Today, I got a wonderful surprise in my mail at work. Actually, it wasn’t a real surprise because I had ordered it, but the timing of its arrival was wonderful. You see, I had my new business cards delivered to my office just as my boss was spending his last few days of work forever. It says: Anne Marie Gazsi, Information Resources Coordinator. I was hired on to take over one day from him and that day was upon me. I remembered how things were quite different about three years ago.
My journey started one hot July Saturday afternoon about three years ago while I was house cleaning; I decided to sit down and watch some television. While I was watching a program, something hit deep inside my core and I realized that a childhood trauma wasn’t dealt with properly and I needed to do everything I could to heal the wound that it had created. It had stopped me from loving and trusting people.
I tried to talk about it with my family, but found no comfort or sympathy. I felt abandoned, frightened, and at the lowest point, I almost took my life.
Thankfully, I had my faith in God. I knew that He would never abandon me even in the dark night of the soul when I felt less lovable in my anger at the world and at God. My Dad, who is now in God’s Heavenly Apple Orchard probably out pruning the trees, always taught me that when you have a problem there is always another way around it. And that all I needed was love, faith and hope to get through anything. Dad was right, so I pulled up my socks and started working through the trauma with lots of therapy and reporting what happened to me those many years ago to the proper authority. All I needed was closure and since it was so many years ago, that person has gotten away with it. I forgive him; it isn’t easy but, “forgive us our debts as we forgive others” are words that have helped a great deal. I leave the person up to God to redeem in His own time and way.
I remember one day on the bus praying to God: I believe in you and you helped me survive this difficult time in my life. Reveal thy face to me oh Lord, for I am your Child and need so much to be comforted by you. In a quiet moment, a small voice came to me and said, look around you, I am in all people. And indeed God was around me, giving me hugs when I needed them most.
I sit here writing this not with tears of sadness, but joy and thanksgiving for those who were the face of God to me.
I cherish the woman who saw me cry in church and responded by calling the priest to talk to me.
I cherish the woman who called me every Saturday not to heal my wounds, but to walk with me as a big sister would. I am not alone.
I cherish the husband of the woman who is working through his life’s trauma; he inspires me to keep on fighting the good fight.
I cherish the woman who as God’s official representative stopped what she was doing to listen to my heartache and help me dry my eyes.
I cherish the women who made soup and left it in the church freezer, so that it could nurse me back to health from pneumonia after Christmas this year.
I cherish my brothers and sisters at St. Laurence, as I partake in eating of the bread and wine at mass, I do so with my family and I love you all. I am home when I enter our church. I spent a quiet Christmas by myself, but I was with my family as I sat in the pew in the church on Christmas Eve to rejoice in birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I cherish my boss, who is now retiring; besides teaching me how to be a good librarian, he taught me about seeing the good in people. I hope that I can be as good a boss as he was to me.
I cherish my dearest and oldest friend who I can be myself with and know that I can shed a tear and know that I am safe. Thanks for standing by me all these years.
I cherish my friends who have supported and loved me even when it was hard to do so. I cherish the love and laughter that you give me.
I cherish my friends at work who have shown me how to be a better person at work, to strive to be committed to my co-workers’ success at their jobs. Thanks for all the warm love and laughter when things are turned upside down.
I cherish my awesome favorite actor and his lovely wife, who for the past few years have sent me Christmas cards. How I got onto your Christmas card list, I will never know. Thanks for your awesome support and I promise to take one day at a time; especially when I have one of those days when I am walking behind a parade of elephants and having only a child’s toy shovel to clean up the mess.
I cherish my cat for teaching me about unconditional love and trust. God knew I needed a four-legged friend to welcome me home at the end of the day. Her hugs and kisses are wonderful. I rescued her from the animal shelter, but I think she rescued me instead.
I know that life has its “up and down and side to side” kind of moments, but if we hang onto each other and be the face of God to each other we will all hang on to see another beautiful new day. Thank you for being the face of God in my life.