Hold tight and love with abandon - Catholic Courier

Hold tight and love with abandon

I eavesdropped on a marriage-preparation volunteer training meeting Sunday during a post-Mass coffee hour.

It was a widow moment: Do I stay or do I go?

My message to soon-to-be married couples is a hard one, which doesn’t really jive with pre-wedding excitement. My message is that separation is inevitable, so hold tight while you can. Acknowledging the reality of death — and the hope of heaven — can help you love with abandon.

I learned this lesson on the first day that my husband, son and I were truly a family.

In the deceptive peacefulness of the intensive care unit, my husband and I held hands. I was on the hospital bed hooked up to many monitors; he was in the chair next to it.

Our little boy was in my arms. My blood pressure had spiked dangerously in the night, and I had been moved to the ICU. But I had missed my newborn son terribly. My husband said later that my blood pressure sank like a stone as I smelled the sweetness of my son’s scalp. He was an impossibly small bundle who was impossibly ours.

"You almost died," my husband said, breaking the silence.

"But I didn’t die," I said.

My husband held my hand tightly as if he would never let go.

We were a family. In the eyes of the church, we were a domestic church.

We had five months together before our church of three became a church of two. Still, in the middle of the night, I sometimes reach out my hand, waiting for a squeeze back.

So that is my message to engaged couples: Stretch out your hands and wait for the squeeze. Then, don’t ever let go.

Love with abandon, and acknowledge the reality of what’s to come.


Copyright © 2023 Rochester Catholic Press Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!

No, Thanks

Catholic Courier Newsletters