Monday, January 23, 2006

More Muttonings

I kind of skipped over my father when I posted about my parents. Frankly, I didn'tknow him very well. I was only three when he and my mother split up. I have heard several different stories about why they divorced, but I don't think anyone, including they, knew the complete story.

Later, after he died, I learned that he had two sisters I had never known. Naomi went to nursing school for a little while, but didn't finish. She got married - a no-no for nursing students back then. Her husband was apparently an abuser, but she stayed with him for about 50 years. She died back in the mid-90's. The other sister, Mary Elizabeth, died back in the 50's of a stroke. They knew about me, but had not tried to keep in touch. Apparently they were warned off by my father who told them I would, "never need anything they could offer me."

His father, according to reports by Naomi and her oldest daugher and son, was an abuser who was married at least 3 times and maybe 5 times. There are rumors that he murdered my grandmother, the Cherokee indian, and that one of his children by a previous wife was imprisoned for murder. Gee, the things you learn about your family!

Did I love my father? I honestly don't know. I longed for more time with him, and as a child I think I loved him. As I got older, however, the lack of contact over the years reduced my attachment to him. There were some points in time in which I tried to re-establish a relationship with him and my half-sister and half-brother. It never "worked," though. When he experienced his last illness, I wasn't notified until he was in a coma. I spent several days at his bedside, read the paper to him, kept the TV tuned to sports programs in a vain attempt to bring him "back," but he didn't recover. My sons were among his pallbearers. But they didn't know him, and it was a detached kind of honor for them.

I pray for him and for his wife, my step-mother, who died a couple of years later. I wasn't notified of her last illness or death at all. I found out a couple of years later when our priest went with me to my father's grave to bless it. Then I saw my stepmother's headstone and the date of her death. At that point, I realized that my half-sibs and I had no relationship whatsoever, and I gave up trying to keep up with them at all.

Such things are sad. May God have mercy on all of us!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

T-Rex Cooks

Since I've had so much to do, and have been under the weather so much recently, the T-Rex (AKA the ol' curmudgeon) decided to do the cooking on "non-fasting" days. He became so addicted to the FoodNetwork that I hardly get to see Animal Planet anymore! ;-)

So, it was a Food-Groupie kind of Christmas.

He got:
Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for More Food (he already had the first one)
A large pepper mill for the kitchen - adjustable from cracked peppercorns to powdered pepper

He gave me:
A Kitchen Aid mixer
Two of Rachael Ray's cookbooks

We got:
A new food processor
A citrus press
various other kitchen tools

Since October, he's rearranged the kitchen, re-organized the refrigerator and the freezer, used up most of the food in the freezer, and started getting really different (from our usual fare) foods from the grocery and the local fresh-market (proschiutto, mascarpone, etc). The food he makes is good, I'll say that for him.

But as relieved as I am that I don't have to plan meals and cook, I feel guilty because I'm not planning meals and cooking!

Can't win for losing.

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Martyrs, Confessors, and Passion-Bearers of Russia

New Martyrs, Confessors, and Passion-Bearers of Russia

As I was reading these pages, I realized once more that we in the USA are not comfortable with the concept of martyrdom. In fact, we ofte use the term "Martyr" as a derogatory assessment of the mental and emotional shortcomings of others.

However, in this 21st century, the USA will see the true martyrdom of many Christians by those who hate Christianity. Those who truly love Christ will be threatened with death by the Christ-haters. And hundreds of thousands of those who retain their faith will be slaughtered. There will be many who will say, "Their deaths were in vain," but God knows that the death of one who loves Him is never in vain!

Our task to to embrace Christ ever more tightly, ever more firmly, until we cannot conceive of living life without Him - and to that end, we would lay down our lives in order to live in Him. For, life without Him truly would be death.

This will not take place in some obscure (to us) corner of the planet, but in our own cities and states. Even in our own Churches. It will happen in Washington DC, in New York, in California, in Minnesota, in Texas, in Alaska, in Hawaii - and everywhere between.There will be no place to hide.

Just as in Russia, in the early part of the 20th century, bishops, priests, deacons and laypeople were imprisoned, tortured and killed for their faith, so will we be imprisoned, tortured and killed for our faith.

Only a remnant of believers will be left - and they will have to go into hiding - just as did the early Christians of the first through third centuries. They will worship in basements, in garages, in backrooms. They will have to have special passwords and signs to recognize each other - and these will have to differ from location to location to keep the persecuters from recognizing them.

We must prepare for this - prepare our children and grandchildren, prepare our friends and relatives, prepare ourselves. We must hold to our love of Christ, we must be prepared to suffer, we must be prepared to die.

We must also be prepared to not judge those who give in - for those of them who later repent their denial of Christ will form a strong remnant that will keep alive the true Body and Immaculate Bride of Christ - His Church.

May God help us!