But right there, front and center, was Mary. The same Mary whose faith and trust I so admired and sought to catch hold of. OK, Mary. I’ll put this on, but only because I want to remind myself to stay as close to Jesus as you did. I’ll put this on as a sign of my trust that you’ll lead me to the place where I’m going to be closest to Him, ok?
And I put the thing on.
May 31st was the date of my C-section. My mom flew in. I was admitted to the hospital, and sat there miserably, surrounded by Ken, Lotus, my mom, and my mother and father-in-law while I was prepped for surgery. The doctor came in one last time to feel where the baby was, so he could judge where to make the incision. As his hands were on my belly, he shot me an odd look. He left. He came back, wheeling in a machine.
He quickly scanned my abdomen, flipped the machine off, and looked at me again.
“Why didn’t you tell me that the baby had turned?” he said.
I stared at him, uncomprehending.
“What?” the best I could manage.
“The baby. It’s turned. When did it happen?”
I kept staring at him. He grew the tiniest bit exasperated.
“You would have felt it. The baby’s large. It would have been very painful. Painful enough for you to remember it.”
I shook my head.
“The baby’s…turned?” He nodded. “So I don’t have to have a C-section?” He nodded again. “I can go home?!?!”
“You don’t want to have the baby today?” He said, clearly confused by my reaction.
“Hell no! I want to go home!” I shouted, halfway into my clothes already.
And so we all went to Bob Evans and had breakfast instead of having a C-section.
I didn’t immediately connect the incident with the promises of the Miraculous Medal, although I certainly considered it miraculous. I didn’t connect my increasing admiration of Catholic theology or my growing attraction for the Eucharist with the promises of the Miraculous Medal, although they certainly were miraculous. It was as if Mary and Pope John-Paul II were some sort of background radiation, praying for me constantly, constantly.
My second child, Joaquin, was born 17 days after the C-section that wasn’t.
One day, driving home from somewhere, the baby started fussing. I got into the backseat to soothe him as we pulled into the neighborhood, passing the turquoise roofed Queen of Peace Catholic Church.
Time slowed. I know this sounds ridiculous. But it did. It slowed, and everything around me felt different. The air felt different.
I looked at Ken’s eyes, reflected in the rear view mirror.
I opened my mouth to speak.
“So. I think I want to become Catholic.” I said. Out of no where. Apropos of absolutely freaking nothing.
Ken glanced at me in the mirror.
“Yeah. OK.” He said.
And we went home.
And eight months later both he and I stood in that turquoise roofed Catholic Church, and after receiving Holy Eucharist for the first time, came home.
And there are great patches of missing story here, which I apologize for, because I probably won’t come back to fill them in for the time being.
But I want to end here, at this particular moment in time—2,444 days after I said “I do” to the human love of my life, with me saying “I do” to the Divine love of my life.