After what seemed like forever - but was merely 2 weeks - I returned to church last night. As I've mentioned before, I knew I would miss going - just not how much until I couldn't go.
The Oracle had gone for the 2 weekends I could not - and I was insanely jealous of him when he left the house each time. Only 2 weekends and it felt like an entire lifetime to me.
So I pushed myself - hard - yesterday to be able to make it to 5:00pm Mass. I'm paying for it today with soreness and achyness that I expected; and I'm not at all sorry.
There just aren't words to describe how that particular kind of love feels. Love borne of a deep, mutual faith - and a love borne of what we really mean to each other.
I've been searching for it for 3 years - well in truth I've been searching for it for most of my life. I have found it in scattered pockets - The Oracle, his family, my random circle of friends. Yet somehow, selfishly, it never felt like enough. Since I didn't have the unconditional love of my own family - there was always a yawning, gaping hole that could never seem to be filled no matter how hard I tried.
These days? I don't have to try. God has blessed me with a parish family that has finally filled that gaping hole, that has given me so much more than I can ever possibly give back to them in a thousand lifetimes.
Acceptance. Even at the age of 49 it is important to be accepted for who you are - with no pretense, no expectation and no judgment. Being part of this amazing family is like going to a come-as-you-are party everytime you see even one person.
It is liberating and overwhelming. God's love is abundant, he tells us that. And you can read it with all the intellectual prowess you can claim for yourself - and never truly understand it until you stand in the light of it.
And even then - it doesn't seem possible. But thru your faith you accept that it is, in fact, not just possible but an actual fact of your life.
Oh and as mentioned previously, here is looking-back picture of the walk I took today with The Oracle. As you look back up the hill - at the furthest point at the top of the road on the right - that's where my driveway is. In our neighborhood this is "only" 3 houselots distance however with everyone living on one acre...each houselot is quite wide.
I did this all on one crutch this morning - down and back. I have to tell myself with every other step to "trust the hip". It's not easy.
Not because the hip feels unstable, far from it. But with all the continued post-op swelling and numbness, there is a feeling that the joint just isn't there. It is odd and with the leg length difference it makes for an unsettling walking experience.
But I push thru because that's what I need to do in order to ensure that when I'm done with all this fallderall, I won't have a limp. The casual observer should never know that I've had a joint replacement...
Trust in God's love. Trust in the hip.
These day's it's all about trust.