It seems that Hurricane Ike has not been as bad as expected.  Despite a direct hit, Galveston Island was spared the kind of damage that had been feared.  Other parts of the Galveston Bay area, however, have suffered quite a bit, due to a large storm surge.  Places like Clear Lake and Kemah.  I used to work in Clear Lake, not far from Johnson Space Center.  And Kemah…

The Kemah Boardwalk was where Patrick and I went on one of our very first dates.  Our third, if memory serves me right.  We had supper at a little Italian restaurant, then went walking arm in arm around the Boardwalk.  The sky was very threatening, and when we first got there, we threw some pennies in the fountain and wished it wouldn’t rain–and it didn’t!  Such a fun, pretty, happy evening!

I heard a reporter say that the Boardwalk was under water this morning.

I was watching some video from the Galveston Seawall.  I saw some of the stone jetties that go out into the water.  I wondered if one of them was the one where Patrick and I had sat on the night of our first date… under the stars, surrounded by breaking waves and fishermen.  Today it was so desolate, whipped furiously by the wind and sea.

It really hurt me to see those reports (that’s what I get for turning on the TV, I guess).

I didn’t expect this.  It’s crazy how grief just hits so unexpectedly sometimes and in the strangest ways.  All you can do is just endure it.

It’s times like that when I feel most close to Our Lady.  I can’t think of anybody who has experienced grief quite like she has.  She understands.  She wraps me in her mantle and directs me into the loving arms of her Son.

Thankfully, the weather in Dallas wasn’t as bad as expected either, so I headed to church.  I needed so badly to be there.  After I said my before-Mass prayers, I opened up the missalette to go over the readings.  I realized that this Sunday is the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, and Monday is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.  It was just so appropriate.  It made me feel that Our Lord and Our Lady are especially close to me, saying, “You are not alone.  We are with you.  We overcame pain and grief and death itself.  Don’t give up–there is always hope!  We love you!”

Sometimes consolation can be just as unexpected as grief.