Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feeling My Faith

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday.  I'm not a person who really vocalizes my faith or beliefs a whole lot.  So for those of my friends who don't believe or don't feel like reading a very God filled post, now's the time to skip over and I won't feel hurt.

I grew up in a household where if you wanted to discuss God, Church, Faith we could, but other than going to church every sunday, we weren't compelled or obligated to speak about our faith or beliefs.  Even long after my mother went to seminary and became a priest, my sister and I were allowed our open-ended beliefs.  But sometimes I really feel strongly that there is someone watching me, believing in me, offering me guidance.  Not always and usually not when I feel like I "need" it.  But often enough for me to be secure in believing there is a God; that my faith is warranted in my own way.  

I've struggled as much as anyone I think does.  After my father died I truly questioned faith and God for years.  I might have been in college at Tulane before I felt secure in believing again.  I remember vividly, with tears streaking my face, asking my Mom how she could believe in a God who would take her husband away. I will never forget her response: because I have to believe I will see him again some day.  

Like others I know who have lost babies, I really do believe I will be able to hold them once the end has come.  I believe I will be able to see their faces once I arrive.  I believe my mother and father will be waiting for me with tears in their eyes, to comfort me in the safety of their arms once again.  My belief in heaven is as solid as my life on earth, maybe because I've felt its presence on a few occasions that a lot of people might think are hocus pocus or delusional.  But I know what I felt and I'm an intelligent person.  

Coach is a more church-going person than I am has probably missed mass less than 5 times the entire duration of our relationship.  I think he finds comfort in the routine.  I find comfort in the solitude mass provides, but as I've experienced more loss in my life I find myself praying more throughout the day.  I feel closer to God then (in addition to my growing irritations with the church's judgmental attitude and bigotry, but that's a whole separate issue). Anyway, so back to Ash Wednesday.

We went to mass last night (hence the late Mommy Diary) and after the homily we walk up to get the sign of the cross in ashes on our foreheads.  Coach was holding Lloyd behind me.  He asked me when we entered church whether they'd do the ashes on Lloyd and I believed they would.  So he walks up and they give Lloyd his ashes first, then Coach.  Here's the hocus pocus for you: I felt a huge blessing, relief, and surge of peace hit me the second Lloyd received his ashes.  I swear, even for a second, he was a little brighter.  I felt my mom there.  Through those ashes, she was offering her blessing to my son.  I felt her more last night than I have in months.  The day he was born I felt her with me as I strained to get him out.  But nothing like this.  I've needed her guidance today and I needed her faith.  And there she was, in the way she could be.  Protecting him from above.  

Maybe that's too much for whomever reads this.  But I still feel overwhelmed with this tingle in my bones just thinking about the feeling I had when it happened and how he looked as he received his ashes.  My sweet angel on earth being blessed by my family's angels in the sky.  It makes me feel good.

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