Sunday, January 30, 2011

month's mind (m)

I had never heard of a Month's Mind Mass.  It is a mass for those who have died the previous month.  Yesterday, Saturday, was the mass that commemorated my mother's passing in December. 

Everyone in the family who was in town went to the service.  My two brothers, their wives, me, my nephew and his girlfriend.  T and Harrison are in North Carolina, Sam is in New York and my nephew Michael is in China.  One niece has pneumonia and the other is out of town. 

My brothers decided we should invite the aunties and go out to dinner afterwards.  The task of picking up Aunts X and Y falls to me. 

En route to the health plan for my annual mammogram, I call Aunt X to tell her I will be at their home at 3:15 p.m.  "We're ready now" she says.  I look at the clock in my car: 10:52 a.m.  Shoot me when I get that old.

My nephew and his girlfriend are staying at my house (I'm afraid to stay alone) so they come with me to pick up the aunts.  Good thing.  It took 3 of us to load Aunt Y in the car given the snow on her driveway.  She apologizes for missing some teeth on the bottom of her mouth (she lost them).  Aunt X spent the morning trying to locate them to no avail.

The mass was lovely.  Really, truly peaceful.  Okay, I fell asleep at one point.  I awoke to one of my favorite songs (Prayer to St. Francis--Lord make me an instrument of your peace, etc) and, while I've heard this song a million times over the years, finally "got it" when the verse, "It is in dying that we are born to eternal life," was sung.  I started to cry right there in church in front of everyone.  It's a sad day when Aunt Y is bailing me out with Kleenex.

Dinner was surprisingly nice.  I ordered a steak and ate half.  On the way out, I heard someone call my name.  I looked up and saw a man whom I sort of recognized.  He said, "You don't know who I am, do you?'  I looked to his right and saw one of my best friends from high school.  I have seen her only once in the past 12 years and was just talking about her with our friend, Susan.  What a coincidence. 

Maureen, my friend, looks at the crowd of people with me and asks, "Is your mother here?"  I start to cry and tell her the news. 

What are the odds?

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