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Archive for June 6th, 2011

Ever since my husband and I arrived at full communion with Rome, I have had to deal with an entity that I did not expect to have to deal with, ever.  That entity is the ghost of my grandmother, who seems to be residing in my father’s body.

Just a few months prior to my husband and I (and my mother) going through the RCIA program, my father participated in a program called Catholics Returning Home.  This program is designed for people who have fallen away from the Church and would like to get back in, but don’t know how exactly to do it.  My father stopped going to church right about the time my grandfather passed away, and thusly I stopped going, too.  My mother then took over and took me to her Protestant church, and for 35 years my father was content to read the Sunday funnies while my mother and I went to her church.

Needless to say, my grandmother was not happy about any of this.  If there were anyone who was ever Catholic with a capital C, it was my grandmother.  Though I was bringing up the rear of a long line of grandchildren (24 of us to be exact), I was the only one not being Raised In The Church, and that didn’t set well with her.  Other than my baptism, which gave me what I jokingly refer to as a Catholic soul, I didn’t participate in any of the other rites of passage that my cousins did.  Of course she dumped all over my mom for this, since dumping all over my dad wasn’t an option, though he was the one who walked away from raising me in The Faith.

This all sounds incredibly quaint and medieval, I know.  The world pre-Vatican II was pretty divisive, from what I gather.

At any rate, fast forward 35-ish years and my father has suddenly been called into action by none other than his darling grandchild, the beloved Spawn, who after three years at Catholic school decided that being Catholic was the way to go.  Both of my grandparents were long gone, and the issues my dad had with the Church seemed to be unimportant in retrospect, and so he went to the Catholics Returning Home program to get his halo polished.

And he has been in church most every Sunday since.  My grandmother would be so proud.

But heaven forbid I don’t go to church once in a while.

Lots of things have changed over the years, but it’s true what they say — raise a child up in the way you want him to go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.  Never mind the fact that every time Mary Helen chides me for not being in church, the number 35 comes to mind.  And it’s not that I miss church all that often.  But once in a while it just ain’t happening.  And when that happens, I catch hell.

I had zero relationship with my grandmother growing up, and to have this sort of attitude flung at me now, as an adult, it’s a little irritating.  Mary Helen was a tough customer on the subject of religion, and not what you’d call a warm and fuzzy lady in all the other areas of life.  The woman’s been gone for nearly 25 years and I damn sure don’t want a relationship with her now.

Mostly I ignore it when Mary Helen comes calling, but every now and again it gets under my skin.

 

 

— Mox

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