Catholic for life

I come from a very staunch Catholic family. My aunt has a life-sized picture of herself receiving the host from the pope. My grandmother prays with a rosary blessed by the pope himself. My mother goes on pilgrimages to the Vatican and Lourdes. I have visited other denominations and loved their services but I remain Catholic.

As a kid, I remember my cousins and I dreading evenings where in my grandmother and great-grandmother would get together for prayers. This meant that instead of the customary 5 decades of the rosary, we were going to be reciting all 15. For over an hour, we would sit there droning on like perfect little soldiers 150 recitations of Holy Mary mother of God pray for us poor sinners now and the hour of our death amen . We took turns saying the leading Hail Mary Full of Grace the lord is with thee, Blessed art thou amongst women and Blessed is the fruit of their womb, Jesus. We used to joke that it must be something about old age as it seemed like they were always praying. My more cynical cousin used to say they were trying to pray themselves into heaven. When asked to join the prayers my uncle once said Continue reading “Catholic for life”

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Fear of Death

I ride a motorcycle; a dangerous but exhilarating activity. Every time I  put on my helmet, I acknowledge that it may be my last. It is often said about motorcycles “There are two types of motorcycles: one that has never been dropped and one that will be dropped.” I am still to drop my bike but I am aware that it may happen someday and while I do hope that I live to stand up on my two feet, I recognize the danger therein and face it none the less because I love to ride. I believe that the best way to die is to die happy which is why before taking up riding motorcycles, flying was my favourite pastime. I know that were my plane to ever crash, I would face it calmly. Once on a trip to Mexico, we experienced very disruptive turbulence and my aunt woke me up in a panic asking how I could sleep through the disturbance. Simply put, I was not afraid to die. FYI, I am terrified to die by drowning. Or burning.

Anyway I digress. I have always wondered where my sense of the morbid may stem from and I am going to have to blame my father. He was the one who while at the dinner table would steer the conversation towards a discussion of what would you do if your parents died? At first I was offended that Continue reading “Fear of Death”

Dance with my father

As I get older, I get smarter and it scares me. I understand situations and decisions better than I did when I was kid and although I know that this is inevitably the course of nature, it still catches me off guard when it happens. One of the biggest revelations I have had in the past year is that as much as parents spend their lives trying to protect their children from pain, hurt, anger and any negativity, so it seems that children are born with an innate sense to protect their parents from ill. Of course there are exceptions to the rule like Continue reading “Dance with my father”

A mother’s pain

For some periods of my childhood, I believed I was adopted. My parents were hard on me because they believed as the first child I would have to be responsible for my siblings. Throughout puberty, they existed solely as a necessity machine: money, food, clothes, shelter. As I meandered out of my teens and into the twenties, we would go through intermittent times of strife and then bliss. Of both my parents, my mum was the disciplinarian and I had a hard time bonding with her in any way growing up. It has only been in recent years that we have grown closer. It did not happen under the best of circumstances but I am glad it happened. My mother has become my staunchest supporter and the little things she has done for me have been priceless: cooking for a get together I had for my friends, getting up early to make me breakfast or cooking a meal for me that I requested. They might seem minute but I would never have imagined the mother I knew growing up would ever do that. Continue reading “A mother’s pain”