23 thoughts on “silent sunday”

  1. Hi Barbara – how sweet to look at the photo – how much older the 5 years look than the 4 – it amazes me – is your sister still alive? does she live far away or close?
    and HAPPY EASTER to you, dear Barb

    1. Thank you, Leelah. That was when I was still taller than my little sister. For a few years we were the same height and people thought we were twins. And then she got taller than me. 🙂 Yes, Beverly still lives in the house we grew up in, about 50 miles north of us. But she stays with us part of the week when she’s teaching at a local college. Happy Easter, my friend!

    1. Those days of dressing up for holidays have gone by for most of us. I make an effort to create a festively decorated table for the special dinner, though.

  2. What a precious memory Barbara – I like how you and Beverly are looking at each other. I remember those days, dressing up for Easter and going to Sunday School in our new clothes. How long ago that seems now. I never had a cute bunny purse!

    1. Oh Linda, that’s exactly what I loved so much about this picture, the way we were looking at each other. 🙂 It makes up for the diapers hanging on the clothesline behind us — lol. We never went to Sunday school or church, but we traveled to the big city (New York) where my aunt made a fancy Easter dinner for all the relatives.

      1. It was a great picture Barbara – something to treasure forever. You two looked so cute! I didn’t even notice the diapers. I went to Sunday school every week with my friend next door – my father said he wanted to sleep in and my mom didn’t drive. When you were young traveling to the big city was very exciting and seeing your relatives at Easter dinner made it more special.

        1. Thank you, Linda! That was so nice of your neighbor to drive you to Sunday school every week. Religion was such a hot button issue in my family of origin. My father was an atheist and my maternal grandparents were devout Christians. (My mother stayed out of it and was into Native American spirituality.) When my grandparents realized my sister and I weren’t going to be raised in any faith they took us to their church and got us baptized there. I used to love it my grandparents’ house. At dinner they let us take turns reading a blessing for the family from a litter prayer book before dinner. Easter dinner in the big city with my father’s relatives had nothing spiritual about it at all.

          1. Interesting, because my father was an atheist as well. He said he worked six days a week and worked long hours, so would like to sleep in and wanted nothing more to do with church. He was quite belligerent about it and said he was forced into going to church by his parents as a youngster and was an adult now. We were miles from any church and my mom didn’t drive, but wanted me to go to Sunday school. In fact, I went to Sunday School with a Presbyterian friend and also a Baptist friend, though I was Catholic. I went to church with my grandmother, also Catholic, whenever we went to visit her. That sounds nice reading from the prayer book before dinner. We never did any traditions like that unfortunately. I still have my mom’s prayer book from when she was a young girl.

          2. That is interesting, although my father was raised as an atheist. Did you enjoy going to church with your grandmother? You must treasure having your mom’s prayer book. I have my mom’s birding field guide with her life list in it. She was into nature and Native American spirituality but didn’t interfere with my grandparents’ talking to me about their Congregational faith. Once my grandmother drove me to visit Holy Land USA in Waterbury, CT, but it was closed for some reason when we got there. I remember feeling very disappointed.

          3. My father was orphaned just before he went into the German army – he never really talked about his childhood, but my parents were married in the Catholic church and I was baptized there but he never went to church after that. And because my mom couldn’t drive she could no longer go to church either. I did like going with my grandmother to church Barbara. My grandmother lived in the same neighborhood for many decades. It had been all Canadians, then she was the only one as it was all Italian families, then all Portuguese families. So St. Helen’s, the big Catholic Church at the end of her street, where she went for decades, adapted to the ever-changing neighborhood, having only one mass in English, the rest in other languages. I went to midnight mass with her one time and wrote about it in a post.

            When I was very young, my parents took my grandmother to a shrine in Ohio. It was somewhere in Ohio and I just Googled and there are many shrines there, so I don’t remember which one and I was only five or six years old. I remember she bought me a little charm of that saint. I am surprised my father didn’t balk at the idea of driving from Toronto to Ohio for a shrine, but he and my grandmother got along fine, so I guess he didn’t mind. I am thinking to include that prayer book in a post about my mom, maybe for her 100th birthday – I have a few years for that, 2026. She signed the prayer book and has some pictures of saints inside the book as well. And, I have photos I have not used of her making her communion and standing next to my grandparents.

          4. My father got along well with my grandparents, too. I guess that’s how I learned about mutual respect for people with differing beliefs. Having your mom’s prayer book with her writing in it and other reminders of her faith is a precious gift I know you must treasure. And the charm. My daughter-in-law is part of a huge Italian Catholic family. When we went to Venice and asked her what she’d like for a souvenir she requested rosary beads blessed by the Pope for her mother. We also picked up a beautiful set of rosary beads made from Murano glass which she gave to her grandmother. The churches in Venice were beautiful. One night we were having dinner outside on the island of Burano when the church bells rang and we watched widows dressed in black walking by on their way to the mass. An image of the faithful I won’t soon forget.

          5. I only had a few travel places on my bucket list and Italy was one of them. I likely will never get there now, nor France nor Alaska. I will need to be an armchair traveler instead. That sounds like a wonderful gift and blessed by the Pope on top of it, as does the Murano glass rosary beads. I brought my grandmother a small wooden rosary along the Via Dolorosa. You would not think this holy route would be commercialized, but it was. I also got a small card to put inside a wallet that had pressed flowers from the tomb of the Holy Sepulchre. They were supposed to be authentic. My grandmother lived down the street from a huge Catholic church where she worshipped for decades. Everyone walked up the street (it was a steep incline to reach the top of the street) and you would see all the widows, dressed from head to toe in black, even black stockings and veil. They always walked solo.

          6. That must have been quite an experience, walking the Via Dolorosa, even if it was commercialized. Some souvenirs can be pretty special, like the small wooden rosary. I’ve been coming across a few mementos from ancestors and relatives as I’ve been sorting and packing and then keeping only the ones that seem special in some way. Most of the travel guides I’ve been trashing as the Book Barn won’t take them and they are memories from people long gone… But I’m keeping things like my grandmother’s handwritten travel journal of her trip to Mexico. What an emotional unloading this downsizing adventure is turning out to be.

          7. I imagine you are stopping what you are doing to leaf through these treasured memories. I had a Rubbermaid tub of mementos I went thru a few years ago when I was cleaning the basement after whole-house insulation. I wrote a blog post about my finds. 🙂 I had my mom’s autograph books from the hospital when she finally left after four years at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. I believe they are in my desk downstairs which I can’t access right now as there are clothing racks and more Rubbermaid tubs of puzzles and books around it (a retirement project). I brought my grandmother back a black lace mantilla from Spain to wear to church. She loved it.

          8. The black mantilla sounds beautiful — the perfect gift for your grandmother. My goodness, you and I have certainly been buried under years of memories, haven’t we? This is why it is taking so so long for me to pack!

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