It’s been a tumultous 24 hours. Mass at St Joseph’s on Saturday evening netted us Blessings for our 53rd Wedding Anniversary tomorrow and a renewed Blessing for our Pilgrimage. A special birthday Blessing for grandson, Adric, who became nine years old. “I’ve been nine since five o’clock this morning”, he adamantly proclaimed. School has wrapped up for the year. Grace had a wonderful “Family Time” weekend with her parents and big sister, Kitty. She lent her incredibly beautiful voice to the High School Choir honoring the 2022 graduates of Mid Prairie. The highlight was undoubtedly the return from England of my intensely-loved wife, Cathy. She rode the last part of her journey from Chicago with daughter Kelley and three of her girls.
At five p.m, daughter Brenna invited us all to her home for a combined “Welcome Home Mom” and “Bon Voyage Dad and Grace” get together. It was great to have all the family there and enjoy the company. Here’s where the “tumult” comes in. Our incomparable “Baby Girl” Collette had been waiting for this event to break the news to all of us simutaneously that just last week she has been diagnosed with HER2 Breast Cancer. We were so shocked and saddened that I have no words for it. Collette, being Collette, spent most of the time reassuring all of us that the prognosis was very good for a full recovery. Cathy lost her mother to breast cancer 40 years ago, so the reality of it all was heart-rending for her.
Collette insisted that I leave as scheduled on this Camino. It was an extremely difficult call to make for me, but she won out with ample good reasoning. Her husband, Matt, laid it on me as my Mission, to pray for her recovery in every church and shrine we come to on the Camino. The following morning, I awoke with the epiphany thought that this Camino began a thousand years ago with people from all over Europe walking to Santiago in search of miracles, most of which were health related. I will be but one of many thousands over the centuries seeking God’s Blessing of Health on our Collette. I would ask that each of you reading this add your prayers as well.