I wasn’t sure I had it in me to do this trip again. Fifty hours on a bus, squished for a large amount of that time in the fetal position, with hundreds of zeal-filled teenagers.
Last time around, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. And then my father died just weeks before, and I wondered, can I do this? Do I even want to?
I took a chance and went on the trip, my heart still heavy with the loss of my daddy, wearing his flannel shirt for both physical and spiritual warmth.
The experience turned out to be an incredible one, beyond my expectations. Even more, I was blessed to experience it with my oldest daughter.
And though I returned swollen from the walking and cramped quarters, my heart was lighter, healed by a journey that stood for what my father was about: the full-out embrace of new life.
Last year I stayed home, but as this year’s trip came closer to reality, I found myself yearning to be there once again, and so I’ve tossed aside my hesitations, knowing full well what I’m getting myself into, and am diving in whole; this time, with my youngest daughter as a fellow comrade.
I’ve got my battery “juice pack” ready to go in the event my camera will lose steam — which it no doubt will.
And this Rosary a friend made with my favorite Advent colors just delivered last week? Perfect for this journey. We will be saying plenty of prayers along the way.
I also went shopping for some new headgear to wear on live, national television. It’s not FOX News or CNN, but it’s looking likely I’ll be interviewed on the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) the day of the March. So if you’re watching television on Jan. 22 or live stream (here) via computer, sometime between 10 to noon Eastern time, you just might see me chatting with Teresa Tomeo about the forthcoming book I helped write!
My one regret is that I’ve been wanting for several years now to get my boys signed up and trained to be altar servers. This year was finally the year it came together, but wouldn’t you know, the first time they are “on deck” together will be the Sunday I am gone. My mama heart is a little sad I’ll miss it, but I know they’re going to do great. I’m so happy they’ll have the chance to serve God and be so close to Him through this ministry.
Finally, my heart swelled with happiness at opening the Forum yesterday and seeing that my friend Roberta’s daughter, Julia, and our school had been highlighted.
As a good journalist will do, Robin sought out the contrary thought to this trip as well as the positive. It came mainly from one of our students’ mothers, who feels this journey will be a big waste of time and energy. It saddened me to read that, after all I have seen the kids do to make this trip possible. But when I read Father Charles’ and Julia’s response to the negativity, I knew once again that goodness and light prevail.
I keep a photo of Julia’s mama, Roberta, on a bulletin board in my room displaying images of those we’ve lost, and lately, I’ve been looking up at Roberta’s face with such joy, one mother to another.
What we’re witnessing in this incredible young woman, her daughter, is in large part a direct result of the love and life Roberta poured into her. I know she is beaming brightly from the other side of the veil, and that she will be right there with us as we march and as Julia speaks before hundreds of thousands before the Supreme Court.
We march because we love, and that’s as simple and profound as it gets.
Please pray for our journey. I look forward to sharing the blessings of this trip upon our return! I’m likely to be silent for a good week but I will be back post-march!