When my father died of a massive heart attack in 1995, I began to travel on a regular basis with my mother. Being her only unmarried child (I have three brothers and a sister), it was and is easiest for me to accompany her to different vacation destinations over the last fifteen years. At times to her friends she has affectionately referred to me as her “social director.”
My mother is a rather private person. She would never want me to say anything about her let alone write something about her. I guess that I truly admire her interior strength and fortitude over the years. Not only did she give birth to and raise five children, but she helped my father run their own businesses (grocery store and butcher shop, hotel and restaurant, motel) while battling some major health issues over the years (thyroid surgery, gall bladder surgery, back surgery and breast cancer, to name a few). And she has lived as a widow now for fifteen years.
So I once again journey with her to somewhere she has never been. She doesn’t want to repeat any destination if she can help it—the world has too many other places to see! This time we are spending a week together on an Alaskan cruise after seeing Seattle. Talk about an overload of natural beauty! From the mountains, to the glaciers, to the wildlife (we saw some whales today); everything is simply a magnificent display of God’s awesome creativity. Even the weather has cooperated wonderfully!
Why bother telling all this to you? Simply because I love my mother as I hope that you all do. As priests we are no more or no less human than anyone else. We come from a family. We have various family responsibilities depending on our particular situations. We are somebody’s child. The mother who gave me life deserves at least some of my time and attention. This is one way I have been able to spend some quality time with her through the years.
So as I write today (July 9) I am able to spend my 50th birthday on a cruise ship in Alaska with the mother who gave birth to me.
How awesome is that!
Thank you God! Thanks so much!
Fr. Ed Namiotka