A New Semester

I'm thinking of my grandmother this morning, because I'm praying with her rosary.

Gram passed away this summer. My theology about the afterlife is uncertain at best, but this morning when I thought of her, I hoped that our life with God after we die is like a new semester-- none of last semester's failings follow us. (I was not a very good student. I clearly remember how much I loved the beginning of the semester, when I hadn't ruined everything yet.)

She was a funny, bright, interesting woman who had made some horrifically, catastrophically selfish choices. I loved her, and I was furious with her. I deeply resented the armor of helplessness that she put on, shielding herself from accountability.

I don't understand her faith. She was observant in worship, but not in life. She was Catholic, attended Mass every weekend and regularly brought communion to those who weren't able to come to church. One of my very favorite memories from childhood is praying the rosary together at bedtime when I visited. (In fact, years ago I told my mother that the only thing I wanted when Gram died was one of her rosaries. Gram sent one immediately.) But so many of her choices, her actions-- let's say they did not reflect the fruit of the spirit, and leave it at that.

I hope Gram has been made whole, has become who she was created to be. I hope to one day meet that restored person.


  1. Absolutely beautiful eulogy.

  2. I hope all of the same for both of you.

  3. So beautiful, and obviously the fruit of some serious healing work. Thank you for sharing it with us.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins