Two hours ago, I was at a funeral for Martha, a 92-year-old Secular Franciscan and mother of 7. Her son, a Franciscan priest, spoke in his homily about how his mother had dedicated her life to raising her children–so much so that when they were grown, she was at a little bit of a loss as to what to do. He remembered that although there wasn’t much money, he and his siblings were always well-taken-care-of. And I know that she became a kind of surrogate mother to many of the priests from his community, especially those whose mothers had passed away or lived very far away. But Father B’s memories of his mother were deeply rooted in her motherly care. She loved her children very much and did her best for them always.
One hour ago, I was
speeding driving from the funeral to an imaging center, where I was scheduled to have an MRI at 1:00. It took a long time to get that appointment. I was two minutes away when my cell phone rang. It was the school nurse; Little Brother wasn’t feeling well, and school nurses don’t tend to take chances when kids report bellyaches when there’s a Nasty Stomach Virus going around. I explained where I was and that I would try to reach someone to pick him up.
No one answered the house phone, although Big Brother is home for spring break this week. He didn’t answer his cell phone either. And my neighbor, my emergency back-up plan, didn’t answer her home phone. TheDad works 50 miles away. So I walked into the reception area at the imaging center and explained my situation. I asked if there was any way this appointment could be rescheduled. They were able to accommodate my request, so now I have to wait almost another week to have this test done. And I’ll miss my volunteer time at the school library because of it.
For Martha, family came first. Around here, it’s got to be the same way. I left Little Brother’s birthday celebration last night for a little while so I could attend a prayer service that the Secular Franciscans have at the wake. But the rest of the family was home, friends were visiting, and he was having fun. Because we’re all alone in this part of the state, I don’t have family close by on whom I can impose with a sick child when I’ve got something else to do. Sometimes the back-up plan doesn’t work out.
A week or so ago, someone wrote about patient endurance. Of course, I can’t find it now that I’m looking for it. But that’s exactly what I’m called to have right now.
Instead, I spent the entire 15-minute drive (yes, I was speeding) from the imaging center to the school vacillating between two thoughts: “I hope Little Brother’s OK” and “He’d better really be sick after all this.” He doesn’t seem too sick, for which I am thankful and irritated all at the same time. After all, it’s not like I was heading out to yoga class or lunch with a friend. I need to get answers about this health issue, and that’s just been put off for another week.
It’s frustrating to be short-circuited, especially when you’re on your way to an MRI. (And even more especially when you get home to find that Big Brother had been there all along, but he didn’t bother picking up the house phone and his phone was set to “alarm only.”)
Father B said today that he will pray to his mother, asking her to go to bat for him in prayer just as she always had done. I think I will do the same. After all, she’s a mother too (and one with a wonderful sense of humor).
UPDATE: Finally remembered where I saw the essay on patient endurance. I need to reread it, especially since it appears more and more that I have raised The Boy Who Cried Wolf.