I hate living in Houston. I hate it for a few reasons. One of those reasons is that I feel so isolated from my family. I really miss living near my extended family and Jason's extended family every holiday. Knowing that we have missed all those gatherings has bothered me since we left. We didn't have the money to visit for every holiday. Instead we worked hard to establish our own traditions. I work hard every holiday to make sure that it is special and that each child feels loved and special. This has come back to bite me in the ass. Instead of being thankful and seeing the sacrifices I have made the kids see how awesome it is here in Houston. They don't back me when I say I want to be near family. They also don't have ties to the extended family. I still long for that connection but I am the only one.
So it was Easter morning, we worked hard to get everyone to Mass as the same time. Many of the kids had gone the night before but had promised to go again. Pooker had just gotten off a 24 hour shift so she was exhausted but we wanted to be together. We got to the church to find our Houston parish church of St. Anthony of Padua packed. The church was full, the streaming version from the main church in the parish hall was full and the runner Mass in the gym was packed as well. We opted to attend Mass in the vestibule while watching the streaming version on the tv screens. I just don't like that we are always so crowded that we are standing at every Mass. Standing outside the main door makes me feel like we are just peeking in at best, we are not really part of the community. This bothers me greatly. We are so active at the parish, and daily Mass is crowded but never full. I just got to the point that I try to feel connected through our activities and daily Mass, with Sunday Mass being just a necessary annoyance to endure.
So we are standing there after receiving communion, I pulled out my phone to locate the special prayers I like to say for family and being a good wife, when it buzzed with a message that my mom had had a seizure while the family was together for an Easter celebration. Talk about feeling helpless. Yes I prayed and was in a situation of special graces considering it was Easter Sunday and I had just received our Lord. I was paralyzed, sad, scared and helpless. I don't handle any of those feelings well at all. I want to be home. I feel so isolated and alone. I feel alone because I worked too hard to let my kids fit in and adjust when we moved and now I am the only one that feels that way. I am alone in my desire to be near the extended family.
I was wrong. When I opened my eyes I instantly realize that I am not alone. I stood there in prayer with my entire immediate family surrounding me, holding me up and praying with me. My children, each of them had endured great difficulties to be together with us for this Mass. We were united in the Eucharist and able to give Mimi our greatest Easter gifts. She got our sincere prayers for her well being just after we received the Eucharist on Easter Sunday. Our hearts were full of our Lord and so were our bodies.
Easter was within us and we prayed together. That gave peace!