Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Letter #8

Dear Veronica,

I have high hopes for this month and trying to contain my excitement and impatience is a lot more difficult than you'd think. You'll find that people are much more accepting of children being explosive than adults. The expectations for adults is that we should be even, controlled, and mature. That's not what your mom is these days.

Finally, a bit of good news on the ovulation tests. It looked good and I squealed and woke up your dad to share my overflowing joy. We snuggled as I clutched the stick, two lines growing deeper in truth as each minute went by. I smiled at my body and prayed for good health and possibility.

Your father and I are Catholic and we plan to raise you that way as well. In our faith cycle, this past week was the most powerful week all year. As someone said, "It's when the impossible becomes possible." Funny how all this occurred during Holy Week. It felt somewhat miraculous and difficult to believe.

Faith is a choice, but also a gift. It comes in many forms, different languages, symbolism, and tradition. If you ever decide to leave the Catholic Church, which many people decide as an adult, the only thing I would encourage you to do, Love, is to stay with whatever draws you deeper in mystery and challenge. Stay with what draws you closer to a mysticism and Love of others. I found it in faith. You may find it in something else, but always keep one hand on the rail of belief because, I do believe there is more after this life. There is so much more than you and I will possibly be able to understand. That unknown used to frighten me and I tried to believe for a period of time that there was nothing else but my body, this world, our earth.

But deep, deep inside, in the cavernous echo of my heart, I always believed there was something Else out there.

Years ago, when I worked in the University, I often laughed at bumper stickers on the backs of cars with which I was stuck in traffic. There was this one I never forgot. On the right side of the bumper it said, "Militant Agnostic." The other side read, "I don't know and neither do you."


No one knows for sure...which is why it's called faith.

It might be a toss of a coin and I might be wrong about everything I believe. But if I, your old farty Mom, lives a good life where I can help improve this planet, where I create something that brings joy to others, or work on behalf of those who are in need - and if my faith is the backbone of those actions - than even if I'm wrong, I'm still in a good place.

I take in what energizes me to live a decent life. Faith is the oxygen to that action.

When you come to us, you will have moments where you hate what we tell you, you'll be bored and angry when you want to do something else and make you learn what we have grown to love so passionately. But, I will tell you that I understand your frustration and I do.

You'll wonder why in the world I'm teaching you things that seemingly do not translate to your life and I will tell you to stay with it, to revisit the stories and keep thinking. You'll resent how I will tell you to ponder mystery and move forward with no easy or clear answers. I'm sure you'll even leave for a while or express disinterest for the things I find so critical to your faith development. Even with all of that, I am so excited to pass this gift to you.

It's messy and hairy and full of contradiction and ambiguity, but you'll find, dear Child, that the challenge and reward of faith is a reflection of the deepest way to live life, your life. You need not come with answers, only a willingness to love.


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