December 2, 1995: TRY NOT TO LOSE THESE GLOVES

Dear Dominic,

Happy 23rd Birthday!

You are now enrolled perpetually in Masses offered by the Redemptorists. So many graces are available to you—use them. Pray to the Holy Spirit for the gift of Fortitude to help you carry your cross without ever dropping it. We all have crosses that can be used to our benefit if we obey God’s Laws and not our own fallen natures. Please use the graces . . . fight the good fight . . . don’t let Our Lord’s sacrifice for you be in vain!

We love you. We love you. We love you.

Mom

p.s. Try not to lose these gloves!

August 28, 1995: LOVE HAS TO BE TOUGH

Dear Dominic,

Dr. Laura Schlesinger (MD, PhD, clinical psychologist) occasionally plays a neat song on her radio show. I can’t remember the words, but it’s about a parent first seeing her/his newborn child and realizing how much they will always love this person (little or big!).

Sometimes, though, love has to be tough. It has to say to the beloved, “I love you, but not what you do!” I love you immensely, but I can never be like Cory Anderson’s mother who openly supported her son’s lifestyle. I never can, because it is wrong.

Please don’t ever make me have to mourn like Cory‘s mother! Please don’t let the incredible sacrifice of Our Blessed Lord for you be in vain! I pray for you always.

Love,

Mom

August 3, 1995: I NEVER CARRIED AN UMBRELLA

Dear Dominic,

It rained today. I clearly recollect that on some of the worst days of my life, Nature has wept with me. I walked around Green Lake today; in the rain; alone. I walked slowly, having pulled my hip out again yesterday (how, I’ll never know!). It was a “three Rosary walk”! I paused on the south side of the lake to watch ducks and stared at the millions of raindrops becoming part of the lake. When I was little, I often walked alone for long distances, sometimes playing and always crying. I never carried an umbrella then; no one could ever tell if the water on my face was rain or tears. I was always sad.

Sadness melted into the background and was replaced with “mad.” Then marriage and kids and for a wonderful and brief period of time all was glad. I had it all for awhile. Then, like Job, my soul brother, the Father slowly stripped me of joy and brought me to the present.

You well know the events of the past two years; no need to go into too much detail. Daughter turns eighteen; daughter goes nuts; daughter sins mightily; daughter blames everything on Mom. Son leaves home. Husband betrays wife. Little left by rainy days.

So now an update. “S”‘s “boyfriend” is gone; she is still on the Pill. She is probably in a deeper financial hole because she charges and charges and buys trash from some company called Victoria’s Secret: lingerie only a whore would wear. She even got herself a job with a modeling agency. Notice how she always does everything I warn her against? Well, I had a long talk with Fr. “Z” in the confessional Saturday. I can’t say much, but he did say she’s in deep psychological and spiritual trouble and has claimed emotional abuse as a child. He didn’t believe her and told me my reputation is clear and untarnished in his eyes. He knows she has targeted me as her whipping post and he recommended I allow it for awhile. She may get over this someday and I will continue to pray for her.

There is a passage in the Book of Revelation about how in the “last days” all that was hidden will become known. These have to be my last days, because I am finding out so many things.

Halleluia! What did I do??????? As I said on the phone . . . it sucks to be me! Yes, it has been a wild two years! But as the brilliant Fr. “Z” taught so well in his homily yesterday, once you’ve reached bottom, the only way is up!

I hope you can understand why I feel so uneasy about trusting anyone. But, call me gullible, I am still going to trust you. For the same reason I am still willing to give your father and sister one last chance. I love you all so much. But I’m only human and the Good Lord is testing me to the limits of my endurance; not much more left. Do you think the Carmelite sisters would take in a middle-aged sinner? Oh, well. Someday . . . can’t wait . . . I remain restless until I rest in Him. Praise the Lord, anyway!

I love you,

Mama Bear

July 16, 1995: WE ARE TRUSTING YOU

Dear Dominic,

I’m not going to write you a long letter. There is no real need. You are our son . . .

We love you totally, unconditionally, always . . . and nothing will ever change that. We are trusting you to keep your word and resist all temptation to sin and lead a life separated from God. We know you have the grace and strength to succeed, to run the race and persevere to the end. We will always be here for you to help you fight the good fight with our love and prayers and whatever assistance you need along the way for as long as we are here.

(We will not, however, support an errant life style, just as we will not support “S” until she comes to her senses and returns to God and us. Since this unlikely to happen for awhile, we need you to keep in touch with her. We love and forgive her, but she hates us and remains unrepentant. She is in big trouble. We can’t help her as long as she hates so much. Our conscience is clear; we did our best and she slanders us if she claims otherwise. We all have to pray for her.

We didn’t take any pictures of the ocean, so here is one to remind you of home.

Love you,

Mom (and Dad)

Parents enjoying some well-deserved time alone in Hawaii.

Parents enjoying some well-deserved time alone in Hawaii.

I don't remember ever seeing them look so happy together.  And I never would after this...

I don’t remember ever seeing them look so happy together. And I never would after this…

 

July 11, 1995: SHE CAN COUNT ON YOU

Dear Dominic,

I hope you’re well.  I pray every day, for you (and your sister) as well as for Dad and myself.  I beg the Holy Spirit to help you never to fall but to have the fortitude and courage to conquer any evil inclinations you may have.  You have too much good in you and a great future: Don’t throw it away!  And please don’t make the mistake of sharing your problem even in confidence (remember “M”!).  You could end a teaching career before it starts!

And please pray for your sister! We still can’t believe this has all happened and how she’s going away! I don’t think this kid Jeff is as good as she thinks he is; odds are he’ll dump her and then what will she do?!

How could this have happened? Answer: disobedience to God’s Laws and an overabundance of pride and self-esteem!

My beautiful sister Stephanie, from 9 years old on up.

My beautiful sister “S”, from 9 years old on up.

Please try to talk to her. Stay in touch and make sure you tell her if she needs help, she can count on you.

I love you,

Mom

February 26, 1995: THAT BEAUTIFUL THING

Dear Dominic,

Whenever I hear or see something beautiful, I find myself thinking of my mom and how much I wish I could share that beautiful thing with her. That’s how I felt this afternoon. It wasn’t just the beautiful music, but also your inner beauty which it revealed, that I wish I could share with my mom.

Don’t ever worry that you have failed to fulfill your parents’ dreams. Deep down, I’m sure they know they could not hope for a more special son than you.

Love,

Scott

January 30, 1995: A LITTLE BIT OF YOU

Dominic,

I talked to “B” tonight. It sounds like he and his boyfriend had a wonderful weekend, too. I read him the letter that you wrote me. I hope you don’t mind, for it seemed appropriate, considering the number of times “B” has read his boyfriend’s letters to me and played the messages from his answering machine. Besides, I want everyone to know how happy I am. I won’t share your letter with anyone else, though—I want to keep a little bit of you all to myself.

Scott

January 23, 1995: SCOTT, or A SMILE ON MY FACE

Dominic,

I’ve had a smile on my face and in my heart all day just thinking about the overwhelming sense of peace I felt as you held me in your arms and we listened to that beautiful song on the radio. I hope I haven’t said too much, or perhaps I’ve not yet said enough. Suffice it to say that I have not felt this way about another person in a long time.

Scott