Well, I took my mom to the eye doctor last week (July 1, my 7th wedding anniversary), and he said that while she doesn't have the optic nerve damage that patients with more advanced MS have, she has all the other symptoms. He couldn't "diagnose" her as having MS, because there are not visible lesions, but he's the kind of doctor who would only mention it as a possibility if he was 200% sure that's what it is. He told her that a new glasses prescription would give her a 50/50 chance of being able to read and watch TV again. So, we ordered them. He also told her that her vision would never be good enough for her to drive again, so she is permanently living in our house...in our baby room. I had a really hard time with the idea for a day or two, but I'm doing better now. Actually, that night, as I was fighting the tears at the thought of being done having babies (I had been so hoping for at least one more), and getting ready to go on a date with my husband, he looked at me, and asked me what was wrong. He knew by this time what had happened. I asked him if he was really taking this that much better than I was. He said he had assumed this was permanent when she moved in. I thought I had too, but I guess a big part of me had been hoping against hope that she would get better enough to go back to her condo.
As far as the options that were left, of conditions my mom could have - ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) or Muscular Dystrophy, MS is probably the best option. People with MS live long lives, and have long periods of time where they are stable.
I still will never go back to using artificial birth control, or consent to sterilization, so we are still leaving the possibility of more children entirely up to God - not even using NFP (let me tell you, that is taking more faith and trust than I knew was possible), and my mom knows that it is still a possibility. I don't know what we would do (space-wise) with another baby, but we would figure something out.
On a side note, we met the new priest yesterday. While the verdict is still out on him, we invited him over for lunch or dinner next Saturday (my husband okayed this - first time we've had a priest for lunch or dinner), so Chocolate Chip can get to know him before she has to go into the confessional, or has the chance to be intimidated or scared by him (he's a pretty big guy). I think I'll make an appointment with him later to get ideas on how to deal with everything, but don't want to totally overwhelm him. After all, he's one priest who is replacing two priests. He's gonna have a lot to do.
I think that's enough rambling for one night. I better get some sleep...I'm supposed to work 11 hours tomorrow...
Friday, July 5, 2013
Yesterday, at Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis, we said goodbye to the only priest I've ever truly felt really close to. Father Magiera celebrated his last Mass with us yesterday morning. Usually, weekday Masses have smaller attendance. Yesterday, the church was nearly full, with 12 altar boys serving one last time with him. I've really liked other priests before, but Father Magiera really FELT like a father. Perhaps it was his age (about a week and a half older than my mom), or his no-nonsense attitude, or the fact that he knew so much, and was SO very smart (he's fluent in several languages, and speaks several more).
When you first meet him, he can seem a little harsh, and odd, but once you get to know him better, you realize, that he KNOWS Church teaching, and isn't afraid to tell anyone what is right and what is wrong. He also knows the history behind liturgical traditions, and is very interesting. To hear him talk about liturgy, and Church teaching, you would never guess that he's only been a priest for 8 years. When he was a young boy, growing up before Vatican II, he wanted to be a priest. Then, when Vatican II came along, and all kinds of things changed litugically, he lost his desire to be a priest. So, he went into theater, becoming a very successful opera singer (click here for pictures, and a great article in the Criterion about him). Then, when he rediscovered the Traditional Latin Mass, his desire for the priesthood returned. You have not lived, until you have heard him sing the Latin Mass. His "Ite missa est" will always be one of my favorite sounds.
During the last month and a half, when he was so busy wrapping things up here, and preparing to move to Arkansas (yes, Arkansas), he took the time to visit my mom in the hospital twice, and a couple times at home. Chocolate Chip was especially upset by the news of his leaving. She asked yesterday morning before Mass, just to clarify that indeed, Arkansas was just too far to travel on a Sunday morning for Mass (from Indiana). After Mass yesterday, he tearfully said goodbye to us all before he went to leave. Chocolate Chip ran to give him a big hug as he was getting to his car. I wish I had thought to bring a camera, or at least my phone. It was so sweet.
I have not met our new priest yet, Father McCarthy, but I have heard nothing but good things about him. Still, as with all big transitions, this will sting for a while, but with time, I expect to look back at the memory of Father Magiera with fondness, and the sadness will fade.