Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Be careful of those Catholics..they're of Satan!

There are just simply days when I don't want to do a damn thing.  Shower?  No.  Get out of my pajamas?  Absolutely not.  Brush my teeth?  What's the point?  Yes, this sounds like the classic onset of my bipolar "deep dark" period kicking in.  Honestly, this couldn't be further than the truth.  I've eaten too much junk food.  At this moment, I feel like the queen sloth of Northern Colorado.  The only inspiration I have to move out of my overstuffed, green, high-backed chair is knowing that my Psychiatrist will charge me $100 for missing my 1:00pm appointment this afternoon.  Jackass!  Nothing motivates me more than fried food and wasted money.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday and I've determined that since my own celebration in February was rather lack luster, today I should celebrate it again.  This made total sense while I was devouring the rest of Eric's leftover chocolate cake at 9:00am along with my candy bar in a bowl (aka, my coffee).  Since I haven't gone grocery shopping after hosting his party over the weekend, the house is void of everything except copious amounts of salsa.  My dogs don't digest Pace Picante Sauce well.  Off I went to the local fast food establishment for hamburgers (no, my pets aren't spoiled) and yes, I also ordered two nasty fried tacos for myself.

I'm certain you, my dear friends and blog readers, are questioning - didn't Bri comment she was still in her pajamas?  Truth be told, when it comes to junk food, I feel my Cookie Monster pajamas are apropos for any and all drive-thru restaurants.  Only if it's snowing will I actually consider a jacket and boots.

This afternoon I MUST go to the store for some sort of food outside of cookies, potato chips, and lunch meat.  I am failing in my housewifely duties and excelling in my alter ego, sloth mama extraordinaire.  Enough of this.  I have an actual blog with substance to write today.  Here I go...

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Be careful of those Catholics..they're of Satan!

I know I've mentioned in several of my posts that I'm Catholic.  I've been raised a Catholic and for some I would be considered a "Cradle Catholic".  I don't mind this term.  I take no offense by it.  My parents were also raised as such.  We Bryants and Baxters go back a long way through Southern California's Catholic schools and churches.

There have been periods in my life when I've been extremely devout and others when I've fallen away.  I'm liberal in my views which makes those true to the faith skeptical of how I consider myself an honest follower and yet my theory is that only God can and will judge me in the end.  There have been many times - including now - which I consider myself a hypocrite.  I don't take this lightly and it hangs heavy on my conscious more than I care to admit.

Many of my closest friends know that I could care less which denomination or faith one belongs to.  My ultimate belief is that if you're a good human being, we're all connected spiritually.  Whatever deity one chooses to place one's faith in, if It, He, or She brings courage and decency to one's existence, then praise be.

I've always loved working with the old and infirm.  After my employment as a CNA and eventually becoming a homemaker here in Northern Colorado, I had some free time between school suspensions and housework (God bless my boys!).  Because of this, I chose to enlist as a Hospice Patient Care Volunteer for a couple of years.

As a volunteer, one of the things I would do would be to sit once or twice a week with a dying patient and either keep them company in a nursing home and/or allow family members a chance to have some respite time for themselves.  Watching over a loved one 24/7 while they're in the process of dying is a little like dying yourself.  I've seen it.  It wears family down.  Unless you've been there personally, it's almost impossible to explain.  It's heart wrenching.

One of these patients was *Norma.  She lived in a nursing home and was my oldest assigned patient at 104 years old.  I sat with her an hour twice a week for three months before she eventually passed away in her sleep.  There was nothing physically wrong with her other than she was extremely hard of hearing and she was well..old.  Okay, and forgetful.  The latter - the forgetfulness - is what makes this story such a joy to tell.

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00am I would knock loudly on her door and yell, yes - literally yell, "Ms. Norma are you in?"  The lovely lady would give me the same surprised, curious look and say in a mild voice, "Why yes dear and who might you be?"

Now, I've been told more than once in my life that I'm quite an unforgettable character but apparently Ms. Norma didn't seem to think so.  She never remembered who I was or our conversations from our prior visits.  Twice a week, for three months, I listened to her life story. I never grew tired of it.  Some times she added a bit more information, other visits I'd ask questions.  This shocked and amazed her that a complete stranger would know her history with such detail; however, there was one topic which never, ever wavered; our opening introduction.

You see, Norma was a devout Christian Fundamentalist.  This sect translates the Bible literally and feels strongly that Catholics are heretics or in her very words, "...of Satan." 

Once I introduced myself to Norma, she would tell me about her faith, hold my hands, pray to the Lord, Jesus Christ and ask Him to protect my soul from the Satanic cult of those devil worshiping Catholics.  She would then look up at me with her beautiful blue eyes and ask me if I happened to know any those heretics.  God bless her, I couldn't lie.  Every time she asked, I promised that I didn't worship Satan but that I indeed was a Catholic and tried my best to be a good and decent person.

This was always the turning point of our visit.  She would burst into a silly, embarrassed grin and I would laugh out loud.  Of course, she would apologize and I would claim no harm done.  She assumed I must be an exception to the rule as I was so precious to visit a little old lady such as herself.  By the time our visits ended, we always ended up in a warm embrace.

Now that Norma is in Heaven, and I know she is, I hope God has sat her down and explained to her about us Catholics.  There's always a few rotten eggs but I don't think we're all that bad.


*Name has been changed for privacy purposes