It's been quite a strange week for old PK.
Not only are there some changes happening in my everyday life at my day job but also, this new cold snap's got me in the throes of a deep bout of my seasonal affective disorder. Brr.
And then, there's the whole Justin Beiber controversy. I mean, how much can a gal take in the course of a week?
Moron. Sorry, where was I?
Most difficult of all to handle in this challenging time is the fact that my very good pal, who happens to be the Associate Pastor at my church, is leaving to helm his own parish in a neighboring county.
At the risk of sounding disrespectful to the very lucky folks who'll be welcoming Rev. Father Christopher Cicero as the pastor of their churches in Columbiana Hmpf.
I realize that this is such a blessing and an incredible opportunity for him and them. Yet still, I cannot help but feel, selfishly that, well, just Hmpf.
You have to understand that Father Cicero has become an incredibly important part of my parish and my life.
When I first met this Trumbull County native, I knew that he was, indeed, someone truly special.
It's Father Cicero to whom I have regularly turned for counsel, advice, support, assistance and just plain old encouragement over the past few years. To be fair, I'd be remiss if I didn't confess that I also rely quite heavily for guidance on my beloved parish pastor, Rev. Father John Keehner, as well. Thank heavens, he's staying put or I might be completely bonkers instead of simply teetering as a donkey on the edge. But I digress.
Father Cicero has been a trusted advisor, role model for Christianity and just regular great friend to have around.
As anyone who has ever met the man knows, he's an incredibly dedicated Catholic priest, truly inspirational and prolific homilist, very funny leader, committed youth group director and, truth be told, gourmet chef.
In fact, he has a secret recipe for spaghetti sauce so fabulous that I'd have to go to confession for continued pursuit of its ingredient contents.
Seriously. My sister Gina and I pondered taking a sample of it to a nearby lab but ultimately decided against it, since it sways on the brink of breaking an unofficial commandment.
In all seriousness, Father Cicero has been such a true and bona fide friend to Kerry, Kyle and I not to mention the entire flock of St. Christine Church- that it is painful for me to acknowledge that I wont be seeing him regularly anymore.
He's been part therapist, part guidance counselor, part objective mediator and all honest-to-goodness spiritual mentor.
So, here's to you, Father Cicero. I wish you all the best in your adventure and want your new parishioners to know what a true gift they are receiving with you as their pastor.
My best to you as you embark on this incredible, exciting chapter of your life. Even though everyone knows that Columbiana is the epicenter of locusts, famine and um, hail, I think. They don't even have tomatoes there from what I hear but, whatever.
Good luck, Father Cicero; don't be a stranger!
---- Kimerer is at Tribune Chronicle columnist who's being an incredibly humongous baby about Father Cicero's departure. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.