Just a quick note about how easily a simple thing can put you in a great mood for the rest of the night:
Okay so today was pretty much horrible. I stayed up too late so I was exhausted. Plus I'm really failing at getting rid of this cold, which I hope is a cold and not the flu because I was stupid and didn't get my flu shot. I had all sorts of body aches and exhaustion and stuffy nose and head congestion, and for the first time in memory I had clogged ears. It was like being on an airplane and underwater and the same time, and it hurt like the dickens. Okay, you can see it was an awful day. The only saving grace was that I had very little to do since I'm on vacation and that 12-hour Sudafed really does clear those ears up.
Then I get to Mass for the Immaculate Conception (which is normally one of my favorite feast days, but I've been really slacking on the whole spiritual thing lately), and who do I see in the row in front of me? My host family for Week 4 of Totus Tuus. It took me a few minutes to realize why they looked familiar and most of Mass to remember all of their names. And then I remembered that this was the family I traumatized with my first heresy (all Totus Tuus teachers have at least one per summer), so I wasn't sure they'd want to see me even if they did remember me. But at the sign of peace, sure enough, the mom turned to me and mouthed "Michelle?" and I smiled and nodded.
After Mass I went to talk to them, and it was so sweet that they remembered me. They were one of my favorite families of the whole summer, despite that being the most stressful week for our team. We talked for a while and the mom referenced conversations that we had a year and a half ago and I was so impressed and honored that she had remembered. The kids weren't as social, but the oldest girl was the one who had recognized me in the first place. And when I asked them which team had stayed with them this summer, they totally blanked on names, so I felt even more special that they had remembered me from over a year ago.
Not only did it leave me on a high for the rest of the night, but it also took me back to Totus Tuus and reminded me how amazing it was and how touched I was by the generosity of all the families. I always wondered when we hosted teams if they remembered their host families after they left. And then when I taught, I wondered if the kids and families would remember me after I left. Now I know. The program has such an impact on everyone involved and it continues to touch me 18 months later. Yay for my wonderful host family for giving me the grace of the day. And truly the grace of the week.