Today started out just like any other Saturday morning. Too little sleep. Recovering from an amazing night with someone I won’t mention just yet. Okay, I know it’s not every Saturday morning I’m recovering from awesome. Then I realized the Monkey’s favorite shoes have holes in the toes. His feet are growing and I needed a drive. A long ass drive to calm my head and soothe the piece of my soul still hanging on at this point. This happens when I get happy. When I can’t find things wrong with something. So, we threw my Mom into the car and drove up Highway 126 and back down and around and all over and did what we do when we hit the road. We found stuff we didn’t know was there.
As I’ve joked before I’m hella Catholic…ya know, like American born Catholic. Like I used to go to church when I’m feeling dirty and needed to confess or if someone has been born or died or there’s a holiday. Easy Peasy. But, in spite of my broken Catholicism my Mom is still faithful with her whole heart. Okay, sometimes I do ask for the occasional guidance. Shoot me, I’m Catholic. I digress. As we drove home with the Monkey’s feet well covered in bigger shoes and tummy’s filled with decent Mexican food my Mom asked me something and since she’s my Mom, I will never say no. Ever.
My Mother’s family has prayed to a Saint since the beginning of it’s inception. They have turned their faith to a child Saint for comfort and answers and guidance and healing when times were more than just difficult. Once a year the Santo Niño de Atcocha comes to a town North of Los Angeles for all his devoted followers. One of them being my Mom. And so we made the pilgrimage to the tiny little Church in Santa Paula and since it was on the way home it was no biggie. Or so I thought.
There is something that shakes my heart about devotion. The devout are amazing in a way that makes my mind spin when I encounter someone with unshakable reasons for the faith they have in whatever it is that keeps them coming back. These people in that church came to see this figure of a Saint that had traveled so far from Mexico, near my Mama’s home town, to pray and ask for something that only they held in their hearts. There were blessings and rosaries and tears and smiles and questions from the Monkey. So many questions…
I remember being a little one and thinking about how sad and beautiful the Church seemed. Everything was about this tragic end, that would hopefully lead to a better beginning for me and my family and the entire world who chose to believe in this one man and his cause. A sacrifice so enormous that when I was young, I wondered why someone so long ago would be so devoted to showing his faith in this mythical all-knowing G*d that he allowed his peers to cause him physical harm and eventual death just to prove a point. And then as we drove home, and I thought about all these people and all these notes written to a figure of a child who in history made an impression whether he was real or a folktale, it’s these stories that we hear as children and they grow deep inside us and plant the seed for faith. Whether it’s faith in some higher power or faith that the rocks in a bowl on my craft table actually have a soul, it’s something we as individuals choose to believe in. It’s really a beautiful thing…devotion, faith, belief.
Everyone has a different version of the same story that they either cling to or choose to debunk.
And after years of soul searching and confessing my indiscretions, I found something to believe in. I chose to believe in me. I choose to believe in the woman, that my parents helped to craft and create by always giving me options and love and support and not thinking that I am completely bat shit nuts every time I light another fire of change under my own ass. I have faith that I will make amazing things happen. I believe that there are mysteries to life that I will never understand and I’m okay with that. But I will most likely never be that girl again. I will never question my heart, or fight with myself over what feels right because I was saved. That’s right people, Mama was saved the day the Monkey came into my life and showed me what it could be like to fight for something. To buck against what is written. And so today, as I write this very non-typical post I think about holding my son’s hand as we sat in Church and he asked so many questions and I looked at my Mom sitting on the other side and I thanked someone for putting me there in that moment. Seeing that no matter how crazy and messed up things get, my life is fantastic in ways I can’t even express with words and not ramble for days.
When push comes to shove, I don’t need a Church or book or statue or any one thing to feel whole or complete or content. But it sure felt damn good to know that in that moment, I knew me and I knew how to answer those questions for my Monkey and for me.
I am uncharacteristically at peace with what is going on right now, and that scares me, while it thrills me to fucking pieces.
p.s. I will return with your regularly schedule sexy post tomorrow. I promise.