The two weeks leading to my appearance before the admission board has been busy. Between my significant professional, personal, and spiritual commitments and Mother’s Day, I have hardly had a moment to myself. Honestly, I prefer it that way. Staying busy has helped pass the time. At the times that I have something important that I have to wait on, I usually need something to distract me.
When we got together Sunday to celebrate Mothers’ Day, my family and I spent it much like we spend any other holiday. We always have the same basic format when we get together. We always share a communal meal. That’s always the first and foremost part of our family experience. Once we have finished overeating, we do activities that are specifically geared toward the occasion. In this particular case, we celebrated the three mothers of our family (my mothers, my aunt, and my grandmother) by giving gifts. As we did the same ritual, much as I had experienced for forty years prior, I was thinking that it could potentially be the last time I got to spend that holiday with my family, which I absolutely love doing.
Once we have finished eating and finished our celebratory activities, we started talking about my upcoming entry into the Franciscan Order. None of my family is catholic (I converted later in life). So, I had a lot of questions that needed to be answered. Even still, they didn’t really get what it meant to be a Franciscan. They had no frame of reference to understand what the life was like, what it meant, or why it was important that I felt like I needed to be a part of it. My mother understands it to a certain degree; but she’s really the only one.
Still, none of the family was going to be happy to see me go, that much was made completely clear.
I’ve always been close to my family. For the vast majority of my life, we’ve never been far from each other. I know that when the time comes for me to walk out the door, there will be a lot of hugs and a lot of tears. I love my family, and saying goodbye will be the hardest part about what’s to come. I’m hoping my heart can handle the shock of being parted; but, as this is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel and serve others, I think I’ll be able to power through it. At least, I hope I can.