned directly from Gail, other things more indirectly. She may have even learned a thing or two from me. And we’ve learned many of these things together as a couple.
This morning I sat in the dentist’s chair as he scraped, drilled, and picked among other things. I knew what the end result was to be…however I had no clue how he was going to get there. I tried my best to just relax and trust him (and pray that I didn’t hear any of these things come from his mouth). In essence, I placed the fate of my teeth in his hands.
Such is what parents do with us in our youth ministries: they put the spiritual well-being of their children in our hands. Not completely and exclusively of course, as we youth ministers are supposed to complement and supplement the faith formation that is hopefully taking place at home (and in some cases at school).
But while their kids are at our youth gathering, prayer group, or service outing…the buck stops with us. For better or for worse.