Last night, I was sifting through the city’s calendar of events to see if there were anything notable happening for Leap Day. I mean, we get one extra full day only every four years. As a special event like the olympics, I thought it would be a bigger deal. Apparently not necessarily a universal take. Why was that so shocking to me?
I’m a sap, that’s true, or just a sucker for digging into the meaning of certain events in (my) life. Coincidentally, my Leap Day was made remarkable by the events of the weekend it followed. Alex and I attended Sunday mass in the morning for our regular dose of soul food from Fr. John at Saint Cecilia and satisfied our Mike and Patty’s brunch cravings before heading over to Our Lady of Victories for the church’s last hurrah before closing its doors to parishioners indefinitely. We found the announcement on our parish bulletin last Sunday thinking it was a small casual”open house” type event. Boy, were we in for even better.
The Victorian Society in America New England Chapter hosted the event: An Afternoon Celebration of Our Lady of Victories Church (1891), the French Catholic Church of Boston to reveal the history of the church with respect to its time as colored by the Marist Fathers’ contributions, the architect’s work, the meticulous stained glass windows, and the magnificent organ.
It started off with open organ music before expert speakers came up to the podium to highlight the stories contained within the beautiful walls of the sacred ground. In the end we are able to go up to the organ loft and truly immerse in the whole church experience! I was in complete awe throughout the whole commentary that, first of all, such a hands-on educational experience was available to the public and, second, there is Victorian Society with an office in Boston and it took me this long to learn about it. I left there partly daydreaming about what it would have been like back in the 1890s to be surrounded by such elaborate, artful structures, and partly mourning our first regular church’s (of 5 short but sweet months) end of days.
It would seem that this Leap Day meant that I had one extra day to reflect on the meaning of goodbyes and some losses I have had this month and over the past year. Times I’ve had to take some monumental leaps – some for softer landing, and some for higher ground, whether I realized it at the time or not.
For instance, had it not been for the heartbreaking news of Our Lady of Victories closing, Alex and I would not have attended a mass by Fr. John at the church to introduce himself and his parish that would lead us into an even more invigorated faith journey through our new church at Saint Cecilia. We attended mass there the following Sunday (3 weeks ago?) and haven’t looked back since.
In my 7-month stay at my job alone, I’ve had a client request a change in service providers because they suspected their child was prejudiced to certain people of color. I had a few clients turn 3 years of age and/or transition from Early Intervention, to include a mother-son-sister combo who included me on their journey as an extension of their family with open arms, but are also hoping to rule out autism from their realm of possibilities. I had another client move to another state whose brief time with me and our program had been, from what I could tell from the mother’s accounts, a life-changing one. I have a little friend at my playgroup currently who, after 2 months of attendance, is still learning to say goodbye to mommy and daddy for longer periods of time. Every working day has challenged me as a professional and as an individual in ways I never would have experienced any other way.
On the flip side, looking back to February 2015 triggers a flash flood of emotions to the days I had to close my classroom to start a brand new pre-k classroom in a whole new school in the middle of the school year. Given that I barely had any time to even process the transition before jumping in, I’m proud to say now that I finished that school year strong and more confident in myself.
Between that time and today, I’ve changed zip codes, phone numbers, and cars among other things. While the apprehension over changes don’t quite disappear completely, they do eventually get replaced by feelings of excitement over what’s to come. Change is good, after all. And even though I woke up this morning with a serious case of the Mondays and almost succumbing to the classic countdown to the weekend, I continue to make an effort to not “wish the days away,” refusing to take an excuse to take the easy way out rather than being proactive. Every moment has a purpose; everything has a place. Our days our finite, but we can learn from, cherish, make the memories we choose last forever.