Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Bit of Lace

When I was a stay-at-home Mom, my closets were straight, my drawers were organized, the refrigerator contained no science-project type leftovers.... it was a different life. Now my house is clean and usually straight, but the closets are a little scary and my dresser drawers are downright terrifying. Let's not talk about the fridge.
So I set out to reorganize my lingerie drawers. I had bras in there from before I gained these 20 pounds. Pretty sure I'll never be a C cup again, so out they go! Pantyhose with a run? Out! Gray socks that should be white? GONE. And then I spied three triangles of lace, one in black, one in white and one in cream. About 24 inches per side, they are big triangles.

I took one out and held it to my face; I could almost smell the incense that permeated it from the last time I attended a solemn high mass. You see, my Dad was a traditional Catholic. As in, from before the Second Vatican Council, finding priests who were still offering the Tridentine mass in Latin. Girls were expected to wear a skirt below the knee and keep their head covered.

Three lace head coverings that I used to wear when I went to mass. With my Dad.

I still consider myself Catholic, even though I haven't been to mass in a long time. Something is missing for me now. There isn't a Latin mass anywhere near here. The modern notion of mass is a foreign experience for me and I don't find any spiritual comfort in. Maybe it's partly because going to church was always something I did with my Dad, and I can't even imagine him sitting next to me in the pew when it's guitar music playing instead of a choir singing.

So it isn't that I fell away from the faith. Quite the contrary, I think my dear, conservative and very Catholic Dad gave me a faith strong enough to stand even without the support of a congregation of like-minded individuals. Now my faith is between me and God and no one else.

Three triangles of lace called into the light my questions about faith versus religion. Three triangles of lace reminded me of my roots. Three triangles of lace brought my Dad back to me for a few moments.

I doubt I'll ever use them again, but I folded them neatly and tucked them back into the drawer.

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ


  1. I'm feeling a little inferior because I'm a SAHM and my drawers are so not organized and I don't even want to know what's in the back corners of that refrigerator!

    It's lovely to connect your father with the rites of faith.

  2. hmmm...i do not know much about Catholicism...why do girls need to cover their heads?

    I thought this was a beautiful reflection on how you share something so sacred with your dad.

  3. It is amazing how the world of religion has changed so much. I too find more solace in the one on one relationship than any congregation can give me. I felt your nostalgia in remembering your father, and also felt like you were smiling as you did so.

  4. I can absolutely relate. My parents were 2nd Vatican types but I had teachers that were old school. I learned many parts of the Latin mass and we sang them regularly through my elementary years. There is solace and peace in those strange and beautiful words.

    And yes, the moments with your Dad, such a cherished thing.

  5. Your reflections on faith vs religion mirror my own, but for very different reasons. Your story was lovely and a nice tribute to your Dad and your special time with him.
    Nicely done!