View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A rough month

The last month has been a tough one.

Dad went into the hospital a month ago with pneumonia, spent about a week there, was released, was out for a week or so, then had to go back. He was finally released to hospice care and died March 7.

His death has meant a lot of calling (pension people, his insurance company, Social Security, relatives and his friends), and arranging for the funeral. My wife took charge of flowers and the food, and daughters 1 and 2 are putting together the picture collages for the funeral home. Thank God for them and their help!

At work, the trustees let two teachers go - including the man who basically helped me get the school off the ground six years ago and was a friend. I had to prepare lessons for all of his classes for a week and arrange for substitutes until we finally were able to find more permanent solutions. As it is, I had to pick up one of his classes, so I'm now teaching six classes on top of being the principal.

On February 27, my car was rear ended when I was a stopped at a red light. It was my late mother's old car, which I owned free and clear and had kept in good shape; it only had 75,000 miles on it. My insurance company dithered even though I reported it immediately. The company of the woman who hit me took ten days to get someone to look at my car, then totaled it and gave me five days to get a new car. I made many calls back and forth with the repair shop and the two insurance companies to try to get this all straightened out. My company finally got around to arranging for someone to look at the car - after I'd already started buying a new car and was out of time. I now face car payments again - ones I hadn't planned on for another few years. Oh, my company did call last night to apologize. Thanks.

Back at school, the trustees decided that although I had done a good job as principal, since we are seeking accreditation, and I'm not a certified administrator, I will cease to be the principal as of next year - if they can get another one hired. A relief in some ways, but also a tweak to my pride. Let's see, I started at the school six years ago as the acting principal, they hired a principal after a few years, fired him, asked me to become the official principal, and now I'm the interim principal running things on a day-to-day basis and getting the school ready for next year (schedules, book orders, etc.) until they find someone else. When that will be, who knows? Maybe this summer? Still, I could be interim principal for another year for all I know, always with the uncertainty of knowing when it would stop. That's what I need in my life right now: More uncertainty.

Musically, all the running around has interfered with practices. On Monday, I surprised the Rock of Faith folks by showing up - but I knew there were two new songs and we're supposed to play Sunday. I've been sneaking in practicing the songs in between running around. I still don't know them well, and I haven't played them with the full group, so I feel woefully unprepared. I hate not feeling prepared - especially when it comes to something as important as Mass.

Speaking of spiritual matters, I haven't had a full-night's sleep in a month, so I'm perpetually tired. Last night, I was too tired to even go to my Secular Franciscan meeting. I have not been able to make it to morning Mass regularly, and my prayer life has gotten erratic. That's my fault: I need prayers right now, and should make time (instead of writing blog entries, eh?).

My schedule this weekend: Mass, then to the car dealership to pick up my new car, turning in the rental car, calling the lawyer because I'm the executor of Dad's estate, a couple of hours at the nursing home to begin packing up dad's stuff, then off to church to set up and rehearse with Rock of Faith. Tomorrow, Mass with Rock of Faith, back to the home to finish packing, then home to grade papers and prepare lessons for Monday.

Grumble, grouse, whine. Maybe I should plan a pity party for after the funeral! Bring your violins!!

Well, I have been praying for opportunities for spiritual growth.

God does have a sense of humor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog yesterday and was hoping for an update since your dad's death. You have my prayers and sympathy. My 93 year old mother gave us all a scare last week (pneumonia) and I began rehearsing for her death. There are so many details to attend to - and you describe it so well - that take a physical, as well as emotional toll. I am so sorry for all the other events that made a tough month tougher.

I see you follow a number of other blogs. I was introduced to the world of Catholic blogs four months ago and can't get over the volume and variety! If you have time, you might enjoy YIM Catholic, begun by a recent convert. He's about your age, and lost his own father two years ago. There are some beautiful posts about his dad's life and death. He's very devout (like you); manages daily Mass, Adoration, teaches CCD, attends a men's group, serves on the altar, belongs to C&L, sings in the choir, is married.. and struggles with how much time he spends blogging. He loves monastic retreats and might have become a Franciscan at an earlier time in his life. I think he'd be interested in your story. HIs name is Webster Bull. There is now a "co-captain," Frank - but Webster's the one you might connect to best.

Better days will surely come.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

We missed you at the Fraternity meeting last night, Lee, but we prayed for your dad and your family. It's unfortunate that you have had so many distractions while you are mourning, but I know your faith is helping you cope.
Pax et bonum!

8:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home