Monday, January 26, 2009

Memories of my mother ... (part eight) ...

Steven eloquently wrote in this post about his efforts to try and cope with the loss of his father in early December and better understand Buddhism, his father's faith.

I felt a deep sense of peace after reading this, which is why I'm sharing it with you. For some reason, it made me think of my mother. There was no one specific word or phrase that jingled my memory's bells, as I told him in my comment. Perhaps it was Steven's thoughts about life and death that got my mind wandering back to my mother's views on religion.

My mother was brought up in the Christian Science faith, about which I know almost nothing. When the three of us children were very young, we attended either a Congregational or Presbyterian church, depending on where we lived and what was available. Mom and Dad always went with us. We were encouraged to participate in Sunday school classes and later, in various youth groups within the church.

She did not believe in an afterlife. She did not believe in 'heaven' or 'hell'. I can clearly remember her saying, many times, "You get all your heaven and hell right here on earth."

[This is not going to be a treatise on religion. Such a personal thing. Nevertheless, it will have 'religion' as one of its labels. My tenth. I'm going strictly with my memories and personal thoughts here, and will make no attempt whatsoever to judge. I am not in any kind of a position to be judgmental!]

Then, something that Chuck said as a responsive comment to one of my recent posts - and I quote, "You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat me ..." - also reminded me of my mother!

We have to go back in time many years now! Her father, my grandpa, had long since been divorced from his wife (my grandmother). I remember hearing, every so often as a child, about "Lill" (his 'girlfriend').

My mother disapproved. They weren't married, but yet they were overtly living together. Shocking! (And it was shocking, particularly at that time. I mean, we're talking 50, maybe even 60+ years ago now!)

Anyway, this one year Grandpa and Lill were planning to come for a visit. (I would have been in college then, and Peggy was in Spain ... only Johnny would still have been at home.) They would be staying several days. Mom absolutely refused to allow them to share a bedroom. That fact was stated up front. It probably came very close to them cancelling the trip altogether!

But there was no cancellation. They arrived. Mom put them in separate bedrooms, and Dad and Grandpa spent many delightful hours walking in the woods until Dad - finally admitting, in utter exasperation, that he couldn't keep up with Grandpa - called the outings quits.

The night before Grandpa and Lill were due to depart, Mom resolved to set an internal alarm to get up really early to cook breakfast for the two of them before they hit the road again.

Her internal alarm went off, and she trudged downstairs all bleary-eyed but ready to fix breakfast for her guests before they had to depart.

What did she see? She saw Grandpa and Lill sitting on their suitcases, having already cooked and eaten their breakfast (not to mention having washed the dishes afterwards!) and just waiting for Mom to get up so they could say their good-byes!!


Craig Peihopa said...

a thoughtful post. I like the recollections and am affected by it. Very good Goldenrod.

Tammy said...

Nice post Goldenrod. Another one that makes me think and feel.....