Back from the Dead

Back from the dead

A little over a month ago, I fell into sudden silence in the blogosphere. Sorry about that.

It’s because Lent started joyfully, and determined. And then…oh, then. Then our collective Orthodox hearts broke. And again. And again.

First, we lost Father Matthew Baker, a beloved and well-known young priest and father of six, in a horrible car accident.

A little while later, we lost Father Thomas Hopko to congestive heart failure. Father Hopko was an establishment for anyone Orthodox living in this century.

And then my husband and I found out last week that the wee little Oprisko I was carrying in utero and planning to announce in a few days, had departed this life three weeks earlier. I don’t even know what I was doing on March 5. I can guess…I probably drove William to school and picked him up. Nora and I probably went over x3 math facts. It’s strange to say that I can’t even pick out one thing notable about what we did the day that little one silently left us.

Those were the big things. We had all the regular things, too, like arguments, kids losing their minds, and getting lost because the map is wrong. We, of course, had autism-specific challenges tripping us up, too. You really don’t want to know.

This Lent has pretty much kicked me in the teeth, so let’s just be raw here: I had no cute stories. I had no hopeful tales about fasting. I had no beautiful insights into the way my child with special needs sees Christ. All I had was pain. Anger. Fear.

And so I return to you at last, with this quote. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. But it’s comfort and hope at a time when we all must gather up the shreds of what was once a shiny, hopeful Lent, and we drag it along the home stretch to Pascha. Here.

“Always remember that at the Last Judgement, we are judged for loving Him, or failing to love Him, in the least person.”–Archbishop Anastasios of Albania

Let’s finish this race, brothers and sisters. Let’s see each other, love each other, and throw the remaining pieces of our hope into the resurrection of our Lord.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jenny says:

    I am so sorry for your heavy losses. May their memories be eternal. Our priest was a very close friend of Fr. Matthew and went to seminary with him. What painful sorrow. May you find some comfort in knowing that your little one rests in the arms of the Theotokos and will rejoice with all of Heaven and earth this Pascha and all to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mauraoprisko says:

      Thanks so much. I didn’t personally know Fr. Matthew, but my priest did as well, and it really got me between the eyes even though I didn’t know the family. I was surprised by that. And thank you for the reminder, by the way, of the image of my lost baby rejoicing at Pascha, in the arms of the Mother of God. What comfort and joy. Thanks for your words. ❤

      Like

  2. I can only send you prayers and virtual hugs. Lent has indeed been brutal this year. My only thought, all that sustains me, is that we are crucified before we Rise again…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mauraoprisko says:

      Indeed! Thank you so much. ❤

      Like

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