" I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole
life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the
tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse." – Isaac Asimov
Sunday, circa 1978:
The steps of Holy Name are made of black and white granite. Four large steps leading up to three doors. My mother had once told me that it was standard to have three doors on a Catholic church.
Three is a holy number. The Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I have no idea if this was true. I tend to doubt her. My mother was raised Irish Catholic and Holy Name is a Polish Catholic parish. I am going to guess that the Irish and the Polish don’t see things exactly the same but I could be wrong. My mother is an Irish woman trying to blend with the Polish ladies or stara babas. I suppose I could ask have Sister Agnes if it is true but I would be embarrassed if it wasn’t.
Mother told me the middle door is considered the great royal door because it leads directly to the altar upon which the King of kings is sacrificed. The door to the right is called the Deacons door and the left door is for the preparation of the liturgy.
I don’t like Holy Name. It is too fussy. As is typical in the Polish cathedral style of church architecture, there are too many statues and not enough light. While the stained glass windows are pretty when light shines through them, I still prefer St. James Church. It is modern and has only a single cut marble crucifix hanging above the stone altar. The entire church is neat and clean and to me that seems to be a better environment for worshiping the Lord. The statues, the icons, heavy ornamentation, and the many flickering candles at Holy Name are a distraction. I find myself wanting to admire the colors of the stained glass and statues rather than listen to Father Pcolka. I certainly don’t want to pray when there are so many pretty things to look at.
Mother won’t let us attend St. James Church. Italians go to that church. The Polish attend Holy Name and the “guineas” (as my father calls them) attend St. James. I remind my mother again that she is not Polish and could probably go to St. James. She gives me a stern look and informs me that it is even less common for the Irish to mix with the Italians.
I am bored. When will this Priest shut up? While I am in no rush to get to my catechism class, I do have to go the bathroom.
My oldest son is banging his head on the door to my office in classic Twisted Sister fashion. He is belting out "Were Not Gonna Take It" as his younger brother (who happens to be standing on his coloring table) plays the air guitar.
I smile and my oldest tells me to look up some music on Youtube. His first order is to look up Van Halen "Hot For Teacher". I obey and while viewing David Lee and Eddie in a video from the 80’s I inform my son that I dressed like the girls in the video big hair, punk jewelry and all.
My son utters a slow "Cooool" and then directs me to look up another song.
My two rockers. My two 80’s, metal head hair band loving boys. I pull out my iPhone and take a picture. I love them so much. Could they be any cooler?
My oldest son runs upstairs to put on this "concert" gear. He returns with his KISS concert tee shirt (purchased straight from the KISS Army by Mom for his birthday) and his Lynyrd Skynyrd knit cap.
More music orders are given. Oldest son begins jamming.
I sit at the desk in my pink fluffy robe and slippers. smiling broadly and basking in the awe of my amazing sons, I respond to the next request for a song. No longer am I the big haired girl from the 80’s. I am now the 40 yo mom with unwashed hair and two very cool small men to love.
Ozzy is requested. Crazy Train to be specific.
Once again I obey the command and I surf over to Ozzy on iTunes.
I love my boys.
My type of god is not found in the stuffy pews of Holy Name. It is found in my home office, rocking it out with my a blonde haired ten year old with a sprinkle of freckles across his nose and his brown eyed brown haired brother.
Life is good.