Trust Mass after several call outs which were easily sorted.
We arrived at the mass and joined thousands of others in the Basilica. Prayfully done, I thought, with due regard to the several bishops and higher there. Pope Benedict sent a message, but the biggest cheer was for Michael Strode, as he was presnted with a gift by Patrick after Mass.
During Mass, Matt went on the floor on the blankets and pillows we'd taken from the hotel with the others and we took it in turns to be his back rest. ("When are you returning the bed?" asked the manager as he saw us sneaking out with them...)
Which led to an unfortunate incident when R, in an attempt to lift Matt, slipped his hand on what he thought was Matt's back but actually turned out to be up my skirt...
Revenge perhaps for all those times this week I'd caught them both unawares in various states of undress as I barged into their rooms.
After another inadequte veggie lunch, we held a healing service at the hotel in which all were anoited for healing of body, mind and spirit.
Including me. I couldn't make an issue of it, it would have confused the children and I just shut my eyes and let it happen. I didn't say "ger off" or anything...
I also suspect Martin of having prayed for me as he winked at me when he asked for prayers for those in need of healing who "we do not want to mention by name here." And Jade prayed for Matt her brother and he put his hand high when Fr Martin asked for any more prayers
He pointed firmly and vigourously at his sister, Jade...
Not a dry eye in the house
Next the prarie (meadow, whatever you call it- it's big, it's green and you can run and shout there...)
For the traditional water fight. This is a Group 73 tradition for several years and often the highlight of the week...
I put myself on refilling duty, which was a bad idea, as the rule was, no firing at someone without a weapon in their hand.
I ALWAYS had a weapon in my hand that I was refilling, therefore I was continually being soaked.
Martin had purchased two large cannon styles guns which covered everyone far more than the little pistols we gave the kids.
And at 4pm, the balloons went up. All 5000 of them. The children had earlier nearly caused a premature release as we stopped to take piccies of the inflation. Then it was back to the hotel for tea and to prepare for the boys and girls night out.
I went to the Carrefour, briefly surfed but got chucked off by a couple eager to check their emails. So I sat outside and watched the world go by. My role in this was to be medical backup should either party need it (especially the boys, who had not a medic amongst them.)
But all was well and I had the briefest of chats with Al, my mate, who knew all and belongs to the "Cath, you think too much" school. She's also aware that I can't not think, and let me ramble away until I spyed the men returning to base and followed, at a discrete distance...
And I stayed in that night and listened to Martin talk about his vocation. And about parishes and being the boss and other things and how he handles all those with egos in his parish.
What I remembered most after was the tone of his talk. It reminded me of other authoritarian set ups I have known. And when I went back to my room, I felt strangely at peace. I don't know if I can explain why...
Part of my problem is the church. What Fr M said showed me how he is part of that structure of authority that over the years has tended to allow this message of love that was being acted out around us, to get lost in the rubrics of liturgy and rules and canon law and catechism.
Why so complicated?
Why not just take the essence of that bit of the message that works and live it? Like we do in Lourdes?
With that I went to sleep, at 2.30am...
At 2.45am I was awoke by a boistrous R, who informed us the alarm on the pump was going off.
So after sorting it, I snoozed till 5am, then woke with the sunrise over the mountains through our window (we never shut the blinds at night.)
Time to get up once more to do the 6am meds and the nebs and the catheter and everything else...