Thursday, June 21, 2012

Good Days and Bad Daze

I've read a lot of books about grieving these past few month and one thing they all say is that grief is not a straight line. You don't march steadfastly forward, making good progress each day until one day you reach the promised land of restored equilibrium.

No, grieving is more like dancing on the deck of a small boat in a rainstorm. Sometimes you are upright and feeling the sprinkles on your face; other times it's all you can do to keep your footing. Sometimes you are sure the storm is nearly over; other times all you can see is the looming darkness.

The other odd thing about grieving for me is that I don't always identify it as such. Certainly sometimes I can struck by the waves of sheer pain of missing my mother, but other times, I don't actually realize that what I'm feeling is probably grief. I think I'm feeling anxious, or tired, or depressed, or nervous, or worried, or lazy, or foggy, or distracted, or hungry, or lonely.  And yes, I am feeling all of those things, but when I stop to consider it, 9 times out of 10, the underlying emotion is grief, wearing a distracting hat.

Another thing that goes along with the many hats of grief is that I'm feeling impatient with myself.  I want to be done with this, have it be over, be back to some sense of "normal" again.  But dancing on the deck of a boat isn't predictable, even if I want it to be.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Why is the first day of summer called Mid-Summer? Shouldn't Mid-Summer be in the middle of summer?

Now that I have that out of the way....

I've been battling a variety of "demons" these past few days, from gutters falling off to needing to repaint to personal things.  But instead of mulling over all these things yet one more time, I'm going to reflect on the fact that I haven't had the energy, physical or mental, to plant my deck pots this year, what with griefwalking and all.  So to my surprise, I now have a pot full of forget-me-nots that spontaneously arrived, their seeds blown on the wind from who knows where.

Forget-me-nots are also known as Our Lady's Eyes, on the mistaken notion that she must have had skyblue eyes, which would have been noteworthy indeed, given her biological background.

Many flowers, besides the well-known rose and lily, are associated with Mary. This great list comes from It's a terrific resource for Mary Gardens and flowers associated with Mary and I encourage you to visit it here.

Common Name Scientific Name Medieval Name and/or Religious Meaning
Amaryllis Amaryllis belladonna Beautiful Lady
Amaryllis Hippeastrum hybr. St. Joseph's Lily
Anemone, double-flowered Anemone coronaria St. Brigid
Aster Aster nova-belgii Michaelmas Daisy (September)
Baby's Breath Gypsophila panicul. Lady's Veil
Bachelor's Buttons Centauria cyannis Mary's Crown
Bean caper plant Zygophyllum dumosum ? Found on Shroud of Turin. See footnote for more information on the flowers of the Holy Shroud.
Begonia Begonia fuchsioides Heart of Jesus
Begonia Begonia fuch. rosea Heart of Mary
Bellflower Adenophera Lady Bell
Bird of Paradise Streliztia reginae Bird of Paradise
Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Golden Jerusalem
Bleeding Heart Dicentra spectabilis Mary's Heart
Blue Phlox Phlox divaricata Lady's Wedding
Bluets Houstonia caerul. Madonna's Eyes
Bougainvillea Bougainvillea gen. Trinitaria
Buttercup Ranunculus acris Lady's Locks
Buttercup Ranunculus sp. Our Lady's Bowl
Camelia Camellia (japonica) (Purity)
Calla Lily Zantedeshia aethiop. St. Joseph's Staff
Canna Canna generalis Rosary Beads
Canterbury Bells Campanula medium Our Lady's Nightcap, Mary Bells, Our Lady's Smock
Caper, Caper bushes Capparis spinosa (var. aegyptia) ? Found on Shroud of Turin. See footnote for more information on the flowers of the Holy Shroud.
Carnation Dianthus caryophyllus Mary's Love of God. These flowers are said to have bloomed at Christ's Nativity, according to a German legend. (January)
Castilian roses (Damascus Roses or Damask Rose) Rosa damascena I am not sure of the medieval name for these native-to-Spain flowers, but these are the variety that St. Juan Diego found after the vision of Our Lady at Guadalupe.
Chrysanthemum (mum) Chrysanthemum All Saints' Flower. Chrysanthemums in general are associated with death and are used and funerals and to adorn graves (Chrysanthemum coronarium is believed by scientists to have been present when Christ was laid in the tomb. See footnotes). (November)
Clematis Clematis virginiana Virgin's Bower
Clematis Clematis (flammula) Cross
Columbine Aquilegua vulgaris Our Lady's Shoes, Lady's Slipper. Said to have sprung up under Our Lady's feet as she went to visit Elizabeth. The dove-shaped petals of this flower invited -- and invites -- its use for decoration on the Feast of the Pentecost.
Corn Marigold Chrysanthemum segetum Mary's Gold (November)
Cosmos Cosmos sp. St. Michael's Flower (September)
Costmary Chrysanthemum bals. Mary's Leaf
Cowslip Primula veris Lady's Keys
Crocus Crocus vernus Penitent's Rose
Cross Vine Bignonia capreolata Cross Vine
Crown Daisy Chrysanthemum coronarium ? I don't know the medieval name for this flower, but "Crown Daisy" is appropriate: this flower shows up on the Shroud of Turin. See footnote for more information on the flowers of the Holy Shroud.
Daffodil Narcissus pseudo-narc. Mary's Star
Dahlia Dahlia (hybrids) Churchyard Flower
Day Lily Hemerocallis flava St. Joseph's Lily
Dieffenbachia Dieffenbachia sao ant. St. Anthony Dieffenbachia
Dog Rose Rosa canina Mary's Thorn
Dutchman's Breeches Dicentra cucullaria I don't know the medieval name for this interesting flower, but it has sentimental interest for me so I would love to discover it if anyone happens to know and cares to write.
Edelweiss Leontopodium alp. Purity
Easter Lily Lilium longiflorum Easter Lily
English Daisy Bellis perennis Mary-Love
English Holly Ilex aquifolium Burning Bush
Evening Primose Oenothera biennia Easter Candle
Fern Asplenium ruta-mur. Lady's Hair
Field Bindweed Convolvulus arvensis This lovely flowering plant -- closely related to, resembling, and sometimes called the same name as the Morning Glory -- is pervasive once planted and, so, is generally considered a weed. Its old common name according to the Grimm's short tale of the same name is "Our Lady's Little Glass." The story in its entirety: "Once upon a time a waggoner's cart which was heavily laden with wine had stuck so fast that in spite of all that he could do, he could not get it to move again. Then it chanced that Our Lady just happened to come by that way, and when she perceived the poor man's distress, she said to him, 'I am tired and thirsty, give me a glass of wine, and I will set thy cart free for thee.' 'Willingly,' answered the waggoner, 'but I have no glass in which I can give thee the wine.' Then Our Lady plucked a little white flower with red stripes, called field bindweed, which looks very like a glass, and gave it to the waggoner. He filled it with wine, and then Our Lady drank it, and in the self-same instant the cart was set free, and the waggoner could drive onwards. The little flower is still always called Our Lady's Little Glass."
Forget-me-not Myostis scorpoides, Myostis sylvatica Eyes of Mary
Forsythia Forsythia suspensa Easter Bush
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea Our Lady's Gloves
Fuchsia Fuchsia speciosa Christ's Blood Drops or Our Lady's Eardrops
Geranium Pelargonium (dom) Lady Beautiful
Geranium Pelargonium sp. Heart of Jesus, Gentle Virgin
German Iris lris germanica Mary's Sword of Sorrow
Gladiolus Gladiolus sp. Twelve Apostles, Ladder to Heaven
Golden Rod Solidago canad. Lady's Plant
Grape Hyacinth Muscari (gen) St. Joseph's Bells
Grape Hyacinth Muscari botryoides Church Steeples
Ground Ivy Nepeta hederacea Madonna's Herb
Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Mary's Mayflower(May)
Hawthorn Crataegus oxyacana Mary's Berry (May). The Crataegus Oxyacantha praecox variety is the plant of England's "Glastonbury Thorn" -- a plant of Mediterranean origin but which, in Somerset, blooms twice: at Easter and at Christmas. It, therefore, has become a symbol of Christmas. The Glastonbury Thorn is said to have arisen when St. Joseph of Arimathea thrust his hawthorn staff into the ground in Somersetshire. The original plant was destroyed by Puritans (the soldier who did the chopping is said to have been struck in the eye by a large splinter from the tree), but shoots from it were taken, and England's Glastonbury Thorn lives. Since 1929, blossoms from the Glastonbury Thorn are sent to England's Monarchs for their table on Christmas Day.
Heather Calluna vulgaris Lady's Adversary
Holly (Christmas Holly) Ilex opaca. var. Christmas Holly (December)
Holly (English Holly) Ilex aquifolium Burning Bush
Hollyhock Althea rosea St. Joseph's Staff
Honeysuckle Lonicera caprifol., Lonicera (japonica) Lady's Fingers (June)
Honeysuckle Lonicera xylosteum Lady's Stick (June)
Hosta (Plantain Lily) Hosta plantaginea Assumption Lily
Hyacinth Hyacinthus oriental. Lily-Among-Thorns, Lily-of-Valley
Hydranga var. Hydranga macro. mar. Ave Maria
Impatiens Impatiens Wallerana Our Lady's Earrings, or Mother Love
Ivy Hedera helix Where God has Walked
Jasmine Jasminum officinale Mary
Job's Tears Coix lachryma-jobi Job's Tears (Job 16:20). The seeds of this plant are often used for Rosary beads.
Jonquil Narcissus jonquilla (December) St. Joseph's Staff
Judas Tree Cercis siliquastrum Said to be the tree upon which Judas hanged himself after betraying Our Lord. It is a beautiful tree, with lovely pink flowers in the Spring.
Larkspur Delphinium ajacis, Delphinum (grandif.) Mary's Tears (July)
Lavender Lavendula (offic.) Flight into Egypt
Lilac Syringa vulgaris Ascension Flower
Lily-of-the-Valley Convallaria majalis Our Lady's Tears. These flowers are said to have blossomed from Mary's tears for her Son as she stood at the foot of the Cross. (May)
Lungwort Pulmonaria officinalis Mary's Milkdrops, Our Lady's Milk Herb, The Virgin Mary's Tears
Madonna Lily Lilium candidum Annunciation Lily, Virgin Lily or Mary's Lily

Note: The Venerable Bede (A.D. 672-735) described the white petals as symbols of Mary's body, and the golden anthers as symbols of the glory of her soul. Roses and lilies were said to have filled Mary's empty tomb when it was opened by the Apostles. While lilies' association with purity cause them to be depicted with many Saints, such as SS. Francis and Claire, they are most strongly associated with St. Joseph, whose rod is said, in the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, to have blossomed to prove he was worthy to guard Mary and become her spouse; with St. Anthony of Padua, because lilies left in chuches on his Feast Day miraculously remained fresh during the French Revolution; and with the archangel Gabriel, who is depicted as presenting Mary with the lily at the Annunciation (hence the name "Annunciation Lily"). Lilies are also associated with Solomon's Temple (III Kings 7:19-22), and their beauty is commented on by Christ Himself (Luke 12:27).
Maltese Cross Lychnis chalcedonica "Maltese Cross" (or "Jerusalem Cross"). The shape of these flowers' petals strongly evokes the Maltese Cross, and they are said to have been introduced into Europe, from Russia and Siberia, by the crusading Knights of Malta.
Marigold Calendula officin. Mary's Gold (October)
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmar. Our Lady's Belt
Millfoil Achillea millefolia Christ's Back, Our Lord's Back
Mistletoe Viscum album Cross
Moonflower Calonyction acul. Lady-of-Night
Morning Glory Ipomoea purpurea Our Lady's Mantle (September)
Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus St. Joseph's Flower
Orchid Orchis purpurea Lady Orchis
Orchid Brassavola nodosa Lady-of-Night
Orchid Orchis maculata Gethsemani
Oriental Poppy Papaver orientale Christ's Blood, Crucifixion Blood-Drops (August)
Ox-Eye Daisy Chrysanthemum leucanthemum Mary's Star. The legend told is that the Magi followed the star to Bethlehem but weren't sure where to go once there. King Melchior then saw the ox-eye daisy growing, which looked very much like the star they'd followed. He picked it, and the door to the stable opened revealing the Holy Family.
Pansy Viola tricolor Trinity Flower, Our Lady's Delight
Passion Flower Passiflora Passion Flower, whose 5 stamens symbolize the Five Wounds of Christ; the outer fringe, the crown of thorns; and stigmas, the nails. See more here.
Periwinkle Vinca rosea Virgin Flower
Petunia Petunia hybr. Lady's Praise
Peony Paeonia officinalis Pentecost Rose (does anyone know of any name or meaning associated with Paeonia lactiflora?)
Pink Dianthus (gen) Mary's Pink
Poet's Narcissus Narcissus poeticus Lady's Rose
Poinsettia Euphorbia pulcherima Nativity Flower, Christmas Star
Pot Marigold Calendula officinalis Mary's Gold
Primrose Primula elatior Mary's Candlestick (February)
Primrose Primula vulgaris Lady's Frills (February)
Quaking Grass Briza Lady's Tresses, Our Lady's Braids
Ranunculus, double-flowered Ranunculus I don't know the medieval name for this flower, but it's a gorgeous blossom.
Rose Rosa White: Mary's Purity
Red: Mary's Sorrow and the Blood of Christ. Also martyrdom.
Gold: Mary's Glory
Red and White: Visitation

Note: The Rose symbolizes Mary herself (she is known as "The Mystical Rose," see Litany of Loreto) and is described in Dante's Paradiso when the guide asks him to contemplate Mary, "Why are you so enamored of my face that you do not turn your gaze to the beautiful garden which blossoms under the radiance of Christ? There is the Rose in which the Divine word became flesh: here are the lilies whose perfume guides you in the right ways."

Roses and lilies were said to have filled Mary's empty tomb when it was opened by the Apostles.

Roses are also associated with SS. Dorothy and Thérèse of Lisieux (who both send roses from Heaven), Elizabeth of Hungary, and Rose of Lima. St. Francis once threw himself on the thorns of a rosebush as penance. Since then, the rosebushes in that garden (near the cloister of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi) have no thorns. See also the entry for Castilian Roses. (June)
Rock Rose Cistus (landanif.) Rose of Sharon
Rock Rose Cistus creticus ? Shows up on Shroud of Turin. See footnote for more information on the flowers of the Holy Shroud.
Rose of Jericho Selaginella lepidophylla


Anastatica hierochuntica
This desert plant survives in a curled up, dormant, brown, dessicated state for years, and then opens up and turns green with a bit of water. After returning to a lovely green, it goes dormant again when its water source is removed. Because of this fascinating property, it is often kept dormant in the home and brought out at Christmas time to blossom and then close in order to symbolize the opening and closing of Mary's womb. The plant is also known as the Resurrection Plant, Siempre Viva ("Everlasting"), and Dinosaur Plant. Read more about this plant on the Rose of Jericho page off the Chrismastide Overview page.
Rose of Sharon Hibiscus syriacus Rose of Sharon
Scabiosa Scabiosa columbaria Mary's Pincushion
Scotch Thistle Onopardon acanthium Judas' Cloak
Sea Pink Armeria maritima Our Lady's Cushion. These flowers are said to have made a place for Mary to sit during the Flight into Egypt.
Shamrock Trifolium dubium a symbol of St. Patrick and his evangelization of Ireland, and of Ireland itself -- but St. Patrick used it as a symbol of the Trinity, with each leaf representing a Divine Person while the plant remains one plant.
Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus Infant Jesus' Shoes
Snowdrop Galanthus nivalus "Candlemas Bells" or "Purification Flowers." These flowers are said to have bloomed on Candlemas, when Mary took Jesus to the Temple for His "redemption." (January)
Spanish Moss Mentha requienii Mother-of-Thousands
Spiderwort Tradescantia zebrina (Zebrina pendula) Wandering Jew. The name for this plant -- often used as a houseplant -- derives from an old legend about a Jew who mocked and hit Christ during His Passion and so was condemned by Him to wander the earth until the Last Judgment. Two other species of this plant are also known by this name: Tradescantia fluminensis and Tradescantia pallida (Setcreasea purpurea, Purple Heart).
Star-of-Bethlehem Ornithogalum umbellatum symbol of the star that led the Magi to Christ
Stock Mathiola incana Our Lady's Violet
Strawberry Frageria vesca Fruitful Virgin
Summor Phlox Phlox paniculata Christ's-Cross Flower
Sunflower Helianthus annus Mary's Gold
Sweet Alyssum Lobularia maritima Blessed by Mary, Mary's Little Cross
Sweet Pea Lathyrus odoratus Our Lady's Flower (April)
Sweet Pea Lathyrus pratensis Mary's Foot (April)
Sweet William Dianthus barbatus Lady Tuft
Tournefort's gundelia Gundelia tournefortii ? Found on Shroud of Turin. See footnote for more information on the flowers of the Holy Shroud.
Tuberose Polianthes tuberosa St. Joseph's Staff
Tulip Tulipa gesneriana Mary's Prayer
Violet Viola odorata Our Lady's Modesty (March)
Water Lily Nymphaea alba Lady-of-the-Lake (July)
Winter Rose (Snow Rose) Helleborus niger Christmas Rose, or Lent Rose. A German Christmas symbol.
Wisteria Wisteria frutescen Virgin's Bower
Wood Anemone Anemone nemorosa Candlemas Caps, Lady's Nightcap
Yellow Flag Iris Iris pseudocorus Fleur-de-lis of French royalty, Mary as Queen, the Immaculate Conception
Yucca Yucca treculeana St. John's Palm
Zinnia Zinia elegans The Virgin, Church Flower
Zinnia Zinnia multiflora Little Mary, The Virgin
Parsley Petrosolenium crisp. Our Lady's Little Vine
Sage Salvia officinalis Mary's Shawl
Rosemary Rosmarinus officin. Mary's Nosegay
Thyme Thymus vulgaris The Virgin's Humility
Chives Allium schoenopras. Our Lady's Garleek
tarragon Artemisia dracunculus its botanical name means "Little Dragon" and evokes St. Martha's slaying of the dragon known as La Tarasque
Dill Anethium graveolens Devil-Away
Coriander Coriandrum sativum St. John's Head
Sweet Bay Laurus nobilis St. Bridget's Flower
Basil Ocimum basilicum Holy Communion Plant. Pots of basil are used to decorate homes and to give away as gifts on St. Anthony of Padua's Day.
Marjoram Origanum vulgare Mary's Bedstraw
Cumin Cummin cyanum Cross-Cummin
Fennel Foenlculum vulgare Our Lady's Fennel
Anise Pimpinella anisum Our Lady's Sprig, Lady's Tobacco
Spearmint Mentha spicata Mary's Mint
Chicory Cichorlum intybus Heavenly Way
Horehound Marrubium vulgare Mother-of-God's Tea, Mary's Nettle
Sassafras Sassafras (albidum) Virgin's Tree
Hyssop (Syrian Oregano) Origanum syriacum I am unable to find a medieval name for this plant, but include it because of its importance in the Passover, Psalms and Passion. The variety of hyssop properly called Hyssopos officinal., and known as St. Joseph's Plant in the Middle Ages, is not the variety spoken of in the Bible and at the Mass. The Biblical plant is Origanum maru.
Catnip Nepeta cataria Mary's Nettle
Feverfew Chrysanthemum parth. Mary's Flower
Feverfew Parthenium hystero. Santa Maria
Chamomile Anthemus cotula Maiden Weed
Chamomile Matricaria chamom. Lady's Flower
St. John's Wort Hypericum perforatm St. John's Wort, Fuga Daemon ("Devil's Flight"), John's Blood, Jesus' Blood Drops, Christ's Sweat, Mary's Glory
Spikenard (or "Nard") Nardostachys grandiflora (or Nardostachys jatamansi) The portion of the plant just above the roots has a patchouli-like scent which was used by Mary Magdalen in the ointment she used to annoint Christ.
Dandelion Taraxicum officin Mary's Bitter Sorrow
Valerian Valeriana officin. Lady's Needlework
Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium Lady's Flavoring

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prayer...answers...or not

As those of you who have followed for awhile know, I've been keeping track of my prayers for the past couple of months.  The results aren't conclusive, but in general, the "little prayers" for small things and the "daily bread" prayers for things that are, well, daily, have been "yes."  The "no's" have been clear and obvious, but the vast majority have been unanswered, at least as for now.

One other thing I've been observing is that as I've prayed about some of the things that are unanswered, I am sensing a shift in me, especially as it begins to appear that the answer will be "no." I am becoming more ready to accept the "no" that seems to be coming. 

Oh I still hold out hope for a "yes," but part of me is letting go a bit, and saying, "I will survive even if the answer is 'no.'" 

Now I'm not quite sure what to do with that kind of answer.  It would be a "no" to the original prayer, but oddly there is a kind of "yes" in it as well.  A "yes" to accepting God's will...or perhaps simply the free will of others. 

The other thing I'm learning is that if I want to experience a "yes" to a prayer, it's best to pray for the small and the daily, not the big and the lengthy.  When I ask for the ability to get through just this crisis du moment, I generally get it. (Not always. On a few occasions the crisis du moment became the crisis du jour et nuit and the next jour, too.)

And finally, sometimes the answer to prayer isn't at all what we expect.  Today I have been struggling with grief, with fear, with worry, with lonliness and a few other negatives as well. I expected to bury myself in work, but instead a friend came by on his bike and talked for awhile about his upcoming trip to France.  I didn't know that's what I needed, but I guess it was.  Even though the work didn't quite get done!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Walls Against Worry

I don't remember being very worried about things like how to pay the rent or buy food when I was a young woman, say in my 20s.  I've always been a worrier, so there were things I worried about, but the basic necessities of life weren't among them. Apparently I just always assumed they would be taken care of...somehow.

Now that I'm older, however, I find that I worry a lot less about things like nuclear war and a lot more about the cost of utilities.  I'm not sure if that's because my world has grown smaller and now the price of a loaf of bread is about all I can focus on or if there simply is a higher state of worry and tension about everyday life now in the world in general.

Or, and this is a third possibility, it may be that having lost my mother, who had been the foundation of my life for my entire life, now everything feels precarious and tenuous. I feel the fragility of life more keenly now and the awareness of the passage of my own days presses close much of the time.

I wonder if I feel this more since I had my mother a longer time than many people; she was 92 when she died. Would I still feel this way if she had died when I was in my 20s or 30s? I don't know. Right now all I know is that I have to put up walls against worry and even when the walls are in place, I have to examine them daily for chinks.

And now, on an entirely different topic, after years of editing in AP and CMS, I'm now learning APA style. Old dog, new trick

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Answered Prayer

I've been keeping track of my prayers since May 1.  At least the major ones, not always the "help me find a parking spot" type of prayer, but the ones that come from a place of great need, fear, sorrow, anguish, hope or helplessness.

One of the things I'm learning is that answers to prayer often come rather quietly, almost unnoticed until after the fact.  So quietly that if I hadn't been recording them, I might not have noticed the answer.

For instance, one of my prayers earlier this month was that I would have the energy to get the house cleaned since it has been sorely neglected since mother's death.  It still is not in the shape I'd like, so my first inclination would be say that the prayer hasn't been answered. However, when I took time to examine the reality, I did get the carpet in the family room cleaned (not all of it, but the places where the cats had barfed etc.), the rest of the floor vacuumed, the French doors scrubbed, the screen vacuumed, several loads of junque in the car for St. Vincent's, the back porch picked up, a planter planted, dishes done, summer fans out and three loads of clothes folded.

Now is the house clean?  No.  It's not.  It woultdn't meet the standards of any neat-nik, since it doesn't even meet my very low standards.  But was the prayer answered?  Yes, I'd have to say that it was.  I asked for the energy and mental enthusiasm to clean house.  Not the entire house.  Just to be able to clean house and that prayer was answered.  It was rather a "daily bread" answer--enough energy to do one day; not the whole thing like I wanted, but one day's work. 

And the family room looks pretty good, all things considered.

So here's the June prayer accounting so far.  I have 16 things on my list, ranging from the energy to clean the house to the restoration of a broken relationship to some issues with insurance.

3 Yes.  One was that I get a clear sign telling me what direction I should go regarding an important decision.  I got the sign and the path is firmly shut.  Probably nailed and bricked up, too. I'm not really thrilled with the fact that it was a closed door, but the sign was clear and that was the prayer request.

3 NO! No question that they were NO!!! The NO couldn't have been more clear if it were written in neon.  The only thing I can say is, "okay, now what?"

1 Probably no.  It looks like a no, feels like a no, sounds like a no, acts like a no, but since it involves another person saying the "no," I'm waiting to see if their "no" is also God's no.  It may be, but there remains a tiny crack of possibility, so I'm putting it in the "maybe" category.

9 No Answer yet. These do eventually have to have a "yes" or a "no" so I'm waiting. Not patiently all the time, but waiting.