Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Over the last 20 years I have acquired several friends who are not Christians. When I was growing up, I went to parochial school and looked upon the children who went to the local public schools as "publicans". I did not think that they were good or bad just different than "us". When it was time to choose a college, I wanted to attend a Catholic girls' school. I know my parents were happy about it because they had strict rules. I questioned my choice then especially when I saw what was going on around me in the late 60's.

Years ago, I began to realize that whatever religion you choose or follow does not necessarily make you a better person. I have Protestant friends who never criticize others. They just don't; they are kind. I have Jewish friends who sat with me and listened as I spoke through my tears when my mother was dying. Actually, they became my friends because of our bonding. My fellow Catholic friends also showed great empathy for my situation. All of them supported me when my elderly Dad became ill and needed care. I suppose that I have learned that some people are good souls regardless of their religion. I wish world leaders and fanatics would take heed. Religion should not be used as an excuse to hurt others. No sacred writings teach that, only some humans choose to promote that.
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Clearing out the family home after my Dad passed away was very emotional for me and my siblings. At times it seemed as if we were obliterating the family's existence. All those happy memories and sounds from the 1950's and 60's came crashing down on me when I was there.  Looking through the pictures and at my Dad's cherished possessions was difficult and also cathartic. I had not thought much about the family celebrations for some time. Then it hit me that we had a wealth of memories and good times saved in our pictures. The festivities were many and rich in food and laughter. A good thing to remember.
I separated all of the pictures by family and gave them to each sibling. What a great way to keep our family alive!
Now that the home is sold, I am not sad any longer. I will always have those funny and not-so funny remembrances to keep me comforted. The house needs another family to call its home. That is important now. Besides, I have written plenty of stories  about life in the quieter and gentler times of the 1950's on 12 Perkins Court. I will not forget them. These, along with the pictures are part of my family's legacy. and what a beautiful one it is.