Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Meeting with Father Frank

On Saturday morning, we arrived for the first of many meetings with the man who will marry us. Father Frank graciously welcomed us in his office with open arms. I was quickly drawn to all of the photos on the shelves and walls. They were everywhere. People of all ages and ethnicity's smiling back at me as I glanced at their beaming faces. Noticing us starring at the photos, he began to tell us a little about some of their backgrounds like where they were from, how he came to know them, and what they are doing today. I was deeply impressed. Father Frank was responsible for helping many of these faces get a college education and helped them find work. Many were from different countries like Africa and South America, to name a few.

As we continued to talk, there was a knock on the door. Father Frank welcomed them in. It was a young man. He nodded at us and apologized for the disturbance. Father Frank said, "Don't worry about it. Come in!" He then introduced us to the young man and told us that he was leaving back to Ecuador the next day and that the church was holding a celebration for him and his wife because they had just completed their college education. We congratulated him and allowed him to speak briefly with the Father. After they were through, Father Frank sat in his chair and starred at us. Then without warning he looked me straight in the eye and asked, "What would you change about him?" All I could say was "Huh". He smiled and said, "Give me some examples of things that he does that you wish he didn't." I jokingly said, "Let me pull out my list." Everyone laughed. But then, when the laughter was over, I had to answer.

Now this meeting was not going exactly like I had expected. I went in thinking it was going to be more about getting the proper paper work filled out and maybe an overview of things we had to do throughout the year. It turns out that Father Frank has three different Master Degrees in Psychology along with a Doctorate in Theology/Psychology.

My answer consisted of careful analysis of what I think my fiancee can improve on - NOT! I was put on the spot and trying hard to think of something that would not make me or my fiance look like fools or worse...cause an argument later when we left. So I quickly spoke about my very detail orientated nature of having to plan everything and how sometimes my fiance can be very inpatient. He then said, "A lot of men have this problem. Women by nature are more organized then men and that is why 90 percent of my staff were women when I was a principal at a catholic high school. Then, it was my fiance's turn to answer the question.

He was consumed in nervous laughter. All of the things that were going through my mind, seconds before, were now going on in his. He then said, "Her planning...that has to be something that I can't stand sometimes." And the referee calls, "Safe". He stood in the safe zone - as I did. Father Frank quickly paraphrased what he had said before and quickly moved on seeing that none of us were really going to say anything that may potentially come back to haunt us later. He then asked, "What is one thing you like?" Well this was an easy one. With out any hesitation I said, "His sense of humor", which is so true. I can have the crummiest day and he will find some way of making me laugh. And his answer you ask? He said my understanding nature, which is in tune with my zenness of course.

The day was spent with many more questions and even some tears. Tears? Yes tears. You see, his last question to us was, "If you had one moment to say something to him/her before you died, what would it be?" Wow! Talk about intense. He gave us a couple of moments to think about it before we answered. I went first and then he did (No. I won't tell you what was said - too personal). We then got up and hugged each other. It was really nice. Then the Father concluded the session by giving us a blessing. He walked us out and gave me some paper work to fill out at home. Then we parted telling him we would come to see him soon.

Although the meeting was different then what I expected, I learned a lot about my partner that day. It was an awkward, funny, tear jerky day, to sum up. The remainder of that day went smoothly as you can imagine. I just wonder what the other sessions will be like. One thing's for sure. I will bring my handkerchief - LOL. Until next time, take a Zen moment and reflect.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu

1 comment:

Monica said...

I love it when they make you think! Just be honest with YOURSELF even if you don't want to say it out loud and you can do a lot to avoid things coming out of the blue at you down the road. More, more! Counseling is a wonderful thing. Get more!