Part VI is a segue of necessary background information for the rest of the story. I will post Part VII sometime this afternoon to compensate for the transitional nature of this post.
Yes, Mr. Amazing was engaged. And I had another semester of my undergraduate degree to complete. I had finished my Theology major classes and thesis, so the Philosophy major was my focus now. I threw myself into my education. I took 18 credits and audited 2 extra classes (for fun), worked 2 jobs, and never slept.
But I was so happy. I loved being Catholic. I loved college. I loved Philosophy. I loved my friends. I didn't feel incomplete without a boyfriend, and I didn't feel impatient to get married; I was content with my lot.
And yes, I still loved Mr. Amazing. After I'd had my good cry-out, I prayed that he and his new bride would be very happy and fulfilled in their vocation (little did I know then that I was praying for myself!).
Miriam and I had grown to be quite close during that time. She had already graduated, but I called her frequently and we corresponded by e-mail. Every once in a while I would ask her about her family and was genuinely interested in their goings-on since I had become enamored of them at Meg and Tim's wedding. But I did listen a little more attentively when she spoke of Mr. Amazing.
She kept telling me how unhappy he was. "How can he be so unhappy when he's going to be getting married?" I kept wondering... and I prayed for him. Miriam told me often, "She's not the right girl for him and we can all see it. He's miserable."
And again, I prayed.
Several weeks later, during one of our conversations, Miriam mentioned in passing, "Oh, and my brother just called off the wedding."
Judging motives, even our own, is a sticky business, but I think I can honestly say that the news made me happy for his sake, and his ex-fiance's, and not for any "oh, there's new hope now" on my part. I was really impressed that both of them had the courage to call off a wedding for which others had already bought plane tickets and made arrangements and plans... that they didn't just "go through with it" for fear of embarassment or expense or inconvenience. During the Engaged Encounter weekend they had mutually come to the conclusion that they weren't suited for each other, and didn't love each other in a way necessary for the life-giving life-long commitment and Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Despite both of their efforts, they couldn't turn their relationship into something it wasn't, and ultimately they respected each other enough to admit it.
It was also during this time that Miriam invited me up for cherry harvest. I should mention that when I first met Miriam and she told me that she lived on a cherry farm, my patronizing response had been, "A cherry farm? How quaint." Yeah... maybe that's why we didn't originally hit it off so well. Anyway, Meg and Diana had both been up for it before and were always telling glory stories; it was the Summer after my graduation and the first Summer since I was 14 that I didn't intend to work! So why not?
I ended my last semester, graduated Summa cum Laude, said goodbye to my dear Alma Mater, bought my ticket (with several days layover in Phoenix to visit a dear friend) and I was off!
To be continued...