Prepping for my trip to America next week, I’d had a FaceTime with my father yesterday. He said that the priest who’d overseen my mother’s funeral has been reassigned after almost five years at that Pennsylvania parish. He was young, well-thought of, and popular.
Dad was really unhappy about the priest’s departure and told me he’ll attend a church closer to his home instead from now on. He had been going to that church only because my mother’s funeral service had been held there, had gotten to know that priest as a result, and felt an ongoing connection with him.
In a way, and although I wouldn’t tell my father this, I’m actually not entirely unhappy myself about the transfer. Dad needs to begin to realize that life must go on. He cannot restrict himself forever to living in only the tracks of my mother.
How my father spoke about the priest’s reassignment, and at one point even mentioning God, caused me to have a momentary “flashback.” Suddenly I recalled how I had often felt growing up. It was a mindset that had followed me at times even into my later twenties.
My upbringing had been loving, but very narrow. My mother wouldn’t fly, so we never traveled anywhere even within the U.S., thus leaving me with little first-hand knowledge of the wider world. Much of what I did learn came from better-traveled schoolmates such as my first “girlfriend.”
Having been nowhere outside of Long Island and the New York metropolitan area (the only exception being a short flight and visit with my grandparents to Washington, D.C. when I was 9, where my uncle, aunt and cousins were briefly living), by age 18 I wanted to go everywhere and see everything. It was only with university that I could finally start to do things. However, as my circle of friends broadened, during my young adulthood I’d also had something of an “inferiority complex”:
I write here from a couple of decades later having had much more life experience than “James” had had back then. Never sell yourself short as a person. Never allow yourself to believe you are somehow innately not “good enough.”
Just a few thoughts. Have a good weekend, wherever you are. 🙂