I fasted yesterday – sort of. My wimpy attempt at a fast was merely not snacking between meals and not getting a 3rd cup of coffee in the morning; if I try to give up more than that it’s not a penance for me, it’s a punishment for everybody who has to deal with me. And since I had to go to work yesterday, numerous people had to deal with me.
After a long day which included listening to a smug coworker proclaim that she’s glad she is not Catholic because that means she doesn’t have to give anything up, I dragged myself to Mass. I couldn’t get to my usual church for Mass; I picked the church I did attend in part because it’s equidistant between DH’s and my jobs. I invited DH to come along, and hoped that he’d actually take me up on the offer this time.
Again, I hoped in vain.
Usually receiving the Eucharist fills me with peace; today, after a brief moment of peace I was filled with sadness. What am I doing? Is all the praying for DH that I do even helping? Lord, I thought, I screwed up. I could have married a Catholic man, I could’ve become a nun and married You, and instead I’m married to a guy who thinks that everyone in this church tonight is delusional. The church was packed, but I felt so alone.
And then I got home. DH had leftover chicken casserole for dinner, I had PB&J. (Did I remind him that Ash Wednesday is a day of abstinence? Oops.) I reminded myself that everything seems worse on an empty stomach, and sat down for dinner and a nice long chat with DH. I reminded myself of the time he agreed with me when I said that a certain atheist blogger was being a jerkwad. I reminded myself that for the 3rd consecutive Lent, he’s giving something up, even though he takes great pains to point out that it’s only a self-improvement project. I remind myself that he once told me he wished he could believe. And then I reminded myself of St. Monica, who had to wait fifteen years for her son’s conversion. I haven’t even waited for half of that! Who am I to complain?
When we curled up in bed last night, DH allowed our old, arthritic cat under the covers with us while the other cat purred next to me. I turned to DH and said, “Tolstoy was wrong. Happy families are not all alike.”