Catholic Bard’s 600th post on Mark’s 53rd Birthday

Catholic Bard’s 600th post on Mark’s 53rd Birthday January 27, 2024

She was in her 40’s and he was nearing 50.  They had three daughters, the youngest which was just five years older then baby Mark.  Their whole lives would change with an unexpected, though much loved, new baby and the only boy in the family. One day he would do things Harold and Louise never imagined.  He’d carry a phone with him nearly all the time, his meals could be heated, even cooked, in a microwave.  No, they had never heard of words or phrases such as, wi-fi, internet, A.I.,  that was something for science fiction movies and television and not for everyday living in the year baby Mark was born.

It was January of 1971 after all.

January 27, 1971-The big day arrived- Mark Steven decided to make his appearance a month early. He was due Feb. 26th. Went to the hospital about 2:30 pm and he arrived at 3:53 PM. His cord was unusual it measured about 4 feet long. Was so surprised to hear that we had a boy. –Louise Wilson’s Personal Diary

There is the big claim that the first cable television system set up in the good ol United States was created in 1948 in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania by John Walson. He wanted to provide television signals with shows like The Ed Sullivan Show and Texaco Star Theater to people whose reception to recieve on their T.V.s was poor because of the tall mountains and buildings that were blocking TV signals. But “cable tv” in 1971 was not yet a common , middle class, everyday reality that gave the home viewer a plethora of television stations with seemingly countless choices.

The Vietnam war was was still in full swing, sorry to say. Richard  Nixon was president and “Watergate” was not a household term yet, though he would one day tell the world that he was not a crook.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory came out in theaters.
Dr. Seuss  wrote and published  The Lorax.
Don McLean released his smash hit song “American Pie
The Electric Company, and All in the Family premiered on the television stations that most people could get.

Maximilian Kolbe was beatified.
Blessed Chiara Badano and Venerable Alexia González-Barros y González were born.

In the year Evel Knievel set  a world record by jumping 19 cars on a motorbike in Ontario, California,

Was life simpler then?

Were people happier?

Were we more naive, more trusting of strangers?

Or more prejudiced?

Were we more likely to only become friends with people who lived in our neighborhoods, who went to the same school, and who had the same faith?

Meeting Mark

I became friends with Mark because we meet going to the same college. I first saw Mark at a Newman Center Chapel at Fitchburg State College.  He sat in the front, with a loud voice and fidgeted.  Something about him stood out to me.  I met him less than a week later going into the school cafeteria.  He spoke to me, a random stranger, on the crowded staircase.  When I saw he was sitting alone after our brief encounter, I sat with him.  The rest is history.  A long history though, as that was over 30 years ago now.

That same story with some other details you can read about in Reflections on 14 Years of Marriage |

Mark has many fine qualities i’ve come to know and appreciate over the years.  I will name a few here such as his love and faith being first and foremost.  His work ethic shines through in his place of employment which is working in the kitchen in a nursing home.  He is a husband who loves his wife in spite of her short comings and health challenges.  He is a forgiving man and generous to strangers and friends in need.

Life With Mark

I will mention some of the highlights of our shared experiences.  My kiss was mutual as we stood outside my dorm building one evening as our lips touched for the first time in September 1993.  He was trustworthy.  I liked that about him from the beginning.  Our relationship grew as we spent a lot of time being college kids.  We were not the wild and crazy college kids.  We became the kind that often attended daily Mass together.  We both went to the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship meetings.  They preferred protestants and we were even pulled aside and told by an adult couple that we would go to hell for being Catholic.  Mark does not remember that as well as I do.  To me it was culture shock.  I could not imagine ever saying that to a person from a different faith.  How people actually say that to someone thinking they will save them from hell I don’t know.  How weird that was.


Other experiences of extreme highlights would have to include marriage.  What a January blizzard that was on our wedding day!!!  Now every year on the second of January do I make note in my head regarding the weather.  Often there is no snow at all.  We just hit a cold year on the day we finally, after such a long friendship, decided to pledge our lives and love to one another and to God in the church where I grew up.   We had been a couple sometimes and then just friends again. This happened on and off through the years.  When he proposed to me, though we would talk on the phone nearly every night at that time in 2009, we were not officially a couple.  I said yes, as you most likely figured out by now.

Framingham, MA

We moved  to Framingham Massachusetts when we first got married.  That is where we lived when we adopted our teenage daughter.  I could write a book and a half about Mark and I together doing what we could do to help our daughter.  She is an adult now and, except for a brief encounter at a wake, we had not seen her in three years.  She is now 25 and sadly does not want us in her life.  We said we would love her unconditionally and meant it.  She is in our prayers.

During our time in Framingham we had a number of people come live with us.  Sometimes that helped to strengthen our marriage, other times it would cause disagreement.  We will always remember the people of Saint George’s Church and the Nursing home, Saint Patricks.  I could write another book and a half about my experiences there as a volunteer and Mark as an employee.  The workers, the nuns, the situations.  Sometimes you don’t know if you should laugh or cry.

I did not mention all of our shared experiences here.  I will say that, though I came up with the title “Catholic Bard” Mark does nearly all the writing.  I thank him for that.  I see his dedication to his writing as an inspiration.

For your birthday this year I give to Mark post number 600!

Your loving wife of 14 years and friend for over 30 years,


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