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Come, Rejoice With Me!

January 8, 2015

A very personal post today, but something I want to share.

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ (Luke 15:8-9)

Today is one of great happiness for me:  it is the anniversary of finding what I had lost.  I started dating my wife, Gabrielle, in college, back in the early 80’s.  It was a tempestuous relationship:  we both came into it with baggage and unrealistic expectations.  We broke up, got back together, and broke up again, with many recriminations and hard feelings.

I left the country, studying abroad in France and then just traveling alone through the south of France.  I did a lot of thinking, a lot of discerning, and thought I had a vocation to the priesthood.  I also realized that I said and done things towards Gabrielle that I regretted.  In order to move on, I needed to make things right and apologize.  So on the night of January 8, 1984, I looked her up as she got off of work.   Over a drink (Chartreuse) I apologized, she apologized, I cried, she cried, and somehow, by 4 am that morning, we were going out again.

Our friends had very different responses:  mine all said, “Are you out of your mind!  Don’t you remember what happened the last time?”  Her friends said, “Don’t you dare screw it up this time:  he is too good to let go!”  (Gabrielle is quick to point out that her friends were right and mine were not.)  My perceived vocation was a complicating factor that took some months to resolve, made more complicated by the fact that, while we were apart, she had converted to Catholicism.  (She claims, and I believe her, that she did this despite me, and not because of me.)  In the end, she seemed to be the only person who believed I did have a vocation to the priesthood.  Instead, I found my vocation in her, and I proposed exactly one year later.

Thirty years and three kids later,  it has been a long and wonderful relationship.  We are not the paragon of a Catholic family, but hope that, at least from time to time, we have been a mirror of the love that Christ has for his Church.   And, perhaps, there is something that younger couples can learn from our travails:  it may not be easy, but it is worth the pain and sacrifice.

So today, please rejoice with me, for what was lost was found again!

Gabrielle and I have never had “our song” but we agreed that we can tell our story in music.  So, after a bit of time on Youtube, here is the history of our relationship in music:

Act 1:  Flirtin’ with Disaster

Intermezzo (mine): Don’t Know What You Got (’til its Gone)

Intermezzo (hers):  Second Chance

Act 2: Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now

Act 3:  What a Long Strange Trip its Been

Coda (mine): Take’s the Wheel when I’m Seeing Double

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15 Comments
  1. Alexandra permalink
    January 8, 2015 9:53 pm

    Congratulations, David, to you and to your wife. May you have many more years of happiness together!
    And may your children give you as much joy as my (now adult) children give me.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink
      January 9, 2015 1:10 am

      My kids are a joy! Thanks you. They have given me my share of gray hairs, but my wife and I have been very lucky with them.

  2. Frank M. permalink
    January 9, 2015 12:47 am

    David:

    Your reflection makes by far the most outlandish and real connection with this parable I’ve ever heard. My wife and I both thank you. We’ve been married 31 years.

    “…we both came into it with baggage and unrealistic expectations. We broke up, got back together, and broke up again, with many recriminations and hard feelings.” For the longest time, I was convinced I didn’t have any baggage or unrealistic expectations. But then I got a spiritual director…

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink
      January 9, 2015 1:07 am

      Frank,

      thank you: the song is perfect. Blood, Sweat and Tears was a bit before my time, or rather, early in my musical listening period and so a little old for me.

  3. Brian Martin permalink
    January 9, 2015 9:02 am

    Congratulations and continued Blessings.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink
      January 9, 2015 10:55 am

      Thank you Brian.

  4. Ronald King permalink
    January 9, 2015 9:21 am

    Congratulations David. I wish I knew how to post a song by Led Zeplin “All of My Love”. That along with Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” are my choices for my 40 years. Of course Kathleen’s would be different. What I did learn during that time was that I had to teach Kathleen that my anger was safe and that she could directly express her anger with me without fearing my response. Both of us had to reveal to each other what it was within which we thought was ugly and unlovable.
    My friend said my marriage was a mercy marriage. I’ll accept that.
    Once again I appreciate your openness very much.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink
      January 9, 2015 10:55 am

      I like the expression of a “mercy marraige”: being merciful to one another seems to be the heart of marriage. Or to summon up a song from a very different genre: there is a balm of Gilead.

    • Frank M. permalink
      January 9, 2015 11:05 am

      Regarding “mercy marriage,” I think I’ve heard, but not been able to find a quip attributed to Bono. It goes something like: “When you think we’re singing about God, we’re really singing about our lovers, and when you think we’re singing about our lovers, we’re really singing about God.”

      So the ultimate mercy marriage is…

      • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink
        January 9, 2015 11:26 am

        “This is how you remind me of what I really am.” —Nickelback.

  5. Agellius permalink
    January 9, 2015 2:26 pm

    Best congratulations and continued blessings to your family.

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink
      January 9, 2015 7:13 pm

      Thank you Agellius!

  6. Mark VA permalink
    January 12, 2015 7:07 pm

    Mr. Cruz-Uribe:

    This is a happy, heartwarming, and humorous post – thank you for sharing these reflections with us. May God continue blessing your family!

    I enjoyed your musical selections, thou must admit, I’m not familiar with any of them. I’m familiar, however, with an a propos piece of music that is not in the classical vein – hope you and your wife will find it enjoyable:

  7. Mark VA permalink
    January 12, 2015 7:10 pm

    If the above link does not work, try this one:

    • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink
      January 13, 2015 8:18 am

      Lovely! Thank you, Mark!

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