I’m leaving in a couple of days and I’m met with smiles from co-workers, the daily question from my husband “Are you excited?” Am I? Tiffany knows that I have been all clam-hands about it. So she’s helping me along. She knows. #introvertsunite We’re posting on saints – strong, protective, “I need a hero” saints today, so this is only half of what’s going down. Head over to read up on St. Michael the Archangel. This will be a monthly spotlight because, Tiffany and saints. These will have a mix of saint-lore and life-lore, doesn’t that sound like a delicious recipe?
I know this will sound bonkers. I don’t want to seem ungrateful. Anxiety. Fear. Disruption. Break of routine. That’s what comes up when I’m asked about my trip. Here’s why:
My comfort zone is a raisin: I haven’t traveled out of the country since college. Like muscles that aren’t exercised, your comfort zone shrinks if not expanded.
I am a slave to my routine: I think of my life as a trivial pursuit game piece, and for me, I need to get a taste of each piece of that pie for my day to be complete. I won’t have the boys to hug or my husband to watch Mad Men with, my all day chat window open to gab with Tiffany about work and rosaries (that really happens), sit in my chapel or walk in my neighborhood or take my prayer-mobile drives to the office. I can just hear you “but The Vatican, Cristina!” I know. I know. I’m a slave to the routine.
The good and the bad: For all the people that have nothing but wonderful positive things to say, I’ve also heard the bad. Aren’t you afraid to fly after [insert horrible accident here]? Or. “You should get one of those under-your-clothes fanny packs because that cross body bag you wear? Let me tell you, so-and-so went on a trip and a band of teens <– who says that?! ran up and sliced it with a knife and took their bag with them. It had their passport, money, everything in there!” To which I responded “even their water bottle and chapstick?” *my priorities*
Which brings me to my next point…
I am not as organized as you would think: I rely on my husband. A lot. I think he knows that I am happier filling my head with creative things and when I have to pay attention to details, I have mini-meltdowns. For example, for the 12 days of the trip, we are staying in 4 different hotels. This means, I have to make sure I have my toothbrush, slathery hair products (how am I going to live on just 3oz of anything for 12 days?), razor, passport, phone, laptop, money, wallet, purse (that will hopefully not be cut off of my body) four times. Four times? See all that room for error? I need a checklist. My little Gabriel said he wasn’t excited for my trip, he was nervous. When I asked why, he responded (with a lisp, remember) “I’m afraid you’ll get lost and you won’t find your way back to our house.” He knows his Mama, people. A mess on the personal front – in fact when Mike runs down the list of all I need to remember, I get a glazed look on my face because I’m thinking about my budding cilantro plant!
When Tiffany suggested we do a cross post I jumped at it. and knew I’d write about St. Christopher. Why? Because St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers that’s why and I need him. Clearly.
Legend has it that St. Christopher was a big, brawny guy. He was so massive, he was tasked to carry a young child, let’s call this child Cristina 😉 across a particular river, let’s say the Atlantic Ocean. With every step, the child became heavier and heavier. Ok, let’s not call this child Cristina. St. Christopher, after pushing through to get the child to the other side of the river, realized he was carrying Christ. His name means Christ-carrier.
Did you also know that St. Christopher is the patron saint of epilepsy? Why is this important, Cristina? Alex, my oldest had epilepsy. It was a very scary time. He was 4 when he was diagnosed. We spent week after week at the doctor drawing blood. He had an adverse reaction to the medicine prescribed to minimize the 30 petit mal seizures he was having a day. Alex had to be quarantined in the hospital for a month until his white blood cells came back. There was even a leukemia scare in the middle of all of that. Alex did a report on St. Christopher last year and he prays to him. Alex has been seizure free for two years. Alex’s middle name is also Christopher. So take that seizures!
Tiffany chose St. Michael the Archangel and I thought, perfect! It’s the saint I chose for my husband, Mike, a long time ago. I won’t be next to him praying with my hand across his chest every night. And, I worry. He promised he would take the boys to Saturday vigil mass and sit with them, make sure they say grace and pray before bed. He said he’d even take Gabriel to Mary’s grotto if he wanted to go. But, I worry. All my boys. So I know she will have a great post up about St. Michael to ease me into being away from them. Please head over, read and say some prayers for all of my boys over the next 12 days.
And don’t forget to say a prayer for me too? This one, because I’m saying it the whole way over! I know once I’m there, I will be so distracted by, everything, that I’ll be fine. I’m just a worry wart. Italy here I come!
Grant me O Lord a steady hand and watchful eye.
That no one shall be hurt as I pass by.
Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away
or mar that gift of Thine.
Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear me company,
From the evils of fire and all calamity.
Teach me to use my car for others’ need;
Nor miss through love of undue speed
the beauty of the world; that thus I may
with joy and courtesy go on my way.
St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers
protect me and lead me safely to my destiny.