Sunday, August 2, 2009

the taste of bittersweet

I find that there is a bit of sadness that has come upon me this evening. Bittersweet sadness. So many reasons. One is that a dear friend is moving away. She is a charismatic, eclectic, Christian woman who never fails to witness to anyone she meets. Her boldness is overwhelming to me, as I am the type who witnesses using fewer words, but I have learned so much from her and I truly enjoy her as a friend. I am going to miss her and her equally-as-wonderful husband, a deacon.

At Mass tonight, there were a couple of girls who were scantily clad. One was the daughter of a friend. It makes me sad that she either went against what her parents have taught her about dressing appropriately for church, or that they haven't mentioned it yet. Our pastor mentioned it in the bulletin last week, and this almost seemed to fly in his face. I think it is a bit rude to flash so much skin in front of a man who is trying to live a life of celibacy. Not to mention dressing that way in front of Christ in the Eucharist. Alas, it is part of why He suffered, now isn't it?

Finally, after cleaning up from dinner, I sat down to check emails. I was happy to see two emails from my aunt. However, the subject line of one struck a chord of concern. Sure enough, when I opened and read it, it sounds as if her husband, who is battling cancer, is getting ever closer to the end of his battle. I hope she won't mind me quoting her, as it is really a sweet account of a sad time (I have taken the names out to keep some anonymity:

"Today was a particularly busy day around here. As L slept and talked in his sleep, as usual, he said 'Hello' to a couple of you. I asked where they were and he replied 'Behind the sofa with the bar stools and blankets making their fort'. They then played ‘that record’ and danced on the fireplace.

I’ve been meaning to write to all you ‘kids of ours’ to thank you for your frequent visits with my dearest. He sleeps most days in the office, and you usually arrive from the closet in the office in your traditional 'playmate groups'. You are children once more and he has the most wonderful visits with his memories of you all…they are priceless beyond measure.

You all have been a joy to us as you remain today. We are proud of each of you and will always be thankful for you.

I thank you all for your calls, messages, visits and offers to help (which I know you sincerely mean).
My thanks and love, L"

It was a magical time, our childhood, spending a week or two out of each summer with so many of our aunts and uncles. It was always exciting to go to L's house because though she never had any children of her own, she treated us as special as if we were her own. There was no swing set or sandbox in the back yard, but her home was a wonderful maze of places to play. There was a staircase with a landing from which we put on many a play for all the relatives. She was gracious to let us borrow some of her long nightgowns in case there needed to be some elegance. She kept costumes safe throughout the year for when we brought them out at the Christmas party and put on the Nativity play. There was a basement with a ping pong table and a place where we could pretend we worked at an office. Oh, how many pads of paper she must have gone through! Our uncle would make us milkshakes with his machine in his wonderful wet bar, a place we were not allowed to play, so we felt really uptown. So swanky! We would play Beatles records and dance on the hearth of their enormous fireplace until we were soaking with sweat. They let us have so many great experiences, too numerous to count.

A magical time indeed. So lucky that he gets to live it all again. Bittersweet for the rest.
God bless and keep you dear L & L. And thank YOU for all you have done for each of us.


lizzerd said...

with a lump in my throat, i say "amen" to that. once again, you have really captured in words what i was feeling. thank you!
love you!!!

Sandy said...

I don't even know them but it brought tears to my eyes.