Saturday, April 07, 2007

Good Friday is a hard day for mothers who have lost sons. I went to my parish's service last night anyway, knowing that as difficult as the subject was, I would feel better for having been there. I kept my eyes closed for much of the time, though I tried to listen intently to the readings and the homily. Our parish has a sort of living tableau of the Passion: the adults do this, as the children portray the Christmas story. For most of the evening, I was tightly contained, sitting next to my equally reserved husband. But at some point, maybe during the homily, I found that the tears were sliding down my cheeks abundantly. They dried for a moment, then began again during one of the meditations during the reverencing of the Cross. But I was right about feeling better: by the end of the service, I had rediscovered hope.

I have to back up a couple of days I discover (I saved the e-mail so I know accurately when this happened). For several years, I had been conducting a very desultory e-mail correspondence with Carole Nelson Douglas who writes a series of mysteries featuring Midnight Louie, a cat. I love Louie and his extended family, and I enjoy the dilemmas that Carole has created for her wide cast of human characters. On the 24th of November, she replied to an e-mail I had written much earlier in the year (she had broken her arm twice during the year which made typing a challenge). I replied that day and I told her about Thomas. It was a conscious decision to share the most difficult thing that had ever happened to me with a near-stranger, but it seemed important to acknowledge this event. I did not know how it would be received because this is a hard thing to hear after all, but for several weeks afterwards we exchanged messages regularly, and Carole sent me an autographed copy of a novella featuring Louie. It was an act of kindness and I will always be grateful that she took that time and made that effort.


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