I mean that in a number of ways. The health stuff is going well: turns out that my body made a major leap forward in adjust to my summer's surgeries and the reason why I was in so much agony through December was that I was spending all my time overdosing on my medications. I'm taking half of what I was taking, and now I feel good.
The wedding went off magnificently. The Folk Choir sang the program Kevin and I had cooked up, and I defy you to find better music for a wedding anywhere. The bride glowed. The groom was deeply moved. Paul Doyle was charming as the presider, Michael Wurtz was brilliant, funny, and penetrating as the homilist, and Ted Hesburgh granted the ceremony all the depth of his years and prestige. And I even got to catch him (with grace and aplomb--so as the congregation may not have even noticed) as he tripped over Frannie's dress, so the Best Man turned out to be useful beyond managing not to lose the rings.
The reception was a helluva party, and I got to talk to lots of people--more than I'd hoped for--although I didn't get enough time just to hang with J.P.. Jen Sushinsky and I had great fun, though, after J.P. had had to cut out, just sitting in a corner and having a long talk, with lots of catching up and laughing. The thing that you miss most about an ex-girlfriend like that is the friendship: even though we talk every few months, it's just not the same as being able to enjoy one another's company over a period of time. After she took off to get to her homework assignment before leaving on a retreat she was leading in the morning, I had a chance to enjoy a bit more of Kevin, Henri and McGlinn playing with the band, to counsel an old friend of Kevin's who had a meltdown seeing Kevin and Frannie achieve what she was not achieving in her relationship (and, being always modest and careful when giving advice, I found myself telling her to break up with the boyfriend and to move out of town--gulp!), and then moving on to the post-reception party over at Leahy's at the Morris Inn. There while we were talking, I had the strange moment of Kathy Turner finally realizing where she knew me from, after I'd thought she'd recognized me the week before while we were in Wyoming. She had, but she just couldn't remember quite how she knew me from Notre Dame....
The next day, with emotions running all over the place, I went with Kevin and Frannie to Chicago where we stayed in the luxurious Sutton Place Hotel and ended the night by closing down the Signature Room atop the John Hancock building, over rich food and wine, and the most relaxed and powerful conversation in three weeks of being together. After dropping them off at Midway the next day, returning the rental car to O'Hare and crashing at my sister's where there was much hanging out with cute nieces, I was able to relax fully myself in the knowledge that Kev and Frannie were finally really on their way, and I felt good.
Coming back to Marquette has meant a lot of organizational running around these first few days, trying to line up an apartment for next year, applying for financial aid for next year, figuring out how to register for this semester while not taking classes anymore, and that sort of thing. Only now am I really getting into the paper-writing that I have left over from December, but I'm much more "up" for it now, and am not too worried. Professor Barnes is emailing me and asking if I'm going to sit in on his Augustine seminar, and so that seems a good sign. I'm also sitting in on--and giving more priority to--David Coffey's "Nouvelle theologie" seminar, which I think will help fill yet another major gap in my knowledge. And I came home to a small stack of back comics that I'd ordered--New Titans issues from '87-'89--which have been great fun in late hours over the last few days, as I got to see where the story went after I stopped reading so that I could afford to go to college. I've been collecting favourite books from my childhood, buying a lot of them used on Amazon, and it was very entertaining to revisit these stories as well. Now I'll go back to re-reading The Dragon Reborn for my leisure reading, after spending proper time on John J. Collin's The Apocalyptic Imagination and the like. But all of it--the reading, being back at school, getting into a research groove again--just feels good.
Looking out my window now at the finally-plowed street, and all the white, and having a room with heat and food to eat, all of it just makes me feel grateful for how blessed I am. The only dark spot is that Dad's in a lot of pain right now having had most of his colon removed on Thursday, and I can't get over to the V.A. Hospital in Iowa City to see him, not that he wants us there right now, preferring to do this part alone. But since I know that the surgery came just as he seemed to be moving into likely colon cancer, I can't help but be thankful for this, too, despite his current pain, since I know that this will likely give him lots of years with his granddaughters and the rest of us. So all in all, it's true, right now: I feel good.