52 Weeks: The Crossing


Where were you in ’62? I was a still shiny and new one year old baby. Dad had finished his European tour of duty for the Army and had been shipped stateside. This left Mom with seven kids to manage and to wrangle home when the time came.

Being military, a trans-Atlantic flight was always available. But Mom had a terrible fear of flying…

“The Crossing

I’ve never been on a cruise. Well…technically that’s not true. Sometime during my first year or so of life, Mom and my aforementioned brood of siblings carted me and all our belongings onto a cruise liner to get back to the States from then West Germany.

Mom’s fear of flying left this voyage as the only option. I guess we could’ve stayed in Europe…Guten Tag!

The stories of this voyage have achieved legendary status. I’m told that I cried the entire time, not wanting to wear the obligatory life jacket. My sisters were fairly sedate in their roaming on deck, but my oldest brothers were teen terrorists. The captain actually threatened to lock them in the brig after dangling my brother Melvin upside down over the rail. Did I fail to mention that at some point it was announced that they were passing over the exact spot the Titanic went down? As if my mother wasn’t already terrified enough…

Fear. It was a constant theme.

Besides the usual fears of the usual stuff that goes with life with seven kids (!), add the fear of the fate of their new baby and the physical challenges ahead. What was in store for this dysfunctional proto-Brady Brunch?

The ship finally docked in New York City (another story for another time) and the weeks ahead will tell of other homes and other adventures.

But fear…

Fear has remained a constant in my life. The Week Two fears in this year long posting were unknown to me. Eat, sleep, and cry were my only tasks.

Today’s fears have a blend of rage and remorse. Christ is there to remove the guilt and pain through Grace and Love. But telling someone to trust in these divine gifts is one thing. Accepting them for yourself is quite another.

Today’s journey continues, one step after another. It’s no cruise, but there is a destination. The waters have been rough of late, but the beautiful skies above are constantly changing reminders of God’s presence in the world and His never-ending Love and Mercy.

Today I listen intently for the sound of His melody of Hope.