Monday, June 25, 2007

Back To Reality

For the last nine days I have been on vacation. It was a time that seemed to go on forever while also passing quickly. Early in the week I felt some sadness when I received word that a co-worker and friend, who seemed more like a son, abruptly left my workplace. Later in the week, however, I felt great happiness when my son, Nick, was officially accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Louisville. He will be moving to Indianapolis sometime in August to continue his college studies. If all goes well, and he continues to follow the Spirit and listen to the quiet voice within him that has been calling his name, he will be a priest someday. Some of you who receive these daily thoughts, besides being my friends, are also priests. Please keep Nick in your prayers as he prepares to be one of you. You might also pray for my wife. This opens up a whole new world of things for her to worry about. There will be much activity in my house over the next six weeks or so as we help Nick prepare for his departure. It will also be another adjustment for my wife and I as we experience the empty nest for a second time.

Sandwiched between the departure of my friend and the news about my son was a week long family vacation. All in all it was a great time. We shared many laughs and there were only a few tense moments. After all, we are a normal family. We all lived together in a resort cabin and spent much of our time together sharing meals, shopping and swimming. Young Chloe, who is still a couple of weeks away from her third birthday, turned out to be half fish. Once or twice a day we went to the water park. Chloe loved it. She became addicted to the water slide and must have gone down it a hundred times. She seems to have no fear of the water. A few times, when no one was looking, I would slip away to a bedroom for a nap. Every time I would eventually hear a sweet little voice saying "Pa Paw! Get Up"! Although I tend to be a solitary person, I enjoy these family trips. I am happy that we enjoy being together for a few days even if all of us are also happy to return to our own homes when the trip is over. Now it is time to get back to the routine and rituals of my daily life. Vacations would not be so enjoyable if they weren't balanced out by the demands of daily living. Admittedly, I am at a time in my life when I wish the pendulum leaned more towards time off instead of towards working. Of course, as I have said many times, balance is found in the tension of opposites.

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