Come Back To Me

Cradle Catholic, Cafeteria Catholic, devout Catholic, Roman Catholic, and for those who want to do the very minimum, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.  At one time or another I have been all of the above.

I won’t go into the scandalous cover-up orchestrated by the Vatican.  I will say that the pedophile priests make me sick to my stomach and my heart aches for all of the abused.  All of it being done in the name of God.  There are a lot of Catholics who have abandoned the Church because of this, and I understand and have nearly done so.  What I am trying to explain is why I have decided to stay in the Church.

Because I am a Cradle Catholic it is all I know, it is home. After having been away for the last three years, I started going again sporadically. One Sunday in November I went to St. Ambrose in Parchment, my home parish, and felt a real peace there. Walking down the same aisle I walked to marry my Husband Sam, that my Son walked to receive his First Communion and Confirmation, and the pews I sat in with my family for so many years. My Mom and Dad and Sam. The choir did an exceptional job that day and it moved me. I seemed to hear in my mind the hymn “Hosea”. https://youtu.be/i1ntir3qgdY

When Mass was over, I went over to our choir director and told her I wanted to come back to choir and sing and she welcomed me back with open arms as did the rest of my choir family. I was home. It was a small miracle, The Lord touched my heart and lead me back to where I belonged. I am singing at 11:15 Mass and love it. I know God loves all of us, all we have to do is believe and try to be a better person. We will fall and he will pick us up, it doesn’t matter where or if we attend a certain church, as long as we are trying, he knows and will answer our prayers and give us the strength we need to get through this life.

Bottom line is I am a different person since all this happened, I love my life and look forward to making a difference with everyday I am given.

Braving My Wilderness

I just finished reading “Braving The Wilderness” by Bren’e Brown.   Her book speaks to the Wilderness as  the state of Civility in America  after the 2016 Presidential election.  But that’s another blog post.

My Wilderness is being a widow.   New territory in my life as of 6 years ago.   Bona-fide member of “The Dead Husband Club”.  It probably sounds crass, but it is the ugly truth.  It is my reality.  For the better part of a decade I have been stumbling around, trying to make my way through a terrain that is both rough and lonely.  No one really understands what it is like until you have gone through it.  I take this a step further by saying that it is unique to the women, the widows that find themselves without their mate.   Why? you may ask..don’t men find themselves in the same situation?  Here is the bitter truth.  Not much has changed in the last 50 years in regards to men being the determinate in who they go out with.  If (God forbid) a woman makes the first move, it is viewed by them as being too forward..that is if the woman is of a certain age.  You see when a man has white hair they are distinguished, women not so much…younger women are attracted to older men and visa verse so there goes my dating pool. POOF.  That and the fact that women outnumber men.   When I go out, and this is true with most of us, the first thing we do is look at his ring finger.  Not always telling, but a good start.  Another rub is that it seems everyone is coupled up.  I go on vacation, couples; church, couples; bars, couples; paired up people everywhere.  But I digress.

It’s difficult to put yourself out there.  I’m not a loner but I need to start frequenting Singles events.  Oh yeah, for older singles.  That and taking the opportunity to be with  some of my single girlfriends close to my age.  Please don’t get me wrong, not looking for a husband, just a companion.  I don’t mind my own company, but come on, a little bit goes a long way….When people ask me if there is anything they can get me, I want to quit answering “yeah, a man”.

 

thinking woman in white jacket and white scoop neck shirt blue denim jeans sitting on brown wooden bench beside green trees during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When I Am An Old Woman…..

Some timweekend-of-dec-2-2011-005e ago (it seems like a life time) I was given a collection of poems and short stories entitled “When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”.  It was close to my 50th birthday, when my dear friend Janine presented it to me.   I read it and  tears came to my eyes thinking of my Mother and how as time went by the signs of age were taking their toll on her.

October 1st it was time to say goodbye to my sweet friend Janine.  After a battle with cancer, as is so often the case, she lost.  We met 20 years ago when we were both selling real estate and worked in the same office on Centre St. in Portage.  We hit it off right away because we made each other laugh over silly things (practically everything that came out of our mouths).  We “got” each other.  To say we were friends is a vast understatement.  We were cheerleaders, confidants, comedians for one another.  We laughed and cried, shopped, decorated, drank vodka tonics.  If her husband Andy was home she would tell him to make me one of his famous Bloody Marys.  I shared EVERYTHING with her and she NEVER  judged, she understood.  On one of our shopping trips we were in Steketee’s  and saw a contemporary rooster she loved, I went back and bought it for her.  It moved from house to house with her, (we were a lot alike in that respect), until she decided I should have it,  not too long ago.  It sits quietly on my kitchen cupboard and brings back memories of our time together.

I still have that book and I took it out to leaf through one more time.  When I was 50 it was fun reading through and imagining  what we would be like when we were old.  It’s the optimist in all of us.    Janine I will miss you every day.  We never got the chance to grow old together.  You are my forever friend..

THE ORPHAN

                                                                            There’s no umbrella now                                                                                                                                 to separate you                                                                                                                                                    from eternity.

                                                                           Meanwhile an army                                                                                                                                           marches behind you                                                                                                                                           in the rain.

                                                                           Your friends are dead                                                                                                                                         or dying.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 You’re a survivor                                                                                                                                                 with all the loneliness                                                                                                                                       of  survivorship.*

*Excerpt from “When I am an Old Woman I shall Wear Purple”

The Summer of Sixty Five

Temporarily Insane

It’s been dang near 2 months since I posted on this site.  Here’s some stuff to catch you up on whats been going on in my wacky life this summer.

Let’s start around the first of May when I went temporarily insane and bought a little red sports car.  Yup, a 2005 Honda s2000  Just like the one Sam bought when he was temporarily insane out in Washington.  We called his illness a “Midlife Crisis”.  I knew the universe was speaking to me when the guy I bought the car from knew Sam, it was the same color and year as Sam’s and only had 28,000 miles on it.  It has been the highlight of my summer and am planning on selling it next spring.  Fun’s fun, but let’s not get  carried away.  I mean two cars?

A couple of weeks later I decided to dip my toes into the on-line dating pool.  (Son, you may want to stop reading here.)  I have been out of the dating scene, if you will, for quite a while and things are so different it’s stupid.  Tinder, E Harmony, Plenty Of Fish, Match.com, Our Time.com, you name it, I’ve been on it.  Just trying to figure out if there are better sites than others.  No, not really, is the answer to that one.  The men still make all the decisions as to whether you meet or not.  To me if a guy likes your picture or winks at you there is interest.  Not so much…I have changed my profile umpteen times, because casual, dating and fun all mean SEX in guy-speak.   All the guys on E Harmony want a soul mate, Tinder is for Hook-ups (sex), POF isn’t too bad, met a guy from East Lansing that had a thing for older women, (don’t ask) and one who just wanted to give me a massage..for the love of God, I don’t want someone I haven’t met yet to talk about touching my body.  Then there was Michael from East Grand Rapids on  Tinder who was nice and met me for coffee here in Kazoo.  I saw him twice before I found out he was just trying to get over his 20 year old girlfriend (he is 51) who left him.   I kid you not, as Jack Parr would say.   I will leave this subject by admitting I don’t get excited anymore when I have an email about a match.

Of course this wouldn’t be a blog post if I didn’t mention my journey with grief.   After 3+ years, I am finally realizing that I need to forgive myself for being the last spouse standing, if I am ever going to start living again.  I have been so busy trying to gird myself against the pain of the loss, that I am not able to appreciate all that is going on around me.  I am merely walking around from place to place trying not to think about how much I am hurting.  To do this, I will make peace with Sam’s memory, apologize one last time for all my shortcomings during his illness.  As he would tell me often, “Theresa, that is water under the bridge” or “That’s a sunken cost” when I came home with another purse or pair of shoes.  I know it sounds absurdly simple, but he would be the first person to tell me that it needs to be done so I can join the human race again.  It is not going to happen overnight, but it is a goal worthy of me and all who are going through an unimaginable loss which is part of life.  So every time I begin to feel guilty about the past I will think of Sam’s smile, or laugh, or the way he looked at me and our family with pure love.  It is a tough road but we have to give ourselves a break and some of that love we are missing.  Peace Out