I am currently in Baltimore, visiting family. I have enjoyed some quality time with my one-year-old niece, who loves to laugh as much as I do and can make me laugh with a simple grunt or a smile so wide, the sun shines just to highlight it.
I had a heart-to-heart with my grandmother, whom I opened up to about the fear of losing my husband. I reassured her that nothing significant is making me believe it’s going to be tomorrow or anything, just a voice screaming at me to make as many memories as I can with him now. Neil and I both have a feeling that time for us is running shorter. I try not to dwell on it, though, and focus on being in the present moment; still, it was helpful to open up to Grandma.
Surprisingly, I found myself opening up to Aunt Theresa about a subject that I have only ever discussed with Neil and Amanda. We started talking about Mother Theresa. Regardless of where I stand on religion, I have always aspired to be like Mother Theresa and adopt her “Give what I don’t need” philosophy. I am a firm believer in “Build a longer table, not a higher fence.” Anyway, Mother Theresa had many doubts about God’s existence. I confessed to Aunt Theresa that I have been having the same. When Mother Theresa said, “I don’t feel God anymore.” I’m there. I haven’t felt God’s presence in a very long time. It used to upset me, but now, I feel nothing. It was nice talking to someone spiritual who didn’t shove scripture down my throat or tell me that it’s just the devil and I’m falling victim to temptation and blah, blah, blah. (This isn’t the first time I have had doubts, but this is the first time where I’m not sure that I believe.)
I feel better having written it down. I admit I have been putting off this post for quite some time because I was afraid of the kinds of comments I might get. I figured one of three things could happen:
- Someone might say they will pray for me. I know what this means, and I consider it a kindness. I would never judge anyone for their faith, and I admire those who have it. Sometimes, I wish I still did.
- Someone might understand. Maybe it will get some conversations going. Perhaps it will urge someone to open up to someone who will listen without judgment. I’m happy to offer a nonjudgmental ear for anyone who might need one.
- I might receive unsolicited advice, and quite possibly, some angered messages about how I’m going to spend eternity in hell for turning my back on God. If you are one of these people, please pray for me from a distance because all you will manage to do is make me feel sad for you, and I don’t want to feel sad on my vacation!
In addition to the wonderful, deep, and philosophical conversations I’ve been having, I have been making memories I will look back on fondly, and getting my Baltimore staples (cheesesteak, Chinese, snowball, and crab cake) while still managing to eat mostly healthy, consume lots of water, and remain active. Go me!
Today, while standing in line at a snowball stand, I had a sort of strange encounter. The man standing in front of me started making small talk, which anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of, but how else does one start a conversation with a stranger? After the typical “Hi, how are you?” chat, this stranger had an idea to break the small-talk.
“I bet I can guess your profession,” He said.
“Feel free to try,” I replied.
“The dental field.” He guessed.
I was surprised, and I knew my body language told him as such. “I used to be a dental assistant.”
“I knew it!” He clapped his hands.
His daughter, who I’m guessing was no older than eight, told me that I was really pretty, so pretty that I could be a Disney princess.
I gushed about how pretty she was and thanked her for making me feel so special! Sometimes, we receive sweet memories from strangers. I will never forget the day a little girl made me feel beautiful when I wasn’t even wearing makeup!
As the little girl and her dad went to leave, the little girl told me it was so nice to meet me, and the dad thanked me for all the teeth I saved.
“People are strange when you’re a stranger.”
Have you made any wonderful memories lately?
Love & life lessons,