Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mourning Has Broken

Mourning on a Sunday morning.  That's not how I wanted to start the day.  But that's exactly what happened just a few weeks ago...  

With my husband away for the weekend, and with me forgetting to get a sitter for Ronan, I prepared to take all five kids to Mass.  I've successfully taken them to Mass before, so we got ready for Church like we would any other weekend.  After getting dressed and filling our bellies, and grabbing Ronan's bag of tricks, we were ready.  We even had a few extra minutes to spare.  I was proud of us.  

We arrived to the Church parking lot and pulled into the last handicapped spot.  The kids got out of the car as I prepared to unbuckle Ronan.  Before I could do that, Ronan was already signing no.  Then he kept signing it.  

No. No. No. NO. NO.

"Come on, Ronan.  Time for Church.  We're going to say hi to God," I encouraged.  


"Time to get unbuck--" 


"Hands down, Buddy.  The kids are already out and wait--"


Calling my oldest over, I handed her the backpack and whispered, "I'm going to try again, but this is not looking good."

Worry settled over her face.  "Mom. he going to be okay?"

I didn't know.  Some attempts to go to Mass have been successful.  Others, not so much.   With our try, try, try again attitude, I told her I'd try again.  

"Ronan, let's go, honey.  We can get a special treat afterwards."

NO.  But his ears perked.  

Special treat.  Special treat?  Special treat!

Shoot.  I shouldn't have said that because now Ronan wouldn't budge.  He thought we were going to get a special treat instead of going to Church.  

I reached in and tried to unbuckle Ronan's car seat again.  I was greeted with Ronan's fingernails and his foot.    


"Honey," I calmly called for Fiona.  "Honey, get the kids back in the car.  This isn't working." 

"Mom, can I try?" big sister asked.

"No, sweetie.  He's really upset now.  I don't want you getting in the mix," I said as I closed the car door.  But Ronan moved his foot and blocked the door.

Signing all done to Ronan, I said, "Hey, Buddy.  Plans changed.  We can be all done.  Let's go home."  

All done?  Ronan was just getting started.  

He moved his foot back in the car, but as I closed the door, he'd stick his foot in the way.  Two more times.  Three more times.  And now with a shoe thrown in my direction as I tried to close the door once more.  Ronan most certainly was not at all done.  

It took longer to leave the parking lot than it did to drive to it.  When we finally did leave, the drive home was worse than the parking lot stand off.  Ronan was full of tears and was far from finished with his massive meltdown.  The meltdown wasn't over when we pulled into our driveway either.  It continued for another 20 minutes.  

Ronan held me and then pushed me away.  He reached for me and then turned away from me.  He tried to calm down and then got worked up all over again.  While working to keep him calm, I scurried Ronan's siblings into the office and asked Fiona to find a Mass for us.  When we've missed Mass due to Ronan's inability to attend Church, we find a link for that day's Mass online to watch.  Mass online will never replace receiving the Eucharist, but it's what we've had to do.  
Fiona called out to me, "Mom, we're ready."  I tiptoed in the office and motioned for her to begin.  The younger siblings pulled the piano bench over and sat down.  I hovered between the doorway and the hallway where Ronan was crying.  It took a few minutes, but things got quieter.  Ronan got quieter.  As he calmed down, he reached up--not to scratch or to protest, but to ask for help.  

As Ronan reached up, I reached down to scoop him up.  He gave me a hug, let out a big sigh and held me.  I held him gently but reassuringly.  I whispered, "Shhhh, you're okay.  You're okay..."  With tears still running down his face, he relaxed and rested his head on my shoulder.   

I swayed with Ronan in my arms.  He didn't fight or wiggle or attempt to get down.  He stayed there quietly holding me and I him.  When he was completely calm, Ronan began to listen and to pray.  As Ronan's tears of sadness were drying, we prayed together.  

We prayed for Ronan.

We prayed for each other.    

We prayed for healing.  

We prayed for guidance and for hope, too.  

And to always have the strength to try, try again. 
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit...Amen.
Mornings filled with sadness, confusion and massive meltdowns are tough to get through. Fortunately, those mornings fade away.  As they fade away, they become a learning moment. They later become just a memory. That memory can last a lifetime, but the moment itself will always been temporary. Thank goodness those tough moments are only temporary.  

xo, Cat

May your morning be blessed today and always. 

One of my favorite songs from Cat Stevens

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