Signposts Along the Way: Signpost 6 – Part 2 of 5: The Stage Is Set

9 Apr

Shortly after the “Stone Wall Prayer” event, my sister, Gini, got hold of a Catholic Bible and informed me that there was indeed a Hell. I flat out told her she was crazy. Although in the back of my mind, I wondered: if this were true, if there were actually a Hell, then what would happen to my dad? Up until then I never really thought about where I would go after I died. Then I pondered upon it further. Who is the type of person that goes to Hell? Should I be worried too?

Each time we spoke, Gini kept providing me with further details on the unsavory subject. Finally one day she just came out and asked, “Well, what if there is a Hell?  Do you want to take a chance?” She really knew what buttons to press to get me thinking.

I was still searching for that Jesus I had heard about from Arnie and Grandma. Where would I go to find him?

Mom, Gini and I decided to join a class at our local, Catholic church, called “Life in the Spirit.” It centered around Romans 8, a chapter in the Bible that teaches how man can walk in God’s way and live freely. We hoped it would enlighten us on our quest for answers. After sitting through our first day of instruction, the only thing that I took away from that day was being told by the nun that taught the class that, “There was no Hell!” Gini was mortified! I was further confused.

After class everyone joined together and gossiped. Not being our cup of tea, we left. It became our first Bible class and last at that church.

On the Monday before Easter, Mom was over my house planning her yearly, family Easter dinner. As we sat over coffee at the kitchen table, she looked up from her pile of grocery lists and recipes and asked, “I WILL be seeing you at Easter dinner, right?” In the past, mom would have never even considered asking. It was just assumed that we would be there as Easter Sunday was a family tradition. This year was a bit different. Dad still hadn’t spoken to me or even acknowledged our son, David. I definitely did not feel welcome in their home.

I voiced my trepidation to my mom. “How could I sit and eat Easter dinner with dad after he shut the door in our faces leaving us drenched in the storm? Not just me, but his 2 year old grandson as well! He made it very clear that WE WERE NOT WELCOME. Period!”

Mom gently reached over the table and took my hand. Looking into my eyes, she sweetly replied, “Darling, I want you to come to dinner anyway and I want you to forgive your Father.”

“You’re kidding, right!” Seeing the look on her face immediately revealed that she was not. “Why should I forgive him? I retorted. What had I done? He obviously was the one with the problem. Not me and surely not little David!”

“Just come,” she said calmly “Everything will be fine. I promise.” Despite my apprehension, she always had a way of making me feel better. Although my mind wanted to protest, my heart knew that she was right. After a little more mental resistance, I decided to forgive my father, go to Easter dinner and put everything behind us.

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