Memories of Church As a Child

Today’s thoughts due to last weeks meeting-


When I was a small girl about 8 years old, actually in the beginning of my father’s perpetual LAST slide into alcohol and the delights of cocaine, my mother had a very large mole removed. At the time in my eyes it was a dire situation and my mother relished treating it as such.

Neighbor women arrived to sit watch, whatever that was.  From my perspective it was all about a period of time  when the neighbor/school ladies who you gossiped fiercely about at all other times were welcomed into your home with graciousness. Casseroles seemed to have a great deal to do with the whole ritual. Looking back on it, it was the closet thing to  a family reunion that I ever experienced. In general Cali’s don’t  sit watch and in all due cases rarely  give a rip about a mole removal or a death in the family, so it was actually a big deal.

So, for 3 days after the Great Mole Removal, our house was  a wonderland of gossip and casseroles.  I recall with trepidation- the Great Tinfoil Shortage……several large women I didn’t know  in a panic about how to cover and thus preserve arriving casseroles once Reynolds aluminum was wiped out. That was about as deep as it got, but there was one  wonderful thing that happened……

For the 3 days that women arrived to sit and guard food, it seemed to me, anyway, my father was  even more scarce than normal. See. Some of the neighbors, were what he called “church ladies” and he found it difficult to sneak round and drink incessantly while under  such a watch.  Mostly he was a beer man then , but was just acquiring  his scotch taste. He viewed the women as deacon harlots (hi s term) and remained in a constant fit of paranoia while they were in house. In fact fter the 1st 24 hours he spent most of his time after work in front of the TV tightly gripping a spiked Coca-Cola and shooting the evil eye at the helpful women.

As for me, I have awfully fond memories of it, truth be told! Our home never had such warmth and so damned much hot food. By that age  was accustomed to heated up a bagel for myself if I desired any breakfast. And packing the Barbie lunch box was always a solitary affair. To have these people doting on me and feeding me, well it made me feel all warm and fuzzy. They were the aunts, uncles, and grandparents I had left behind. For three days I was part of a family.

The local Methodist preacher,  Pastor Lester, even came and visited. I fondly remembered him as the guy who gave a rousing sermon at Easter, the one time my parents took me to a church. He was funny.

After the successful cosmetic procedure my mother was invited to that Church an dwe actually went  at least 3 times in a row. I had my name  on acute cutout at Sunday School and was learning some neato for the next few Sunday  when bamo-! Someone offended my mother.  Then Bro. Lester got run off for an indiscretion,which I never fully understood and the church split wide open.  My dad DELIGHTED in this and harped on it 24/7 until I suppose Mom just gave it up. The Bubble Bus still picked me up the next few Sundays but I found myself feeling unnerved at facing my inebriated father and I gave up too.


Still , those few Sundays when I was scrubbed and dressed and hauled off to “church” were probably the fondest memories I have of my folks marriage.

In the past couple of weeks I hve seen parents action s in the Church, their response to an offense real or imagined deeply hurt their children and their children’s friends. I am not judging but feel I should share the reminder to be careful about accepting “offenses” and jerking your fmily up to change churches-I beg you to be aware of how it might affect your child or family members…..It is harder to stay nd work things out where the Lord has set you that it is to up and leave in THE SHORT RUN. But I gurantee you that  cutting and running in a time of conflict in your church in the long run can destroy lives!




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