in his backyard haven

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Jesus Paparazzi

On Sunday morning me, Mom, Amy and Katie went to church together while our neighbor sat with Dad. We deliberately chose the 7:30 am mass because we wanted to be low profile. Mom was employed at this parish for nearly 20 years and Dad was active in the parish council, RICA and other activities. We knew people would want to have an update about Dad. We also knew we needed to be together in quiet prayer.

We sat in the back for once. Usually Mom and Dad like the front row pew. We kept a low profile. After mass had begun, Mom whispered that she wanted to leave immediately after communion. There were several people she recognized and she didn't have the energy to give all of the updates to each of them after mass.

The Sign of Peace proved challenging. "How is Dennis?" came from several around us rather than the customary "Peace be with you." We watched as Mom had to force out the words, "He is at home. He is in hospice." and hold back tears.

After communion we waited until as late as possible and decided to leave. Amy first, the Mom, then Katie and me. We flanked Mom down the aisle: one on each side and me in the rear. We walked with a good clip so that we could get to the car without a meltdown.

Then, they started coming. It's amazing to see how quickly some senior citizens can clip through a crowd. Mom passed by a group of cronies. "I love you all, but I don't want to talk right now." she declared.

An old man came up to Mom and started holding her hands. I began to physically separate them as if I was her secret service agent while saying, "We are trying to get to the car..."

Mom introduced us, "This is Father Pierre..."

"Oh, I'm so sorry Father, but Mom is about to have a breakdown and we want to get her to the car. Yes, please come by and visit today or tomorrow..."

We rushed away and stuffed her into the backseat as quickly as possible. All of us holding back tears.

As soon as we were all in safely, Katie declared, "Man, Jesus Paparazzi!"

Then we all burst out laughing and headed to Starbucks.

It's comforting to know that so many people love and cherish our parents. They are good and giving. I've found that church can be a very challenging place to grieve and find solace in the Lord. So many of his servants have good intentions to play a role but they can really interrupt the conversations one is having with God.

Every day brings laughter and tears and bickering and conflict. Every day brings us all closer in union of this privilege it is to usher Dad into heaven. I pray the Paparazzi up there are ready and waiting because it will be a grand entrance!

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