I have been thinking and praying and thinking and praying about blogging. I miss it so much.
But my entire message and my entire life has changed. I am not the person I used to be when I was blogging.
I am sober. 38 years. Continuous Sobriety.
I have not been to a meeting for quite a while. Last year I was going when a friend was dying and we had meetings for him, outdoors on Sunday mornings. As the weather grew colder, and his strength was leaving, we set up a gas stove in the garden and gathered round, drank coffee, and shared from our hearts. All people of my age, chronologically and sobriety. It was a beautiful time. My friend died in January. His wife, who has been my friend since day one of sobriety in 1984, is getting through, one day at a time. Some days she wishes it would end, but she keeps on, knowing he would want her to. And she is also sober. Over 40 years.
And now I will share what I wasn’t sure I should: I felt the discernment to become a Benedictine Oblate in November of 2019 when I was in Chicago taking an icon class. I didn’t even know what that was or even how to pronounce it! I had to look it up. Later, after I came home, I was at Mass one morning on my way to work, and the priest said in his homily:
If you are discerning something, don’t spend too much time discerning. Take Action!
After Mass I went to work, called the Abbey and spoke with the director of the Oblates. I set up a retreat just before Christmas in 2019. I met with the Oblates Director, who is a wonderful wonderful elderly nun. I spent a couple of days in prayer in meditation and decided I wanted to move forward. Just before the world ended (COVID).
In October 2020, I enrolled as a novice oblate. With hopes of being a full oblate within a year. But that was not to be. A bad case of COVID visited the nuns at the abbey and they had to close it to visitors for quite a while. Sadly, two of the nuns passed away from the virus.
I was so thrilled earlier this year when we were told that we could come to the abbey to make our make our final oblation in July. It would be small, only the oblates and their sponsors. But it would happen! Finally! And the date chosen? July 24, 2022. My sobriety date. I don’t really believe in coincidences, this felt like a gift to me.
My life today feels like something I have dreamed of. And yet never believed possible. I don’t want to go into too many details. I am worried about posting this publicly, especially here. In the place where 16 years of my struggles have been so graphically posted.
I appreciate all of you bloggers who have read so very much about me over the years. I really have a hope that I can begin to blog again, but it will be very different. Maybe even an entirely different blog. Not sure.
And on a bit of a side note: Over the last few years, I have lost a lot of friends and even two of my brothers. With my friends, I have seen things on social media that have really been disturbing. I have thought a lot about us “not knowing the hour,” and what we put out there. Not only on social media, but with our families and friends. If I knew that my last post on Facebook, or instagram, or even this blog, was going to be my last – what would I want to say? I am pretty sure it wouldn’t be smart ass memes or snarky comments about anyone – even politicians no matter how wrong I think they are.
Maybe I would want my last words anywhere to be:
I love you all. Thank you for all you have added to my life.