Thursday, March 14, 2013


Or, First Things First

I'm nearing fifty. Ok, so I'm 48 and one half, but very close to fifty. I've always been that way, marking time before I get there. My Mom used to say, "Enjoy now. Stop being in such a hurry."

Hard habits are hard to break. I don't feel so bad though. There are some things that just are. No right or wrong. I just am.

I was talking to my husband this morning, telling him that one of my son's professors has an autistic grandson. Rob said, "How did that come up?" I said, "I don't know. You know how I am. I just talk about anything and everything, and it came up." Rob says, "Come here and hug me."

So it is with my personality. I talk in circles and I look ahead.

When the kids approached kindergarten at four years old, I prepared for the next year. I would stare at

their cherubic cheeks and memorize every gorgeous indelible feature. Child eyes, so round and

 global that they would sadly and joyfully eventually grow into them. These moments were fleeting.

I won't get them back, except for what I imprinted on my heart as memories. In that way, they

are eternal. Some are captured and framed on my living room wall as Kodak moments.

Nearing fifty, lately I'm impressed at how fresh life still is.

I used to think that as I got older, there would be nothing left to experience for the first time.

I used to think that as the years drug on, there would be more "lasts" than "firsts."

Now I think, some things are best left at "This will be the first and last time I do that."

For Instance: A speeding ticket

                      A marriage (my one and only)

                      A scary movie (The Titanic): Once was enough to watch drowning ship
                      & people

                      Chicken Pox

                      Lost Keys (on vacation)

                      Joining the Catholic Church (I'm home)

These are just a few that I can think of off the top of my head.

Then there are the firsts that are exciting, comforting, and joyous.

They Are:

                       My first conversion as a Christian (many follow.)

                       My first son                



                       My first second son

                       My first third son

                       My first daughter

                       My only daughter named Katie

                       My third and only daughter who I call Beth

                       My firsts with the kids, : Nursing, potty training, story reading, driver's ed...


                       My first trip on the NYC subway (alone)

                       My first garden

                       My first time being Aunt Susan

                       My first mortgage
                       My first published article

                       My first time at Confession


                       My first smartphone

                       My first swim meet ( I remember)

                       My daughter's first swim meet (I remember)

                       My first time ice skating

It is scary to face an empty nest. I fear that I will quickly grow gray hair and a dim outlook.

But then I think about the kids getting married and having children of their own.


I think how nice it is to not care (as much) what people think. (That I also consider a first.)

I think how I might visit a foreign country for the first time in my life, soon.

I'm grateful that I have that to look forward.

Now we have a pope who is the first to be from the Americas. He is the first to be called Francis. He is from the New World. A reformer, like St. Francis of Assisi was for his time. We'll see. I believe that the Holy Spirit guided us to this, another first.

Today is a first of sorts. It is the only day we can call today, 3/14/2013.

Everyday is a first.

A beginning.

A first chance to get a second chance right.

God's mercies are new and fresh every morning...

For this I am grateful. I will begin the 7th day of a Novena.

It is the first time I haven't skipped a day for a nine day prayer.

There is a first time for everything.

With every passing day, the firsts become more precious.

They are fewer and far between but notable.

What is a first and a foremost in your life?






  1. Birth of my Children,lasting happy Marriage, wonderful family, wonderful Grandchildren, blended family,actively practicing my faith, achieving my dream job - Seeing my children become adults, marry, give us precious grandchildren, faithfully follow the Lord and share it with their children, my loving husband, enjoying each day,

  2. These are the things we don't create but as we work with them, they make us. I love this comment, Mom. Thanks for reading.

  3. Susan, I relate so well to your thinking about firsts and lasts. I can assure you, getting older doesn't mean the end of firsts. Some of the first times are wonderful like my first trip to Hawaii last year, and some of the firsts are very hard like the first Christmas without my husband. And all the first anniversaries after his death, but my first time to travel to a new place completely alone was uplifting and special. My first "road trip" alone made me feel brave and on this trip I lost most all of my fears I had clung to most of my life. Yes, you will have many more firsts in your life as you grow older and I hope that most of them are good. We should not fight the transitions of life, but embrace them because they are coming whether we do or not. You have a lovely blog.