Yesterday was definitely a traumatizing day for a whole lot of people. My Aunt Evelyn died and Coty and Trae's friend Stephen died. I felt like any other person would given the circumstances. Talking with Coty, Trae and Zack (Coty's friend) till the wee hours of the night one thing was clear. These kids needed some guidance, some peace, some sort of understanding of their situation. The solution? I have two for you but this blog is dedicated to one and I will dedicate another blog to the second. So who is the solution? Who are these men I trust to help my boys? Who you ask? The only name you get in this blog is...........Father Mark White.
The most wonderful man God has ever blessed me to know. I met Father White at my neighbors enthronement. I was immediately drawn to him, which was confusing to me. (I know shocker here I was confused again). It was like he was a magnet and I was being pulled to him. I found myself really curious about this man in black. He wasn't what I pictured as a Catholic Priest. For starters he was young and "normal". By normal what I mean is that I was not Catholic (Lord knows I have needed God in my life forever) I would have thought that if I was talking to a Priest I wouldn't feel comfortable maybe even like I had to pretend I was someone else, but it wasn't like that. It was, well it was shocking.
Lets go back for a minute. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness. It was the only religion I ever knew. The only Priests I had ever seen were on TV and well they were almost always older and when they talked they talked only of the bible. I guess maybe I thought (as stupid as it sounds) like Priests didn't really have a personal life outside of Church. I thought they preached, did confessions, helped people and that was it, almost like they would have no idea what day to day life was like for me, like they wouldn't be able to relate. I still find it fascinating to know personal things about them because it reminds me that although they are Priests, they are regular people just like me who do every day things too. I never really thought about it much but I guess I never considered that I might actually enjoying talking to a Priest. Boy was I in for a BIG surprise.
I thought when I first decided to talk with him that I would hold back, you know not tell him everything, I would pretend so to speak. No I wasn't planning on lying to a man of God, just not telling him everything, you know there are things you just can't say to a Priest right? Wrong! That may have been the plan but like any plans I've ever had, they change. When I pulled up to St. Mary's of the Assumption Church for the first time, I reminded myself of my plan of attack. Feel him out, read his body language, say a little and analyze his responses. Obviously I didn't understand the full role of a Priest so I believed that although he was was a man of God he was also only human and still judges, and remembers. I worried that I would confide in him and when he would see me his mind would immediately flash to this thing I had done.
Boy was I wrong. The more I met with him the more I couldn't get enough. He was like the first time you do something that you love and you can't wait till the next time. After the first couple of meetings where we just kind of talked about random subjects he handed me my first catechism book. I will never forget he handed it to me and said please don't be offended but it's written at a 7th grade level. It asks a question and then gives you the response. I wasn't offended and was happy to take the book. We set up our next meeting and I left.
I came home and I had this fire burning inside. I opened the book and began to read. As I had a question or didn't fully understand something I would place a colored flag on the page and continue on. Lets just say my book looked like a giant rainbow, and mind you I had only read about 5 chapters. When I showed up for my scheduled appointment Father White opened the door and I saw his eyes move down to the book. He looked back at me and smiled and said "Now I am a little concerned." and then he laughed.
I would ask a question he would answer, which in turn would eventually run into answering other of my questions. Little by little the flags began to disappear. When I started coming to Father White I was searching for help. I needed something, I wasn't sure what it was but I needed it. I felt dead inside, empty and soul less. I continued to meet with him and one day I realized that I was healthy again, probably healthier than I had ever been. My search was over and I honestly couldn't remember the last time that old pain had crossed my mind. It was a miracle.
Father White is the kindest, most understanding, approachable, man I truly have ever met. I could never write or say words that could fairly describe him. He has this amazing way of reaching people, saying the perfect thing at the perfect time. His voice is calming and well he talks to you like anyone else would. You know what I mean, it's almost like you're talking to your best friend. When I talk to him I feel like I can say anything I want, and he doesn't judge or think badly of me.
Anyone that knows me knows that I was always angry and loose lipped. I would say anything I felt regardless of how my words felt to others. I was a good person inside with a huge heart but it was a rare person who got to know me well enough to see it. My guard was always up and I rarely allowed anyone in.
He saved my soul, my marriage, my family, gave me hope, faith, peace and helped me find that person inside I always knew was there. I can never repay him for the priceless gifts he has brought into my life. Mr. Paul and I renewed our vows as a part of my baptismal process and I couldn't dream of anyone doing it but him.
Who is this man in black? This man who mysteriously entered into my life? The man who no amount of money could ever buy what he has given me? The man who doesn't ask for anything in return but loves unconditionally? He was/is the solution to speak to my cherished boys about their loss. No one else would do. He is my angel, the only human on earth that reminds me without saying a word that I matter, I count, and I can make a difference.
Do you have a man in black? Do you have a Father White? Do you have a Priest you can feel 100% comfortable with? If not you should search for him, because only then will your life make since. God has handed all of us these men who speak to us through God, you just have to want to find him. If you desire to have peace of mind, sound heart and be the best person you can be, you need God in your life so find your Father White. If you live near me you can share ours, he is truly a gift from God and we are all better off for knowing him.
In conclusion (I know finally right?) the day I met Father White my life began.