Friday, April 22, 2011


I'll start and end with mass last night. It's all there.

I volunteered to serve Holy Thursday mass--the surest way to ascertain I'd get there this year. After a 25-year absence from what had been until that point in my life tradition, I'm glad I'm back.

Glad? Wrong word. Loss resonated with me on multiple levels.

At the most basic level, I see things unraveling. Since the school closed, people have fallen away from our parish. A core of us want to keep going. And we will. But I have a real sense of time--and this special little community--slipping away. Not tomorrow, not next week, or even next year, but there will be a date circled on the calendar.....

But for the present, voices filled the church in a way that doesn't (but should) happen on a Sunday--the few there filled with hope, faith, and conviction. Father C knocked the homily out of the park, in the unique way all our priests here do. Fr M, quiet, bearing witness, has stepped back.

No one says much about this. Or perhaps they do, and I don't hear it. I never hear much, actually. But I don't want to think about what closing down is going to mean, much less talk about it.

But for the present, voices fill the church in song and response. In addition to bearing the heavy cross for processions, I hold the basin while Fr C washes feet. I drop neither the cross nor the basin. I pray Hail Mary after Hail Mary for strength as I lead the procession then stand at attention while the Blessed Sacrament is placed in the repository. My arms and hands shake for a good half hour after.

There's something else; the silence from one quarter has been deafening. Nothing says disapproval any better than that. And I know better than to sulk; I've learned that people don't always need to hear what I need to say, and sometimes my need to speak and act steps over lines.

Apparently, I went over the line. Again.

So. I deal with the cold silence with equinamity. After all, on some level, I knew it was coming, and I am okay with being wrong.

Even if it cost me. Hubby calls me a martyr in his hottest moments. Sometimes, I suspect he is right.

So I turn my thoughts to the wins this week; outings and time out with the boys; the garter snake Nic and I found as we walked in the woods yesterday; the new bunk beds that the boys are enjoying; a quiet week of doing chores and catching up with one another; and best of all, Nic's invite to Penn Relays--his participation will depend on the participation of the other three runners asked, since there are no alternates. We are in. And we wait to hear whether the others are in, as well.

So, with all these things in my heart, my hands and arms still shaking, I walk home in the gathering darkness. Alone.

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