I sat on the hard, wooden pew in church (with the 11 other attendees), and realized it was the first Sunday of the month, which meant we´d be taking Communion. I immediately remembered my first Communion experience and the bitter taste of whatever represented Jesus´ blood. So, I dreaded the moment when it was time to drink. The assistant pastor passed down the outside of my row with a tray of juice glasses. Yes, juice glasses - filled a third of the way, equivalent to 10 or 11 communion cups. He wasn´t able to squeeze inside my row, so I took two glasses and passed them down. When I reached for one for myself, he had already moved on. I couldn´t believe my luck! Jodi was watching me from her pew on the other side of the church and thought I was trying to get out of drinking the nasty stuff. I caught her eye with a guilty look on my face. We both held in our giggles, and just when I thought I had escaped, the pastor appeared on the other side of the pew and noticed my hand was still empty. Naturally, I reached for a glass and braced myself for the taste. The pastor said a few words, then downed his glass. I watched his face as I chugged my ¨blood¨... he made a disgusted face, his lips contorted, then promptly went on with his sermon. I could have laughed out loud. I don´t know what I drank, but it was syrupy, bitter, dark-colored with a bit of fizz, and coated my throat. Yuck!
There are always multitudes of clothes to fold at Missionaries of Charity. Jenna and I have been longing to hold a retirement party for many of them, since several have huge holes in them. Finally, one of the Sisters said ¨Please! If you find clothes that are holy, please throw them from the trash and put them on.¨ Jenna and I rejoiced at this news and spent the next 3 1/2 hours examining each article of clothing in the large wardrobe, discarding the ones with this criteria ¨hole that a hand could fit through, several holes, broken zipper, etc.¨ We were finding found so many gems from so many eras, that we started making up stories about the women who previously owned them.
Imagine: a grayish/blue silky dress with pleats near the shoulders, giant shoulder pads, and nautical, silver buttons. She had wavy, dark brown hair. Her husband owned a boat and named it after her. She wore a flowy scarf in her hair and owned a Cadillac. She never had children.
Imagine: a seafoam green sleeveless dress. She bought it for a cruise, accompanied with a wide-brimmed, floppy straw hat and white sandals. She loved it so much, she also wore it to summer BBQs and even when she gardened.
Imagine: a black skirt with pink sparkles. She wore it with black high heels and a sparkly pink top. She had big, curly hair which she made even bigger by back-combing it. She went out dancing, and when the dance was over, she and her friends drank some Coke at a 50´s diner where she repeatedly gave some hair flips, hoping to draw attention to her marvelous outfit.
The laughter was healing for me.