I grew up in a Baptist household but was never baptized. Like every person living on the surface of our little Blue Dot, there are skeletons in my closet. With that said, throughout the span of my life, I based my life decisions on Christian ideals and beliefs. I can curse with the best of them, and sometimes do, but I think that most of the time my moral compass points in the right direction.
Yesterday (March 9th, 2020), Alexis arrived home from his Mooseheads practice with a gift from Andrew Pepper, the Team Chaplin. I will treasure this personalize Holy Bible for the rest of my life. A huge shout out to Andrew; this is just so special. I will keep it always. A friend commented to me, “Now wear it out.” That is my intention.
When Janet and I got married, I agreed that all of our children would be raised in the Catholic Church. I don’t have much of an attendance record until recently but I was present for every Christian milestone in our children’s lives and attended special masses like Christmas.
In the fall of 2019, Chris sent me a message about the Alpha program at Saint Thomas Moore Church in the Christ the King Parish. He told me Janet would like to participate and would need me to drive her. He suggested I could take part.
Clearly he overstated his Mom’s interest which I found kind of cute. I decided it would be nice for Janet and I to attend and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Alpha always starts with a meal, followed by a video and then a discussion with group members about the themes in the movie. Chris’ wife Becca was our discussion leader and it was a joy getting to know her better.
I have been thinking about my belief in God since my 2017 race in Denmark. With only a couple of hours before the finish line, I had what can only be described as an epiphany where. I spoke out loud with God. I was so moved knowing I was about to complete the biggest physical and mental challenge of my life in a few short hours, I just knew I had never been alone on this ride. I had to take this time to thank God for getting me to the finish.
This wasn’t the first time I spoke with God but in the past, it was mostly asking for help with a crisis of one nature or another. This was the first time I wasn’t asking for anything. I was simply so deeply grateful that I was bursting to say so. It was a personal moment of pure spirituality.
On April 11th, 2020 during the 8:00 pm Easter Vigil at Dartmouth’s Saint Thomas Catholic Church in the Christ the King Parish, I will be baptized. As this is my last week of cancer treatment, the chemotherapy drugs floating through my body should be diminished by that time and my white blood cell count should be returning to normal levels. As such, this will be a time to celebrate with a party of some sort in our house.
So I welcome you to bear witness to this important Catholic sacrament and share in the celebration. Although not a catalyst in this decision, my cancer has triggered a number of positive life changes moving into the future. I’m ready.