My Mother’s Soul by Cousin Craig

My Mother’ Soul, Craig, my odd cousin writes a very amusing odd post about his Mother’sSoul and his concerns.  Our family really does do religion our way.

I  Worry About my Mother’s Soul

I’m concerned about my mother … not just her health, but her soul. As I look back over the past twenty or so years, I wonder if I waited too long to be concerned.  It’s not just like the old Bill Cosby line, when he said to his kids about their adoring grandmother, “That’s not the same woman who raised me. She’s older now, and she’s trying to get into heaven.”  My mother is nicer now, but it’s more than just that.

My mother, throughout my young life, was a devout Catholic. She insisted that my siblings and I attend church every Sunday, and the usual Catholic classes to usher us through the earlier sacraments (first confession, first communion, confirmation, and total disillusion).  At 16 we were considered old enough to decide for ourselves where the future of our religion would lead us.  My siblings, both older, were off the hook while I was still trying to understand the basics. For example, who was Harold? I mean, “Our Father, who art in heaven, Harold be thy name?” That made no sense! Clearly, I had a long way to go.

However, even after my 16th birthday, I enjoyed attending mass, sitting in the cry room, watching the babies fight. My mother called them the “Teeny-Tiny Gladiators,” but she seemed happy that I still attended mass. I continued to attend mass during my college years, although my faith was often under attack by the atheistic professors and my classmates, many of whom seemed to hitch up their southern Baptist pants with their Bible belts. But my Mother had done her work well, planting the seeds of Catholicism into my mind and heart so deeply that my virginity was still in question far after the Bible belts were removed and piled in the corner of an anonymous girl’s dorm room.

When I came home in the years after college, we would occasionally find time to go to church together.  However, missing Church might be as simple as saying to mom, “See you in the morning .” (Sleeping in is my mother’s first commandment.)  My religious fires seemed to be aflame, although working on Sundays was a requirement as a staffer on an NFL team. Each off-season I would rededicate myself to regular attendance, making sure to pay my tithe and take communion. Mmmmmm, Jesus is gooooddddd!

My mother, however, had begun to long for the good old days, when they spoke Latin in mass. Her philosophy seemed to be that she didn’t need to understand the mass. She also was NOT a fan of all the singing and hand shaking. These same Christian soldiers who smiled and whispered, “Peace be with you!” as they firmly grasped your hand were the ones who would race to their cars and drive like maniacs to get home to whatever wrestling show was on. I guess they figured they might kill you after mass, so they’d best wish you well before they sent you on your way.

Each year, my mother strayed further off the religious path.  She even stopped attending Christmas and Easter services. My attempts to wake her yielded an uninterested yawn, a flip of the pillow, and a renewed, persistent snoring.  “Mom! God needs to see you!” I’d say. “He knows where I live.” She’d moan, shooing me away. She was so far gone now that she wouldn’t even celebrate Christmas with a tree, preferring a ficus or some other unfortunate house plant.

This is not to say that my mother has been sacrificing the neighbor’s pets to the dark one and running around naked, covered in blood, every full moon. She’s not evil, or at least mostly not evil. Maybe she just figures that she’s paid her dues, and not even salvation could drag her into a church while a screeching senior citizen makes SURE that her song won’t fall short of Heaven, a half-note off key. (And we wonder why he isn’t listening!) Maybe she thinks that she gets enough hypocrisy during the week and doesn’t need any more on the weekends. Maybe she’s adopted the philosophy from Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie, As Good As It Gets: “Sell crazy somewhere else, we’re all filled up here.” I think she still believes in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. I also think she’s okay visiting them on her terms these days. So should I worry?

My mother is a wonderful person – crazy, but wonderful!  I’d hate to think that she’ll be confined to hell for eternity all by herself. After all, she hates the heat, and she’s not as young as springtime anymore.  So, I decided to do the only thing a good son would do for his mother. I sleep in on Sundays and pray on my own time, on my own schedule.  On Sundays, I sometimes miss the calming repetition of mass, the slow motion aerobic workout of “sit, kneel, sit, stand, sit kneel, reach those prayers to the sky,” and the simple satisfaction of still knowing the next prayer before 80% of the parishioners. But those who would judge need only to think of this: My mother made my life on earth heaven at times, and sometimes hell at others. So Mom…for heaven or hell…it’s you and me for eternity! … Mom?

Thanks Craig, we now suggest you consider joining a Witness Protection Program!

Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!


Other posts by Craig


Odd To Our Family Tree

Its Not Odd Its My Family!

17 thoughts on “My Mother’s Soul by Cousin Craig

  1. I survived 8 years of Catholic school only to find out not much of what they told me was true! You don’t go to Hell for attending a non-Catholic service And you can touch the Host without the floor opening up and swallowing you whole. They have changed the Mass from a moving experience to lunch at McDonalds. Six servers no waiting. People who can’t carry a tune or stay on the right word should keep their mouths closed! If God was so pleased with crows he wouldn’t have botheredwith nightengales. If ever you want to see a bunch of kids with that “deer in the head lights” look just take one of those clickers to Mass and click it. Instant PANIC! If the choir can sing a rousing redidtion of The Battle Hymn of the Republic why can’t they sing Dixie? I believe in God just not in religion!

  2. All-

    I don’t remember writing this. Not a word. I must have been possessed or under the influence of mind altering drugs. I swear Mom, I would NEVER write anything like this if I thought there would be even the tiniest chance you’d find out about it.

    Aint I a stinker?

    Love you Granny!

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  4. I can so relate – in my Mom’s final days she confided that she thinks it was all bull shit. Rosary a day for 80 years, 8 semi-Catholic kids and in the end that was her final analysis. Beautiful. Thanks KB’s cousin.

  5. Well unlike the others I found this blog and the additional comments a little sad. I too was raised with the Catholocism everyone speaks of and it is a shame that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been lost in translation. The charade of the priest in vestments, confessionals, novena , nuns and the May crowning tradtions were good for the children but they left you empty as an adult. Combine that with the assault by the bastard pedophiles and it just makes me sad!
    That being said the Gospel of Jesus Christ is refreshing. And it is available if you knock and open the door to receive. My prayer is that all the people turned off by the organized Catholic religion, will look at the living word of God again because it is a tremendous comfort to know and understand just how loved we are and why.

  6. Well Nancy, I don’t know you so I hope you won’t mind if I ask you a few questions. I too was raised catholic. I am, what my husband refers to as a “recovering catholic”. He says that much like alcoholism, catholicism cannot be cured. I am pretty sure that “bastard pedophiles” exist in every religion it is just the catholics that get the press. Usually when a sex offender is arrested they don’t ask them their religion. Wouldn’t you agree? Also I would like to know exactly which door is it we are to knock on? I would like to offer a warning that all people professing to be offering the “living word” are not necessarily worth listening to. I would offer a more explicit warning but it wouldn’t be Christian of me to start mentioning names. I find a great comfort with sticking with the basics. Be kind. Don’t judge other people (unless that is your profession). If you have extra share. Don’t intentionally hurt others. Would you agree?

  7. Wow. A holy war. Again.

    I was really just trying to be funny. I am a Catholic myself, and although I have not been attending regularly, I still feel strongly about mass and going comforts me. If it comforts you then I say continue, and if not find something that does work for you.

    I do believe that God is infinite and so must be reaching out infinitely with his message. Whether its a basic list of “Rules to live by” or “The Ten Commandments”, my two cents is: Go in Peace! Amen

  8. Carla, no offense taken. I was raised with devout parents. One of eleven family members devoted to the Holy Roman Apostolic Church. Until… I too realized like Elaine Pierce it was all “Bull Shit”! I am speaking about organized religion not about Chritianity. Look at the Vatican , the elderly men leading a dead church. If it wasn’t dead than attendence would be up and not down by 80%. It is dead because it was based on lies and not the word of God. The true Gospel of Jesus Christ is alive today! That being said I am grateful to my parents and the nuns who introduced me to Christianity. I shall always be grateful for that. In addition I will continue to call them “Bastard Pedophiles”! Because it wasn’t one bad apple here and there it was a conspiracy by the heirachy of the church to continue to allow helpless children to be assaulted. It it is this evil practice of lying and deceit that finally brought the Church to ruin. Are you aware of anyone joining the seminary or novetia? Perhaps in the third world countries maybe, but certainly not here. And why? Because Carla, Catholocism was nothing but a Church based on man made traditions and not the Word of God. So I say move on and open up your bible and read it and learn for yourself that Jesus Christ died so we may have life and live it more abundantly. This is the door I speak of Carla Smith. May the Peace and Joy of Jesus Christ be with you.

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  10. I am not Catholic but my brother married a believer and had to agree to bring his family up Catholic. I am a Christian who likes to attend a Methodist Church. I for one like the writtings up above. I do slack off and it is hard to get back on track. I can see my self in some of the words you posted. God said, “Do not forsake the assembly.” I think it is because I have only 4hrs of church each week and the rest I am in the world. The world in which I work. and live can be harsh. If I dont attend church with believers and keep myself in Gods word, I will find myself slowly being like them. Yes, they are hipocrits in church. But at lease they are in church. Who knows what or why they are there. God may have led them. I know going to Church won’t make me a christian but I think that going leaves no doubt which team I am on. And you know, if I live my life as a christian and die to find out there in no heaven or hell this will be fine. But if I live like I want and do what I want to die and find out there is well……………..I am heaven bound and not hell bound. Peace be with you. God Bless.

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