By Eve W. Engle

The dogs rule in our house. They are fed first, allowed in our bed, have their own bed in the guest room and sneak up onto the sofas when we aren't looking. Maxie, short for Maximus, is a Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenes mix, Sammy is a Black Lab/Border Collie mix. His full name is Samuel L. Jackson after one of my favorite actors. Both were abused and rescued from their former owners. They get cookies every morning.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Spirit

It's been a while since I felt like blogging. Last month I made a valiant effort to write my novel for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as most of us call it. Starting a blog up at the same time was a mistake! I have had serious carpal tunnel ever since. Now I'm not whining mind you, just explaining why I haven't felt like blogging. But dispite the annoyance this morning I had something to say, even though no one seems to be reading this but me, myself, and I. In fact, last night something rather profound happened. Not earth shattering. Not even a blip on the radar for community changing events. Nope. Just something personally thrilling.

Eldest son met me at church last night!

That may not have come across quite as exciting as I would have liked, so let me explain. You see he hasn't been to church since 2002. But a couple days ago he called and talked to me about the possibility of a job for a college. One of the questions on the application inquired about his religious preference. The question bothered him. He called mom. Mom asked him what he thought and held her breath. He answered that he had put down "Episcopalian". Mom let out her breath. "Good answer" was all I could come up with. But that was when he admitted the real reason he was calling. He felt guilty.

When my boys were little we went to a wonderful church in Huntsville Alabama. There we found a dynamic group of intelligent, caring, and committed congregates who welcomed us with all our faults and set about including us in every activity imaginable. I sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, became the parish hostess for events, was a den leader for the church sponsored Cub Scout Pack, and settled in for a long life there with the expectation that I would someday be buried in the columbarium (a niche for ashes in the church). My children went to Sunday School, participated in Cherub Choir, Cub Scouts, every child event imaginable, and spent their free time with other children from our church "family". Both Eldest Son and Middle Son did the "God and Church" requirements and won medals for Cub Scouts. And finally, as tradition dictates in the Episcopal Church, Eldest son became confirmed.

But then the worst thing imaginable happened. Their father and I divorced and we moved away. We tried the church in our new town but it never was a good fit. After a decade even I gave up on it and moved to a smaller congregation attached to the college. When Eldest Son began taking classes there I encouraged him to attend but he dismissed me saying he was too busy and that he wasn't interested. And now, after 8 years, he came back.

He will never know how happy I was sitting there beside him, nor how amazed I was at how tall he has grown as he walked to the Eucharistic table in front of me. I am keeping it to myself (he'll never read this), a few cherished moments for a mom.

This truly is the season of hope and miracles.

Merry Christmas.