Abbey Trip 2014

I have just returned from my annual trip with my sister to an Episcopalian monastery. This was our 4th trip together, but I started going there more than a decade ago, and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been. It’s truly a time of rest and renewal for us. I did some journaling, but not as much as I would have liked. And since I didn’t bring my laptop, I just wrote it down. No filter, no edits. So what follows here is exactly what I wrote. Reading my writing on a white piece of paper is physically exhausting for me to do, so pardon me if I don’t feel like reading through again and “perfecting” it. Whether it sounds good or not, it’s all true.


We made it to the Abbey. I’m teetering on the brink of a flood of tears. Mixed metaphors, I know. I just have all this sadness built up. I think that’s why I keep getting so frustrated, and Mike keeps asking me what is wrong. I always say it’s nothing, but that’s a colossal lie. I am sad and scared. Not angry, because I don’t know who to be angry at. Just really scared for my future, and sad for what I am missing, like pictures Natalie draws for me. And not being able to really see my surroundings. That frustrates me – constantly. If it were all gone, if I couldn’t see any of it, maybe the frustration wouldn’t be there. Because I wouldn’t be subconsciously trying to see it all. Maybe. Not that I’m wishing for that. That is maybe what scares me the most. Losing my eyesight completely. Losing the ability to see my family’s faces and watch my kids grow.

Well, I let the tears fall, and it didn’t end in a sob-fest. I’m sure there are more to come, but for now I feel like I can breathe again. This is good, writing. I didn’t bring the laptop so this is all I’ve got. It’s slower, and harder to read, but I guess that’s good as it allows me time to let my thoughts come through. Clearly.

I need to eat.

We went to Vespers and Mass already. Had lunch, went to buy chicken and steak. Not in that order. I took a nap too. I can’t believe I forgot the steak! This weekend seems cursed. There was a huge accident on the way here that prevented us from getting onto I-94 – cranes had to be used to move the semi trucks. But we are taking the curse in stride. This past year has dealt us both a shitty hand, but we are determined to make the best of it, despite the obstacles.

Just like this weekend.

10 pm: Heading to bed! Will be up at 3:30 am for the 4 am Matins service. Good day 🙂


Was up at 3:30 am for Matins (thanks to 3 cups of coffee the night before, I woke up all on my own. Slept from 10 pm to 12:30 am, and then every hour after that. Not too bad. Then went back to sleep after Matins, and woke up to the smell of bacon (for the quiche), just in time for 8:15 Mass. And yes, they do communion on Saturday.

I’m not sure what to do with myself at this point. I want to make the best of this time, but I want to get rest and relax too.

Next weekend we go camping with the church. I’ll definitely have to make grocery lists and catch up on laundry before then. I’ll wait to do that when I get back home. Because Mike likely would have bought some food. And what fun is coming to the Abbey to make grocery lists?

Now – coffee. Read.

It’s our last night, and after finally beating Kari (just barely) at Spite and Malice, we are heading to bed at 10:50 pm. Tomorrow is Sunday, so Matins isn’t until 5:30 am. Kind of like sleeping in.

Today was a humid day, and my hair shows it. Do you ever catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and gasp? That just happened here. Think Gene Wilder and that comes pretty close. Compounding the issue is all the short wispy hairs I have from the regrowth of the hair I lost when I was on steroids last year.

Ah, I forgot to mention we went to tea time to mingle with the monks. Prior Aelred greeted me first with a big hug and said “can you hear me now?” I love his sense of humor and compassion. He has been following my updates on Facebook and has given me lots of encouragement along the way. It’s always good to see him.

I miss Mike. It’s been a good trip, but I’ll be glad to be home. Of course, I miss the kids too. It will be so great to see them again too.

One thought on “Abbey Trip 2014”

  1. You have a seemingly endless well of grace and humor and hope – but if I were in your shoes I would have a mountain of fear inside, too. I am glad you were able to let it flow out at the Abbey and that you had peace and prayer and your sister for a much-needed weekend interlude. Lots of love to you!

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