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My Catholic Marriage

Commas Are Important

September 24, 2009

It’s so true! An example that my friend Caroline likes to use is this one: “On June 6, 1944 soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy.” Without a comma after 1944, the sentence loses its correct meaning and can cause confusion. There are other examples, too. By the end of this entry, you will understand the perhaps corny-seeming connection that I made in my mind. But you know me well enough by now to know that I don’t mind being corny.

This has been a very long week, to say the least. Traffic has been a nightmare, for starters. Actually, it has been for the last few weeks, since the school year started. Worse traffic should be expected when school is in, but it definitely was not this bad this past spring or even last fall.

Allow me to explain, and please have patience with me while I rant just a little bit. At 11 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, or 8:30 at night, the drive from home to work or vice versa takes anywhere from 59 minutes (my record!) to one hour and 10 minutes. At rush hour on good days, it takes around an hour and 20 minutes, give or take a few. On bad days in the past it has taken an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. I’m pretty sure that at least 10 days out of the past 15, it has taken around 2 hours and 10 minutes to get to work in the morning. This Tuesday, I think we hit a record BAD for a “normal” drive (meaning that we weren’t really affected by any accidents, but it was all a result of my favorite word, “volume”): 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Sometimes I feel like all this traffic is making me a bitter person. I’m really trying not to let it, though. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest! But this blog is about “My Catholic Marriage,” so I’ll get right to that. Simple connection: Daniel has to battle the same traffic, going the same direction that I do, although he doesn’t have to go as far. He doesn’t have anyone to carpool with (I do), so he never gets to use the HOV lane, which is helpful for those mornings when it actually decides to work.

This is not exactly the way to start one’s day off “on the right foot.” And it can cause Daniel and me to get home to each other at the end of the day drained and grumpy. Seriously, it can color my whole day if I’m not careful.

So the traffic is one thing. Another is that, to make a long story short, I started a new position on Monday in a different department in my building, and I am now working 8 to 5 instead of 9 to 5. While this means I get less sleep and am thus more tired during my frustrating drive to work, it is actually a little easier for both Daniel and me to wake up because we now have to wake up at the same time.

The last thing I’ll mention is that Daniel has been having some problems with his internship recently, and they have really been weighing on him.

When kids are in elementary school, they learn that when reading aloud, a comma is where you pause and perhaps take a breath.

On Wednesday night, the middle of the week and the perfect time for a “comma,” Daniel and I were blessed to have the opportunity to attend Eucharistic Adoration. The praise and worship music was so calming, and Daniel and I both really needed to take our stresses to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. We really did need to “pause and take a breath” in the spiritual sense. It helped, just like it always does. Although it wasn’t one of the songs that was included in the program, the following song written by Dennis Jernigan came to mind. I first heard it sung by Martin Doman during Adoration at the 2003 Steubenville East Youth Conference in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Since I don’t have much else to say, I think I’ll end with the refrain of “If I Could Just Sit With You Awhile” as a prayer:

If I could just sit with You awhile
If You could just hold me
Nothing could touch me
Though I’m wounded, though I die
If I could just sit with You awhile
I need you to hold me
Moment by moment
Till forever passes by

Reader Comments (2)

  • I began a Theology of the Body reflection group this past Wednesday–my own comma,I suppose.

    Sometimes it is just like God wraps up a gift and hands it to you- we are so blessed to receive these in the form of the Eucharist, prayers, the Bible, and sometimes even a blog. Thanks for the encouragement and perspective.

    Anonymous
  • I'm so glad you were given the gift of a comma with our Lord last week. Thank you so much for blessing that time with your beautiful singing! By the way, I love you and Daniel.

    Anonymous
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