Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Thursday, January 26, 2017

a brief memory

  Never one to believe in fortune tellers and the like, I don't believe you can see the future, and so I spend a good bit of time looking at the past. There is much that can be learned there, much was overlooked at the time. The old, hindsight thing. At other things I just enjoy a memory. Incidences captured in a brief moment on the celestial timeline. They cover the range of human emotion. Some memories are complete and I just visit them whenever I like. They are like old friends, always there no matter the time or distance. Others haunt me and I struggle to see them. They are always covered in a fog, like a horror show in the movies, and serve more as a warning, giving pause before I proceed. It is not exactly fear, rather a lack of understanding that causes that fog. The ones I enjoy the most always come as a surprise. One such as that arrived this morning as I sat before this keyboard.
 I have no big explanation as to why this little thing popped to mind. I sat down and began to type.  I can remember standing in the front door of my home, the sun shining through and Mom saying, we are going to start going to church. My immediate thought was, there goes Sunday. The next thing I remember is having joined the jr. choir, which practiced on Saturday morning 10 O'clock and attending church every Sunday. That would continue for at least five years, uninterrupted, and I have a prayer book signed by Reverend Davis to prove it. Five years perfect attendance ! And perfect meant just that, perfect.
 In the beginning Mom would take me to choir practice and church. At some point I began just riding my bicycle to St. Lukes church for choir practice. It was a distance of about three miles, just a short run back in the day. Mom still took my sister and I to church services. Looking back I can now see the irony in this little period in time. You see my Dad was a Methodist, St Lukes is an Episcopal church. But Mom had been married before, to a Catholic ! Following her divorce she couldn't go to the Catholic church anymore, that's the way it was back then. I had never seen my father go to church, ever. If he was there for my baptism I don't remember that, I would have to ask Mom. But Dad did drive the church bus on occasion. I expect Mom volunteered him. It is a memory of Dad driving that bus that came to mind this morning.
 It was a warm summer day that I remember. The church bus was mostly ridden by the kids that lived outside the village. The bus had a route that snaked through Northwest woods and I believe may have gone to other places as well. I really do not remember that route as I seldom rode the bus. But on this day Dad was driving and so I went with him. There is only event I truly remember that day and it was surprising. We were near the end of the route I suppose, as there were only a few kids left on the bus. Dad stopped that bus in front of the little corner store and asked, who wants ice cream ? I couldn't believe it. My Dad never did anything like this ? Perhaps driving the church bus had given him some sort of revelation or something. Reverend Davis told us the lord works in mysterious ways and this was certainly mysterious. Anyway, Dad did buy everyone an ice cream from Mary Damarks store that Sunday. To the best of my knowledge the only time he did so.
 About a year ago I was going through some old papers and photographs that my mother had given to me. In there I found a rolled up document. Carefully unrolling it I began to read the proclamation. It was a certificate of Recognition. Awarded to my father for perfect attendance of the Methodist church school dated October 1939. Dad would have been fifteen years old. Was that the last time he went to church ? I never though of my father as a church going man. He certainly wasn't a pious man. I do think he believed in a higher power than himself. I'm thinking the buying of that ice cream was his way of worshipping in a fashion. It was a Christian act at the very least. And one I apparently haven't forgotten.