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Friday, June 8, 2012

Doilies, Catholic Grandmothers, and the Power of a Womans Love

Remember that little stiff lace doily your grandmother slapped on your head, on the way into church, when you were six?  Well...Everything old is new again.  Doilies & half-doilies are on their way to The Veil Shop....

...Which brings to my mind memories, and legacies, of Catholic grandmothers...

Sometime in the early 1900s, a petite Irish Catholic girl, by the name of Elizabeth, caught the eye of my Mormon great grandfather, then a young man, in the the shadow of the majestic Tetons. Her family was staying in his family's hotel on their way from Ireland, to San Francisco, to start a new life. The course of my family's little corner of history changed from that first glance. When Lizzie's family pressed on toward San Francisco, she stayed behind, in rugged Wyoming, as a future cattle rancher's wife.   It's amazing what the spark of love can do. I'm pretty sure that it's safe to assume that my lack of a Mormon upbringing can be directly attributed to the youthful cuteness of my father's tiny Irish Catholic grandmother.

( Juni) from Kyoto, Japan 
A generation later, Elizabeth's son, my father's father, met a Mormon girl, who was later to follow spiritual longings which took her on a long and winding journey, ...and then left her with her knees on a kneeler in a Catholic church.  I remember sitting in the cool vastness of that Catholic church, a little Lutheran girl fascinated by the statues.  My parochial school Lutheran parish did not have statues.  I knew then, with a surety, that I was missing something.

I suppose those are among the reasons that this cradle Lutheran descendant of Mormons is an Anglican.  It's the grandmas, tugging me away from Augsburg, toward Rome, from Heaven.

It's true what they say: Women are the keepers of the sacred, and the hand that rocks the cradle really does rule the world.

While contemplating my own daughter's future and wondering, ...with a smile,.... where next the story of my family will wind, I wish you many joyous twists and turns in the care of Our Lord,
Pax Christi, Dear One,


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