28 October 2008


Dwell in possibilities.”  – Emily Dickinson

Today (28 October) is the Feast of St. Jude. Known as the “Saint of Last Resort,” St. Jude is the patron saint of the impossible and/or hopeless causes. I could not let this day go by without a public acknowledgement of thanks to Blessed Jude for his gracious intercession. 

It was a very dark time during which I reached out to the saint. A little over two years ago, I sat alone in tears, in my tiny New York apartment, facing the future with what I thought was my sole prospect of becoming yet another “eccentric old woman with a tribe of cats.” As I sat crying into my wine glass, I did what any reasonable, quasi-Catholic girl would do, I prayed to St. Jude.

For at that time, it felt to me that my life could not get more “impossible,” or more in need of a miracle. I prayed for hope, I prayed for love, I prayed for the man that is now by side each and every day. I did not pray from him by name, because back then he was only an idea, a dream, a fantasy. But I knew that he was and could be real, and that I could/would one day find him. There were many mountains to climb, and obstacles to be overcome, but still I believed. It took time and tempests before the D.E.B. arrived into my life, but I always knew he was on his way.

Yesterday, I quoted from Hamlet: “the readiness is all.” Today, I think it would be better to surmise: “the faithfulness is all.” Digging deep and finding the courage to believe in things that are only, and at best, hoped for and not yet—if ever—seen. I have learned the value of holding on to your dreams, even in the face of impossibility (ridicule, disdain, &etc.). And holding on to whatever helps you to hold on. 

Liz Trotta has written as an extraordinary book on St. Jude and those who have received miracles through his aid. Like many of them, I too made a vow to the saint that I intend to keep. As I tearfully whispered the words of the Jude novena, on that lonely night in New York City, so many weary, sleepless months ago, I promised then, that if this “dream man” arrived, and if we were so blessed to one day have a son, I would name him Jude. It is a lovely name after all, and, thankfully, a name that the D.E.B likes as well.

More than just a “thank offering,” I think that naming our future child after St. Jude would be a tangible reminder to me of where I’ve been, and how far I have come, as if I could ever forget.

p.s. I may not have dodged the eccentricity bullet, but I still only have one cat. 

1 comment:

Elizabeth Harper said...

That is a lovely story...very tender.