Last night, in my writing workshop, we had to share an embarrassing story about ourselves. What I'm about to share is not known by many people, including my mother. I have not shared this story with my mother for about 30 years. Here's to hoping she doesn't read my blog...
I come from a long line of good Catholics. My mother was such a good Catholic, she almost entered the nunnery.
We were great Catholics.
We ate fish on Fridays and observed Lent. And when we got in trouble,
we even kneeled before a photo of Jesus.
But then my oldest brother told my mother he didn't believe in God.
It freaked her out.
Soon, we were born again Christians. We were good born again Christians.
My mom was determined to share the gospel of the Good News of Jesus with all those she encountered.
There were a lot of us in my home. My parents. My grandparents. My 3 older siblings. 8 of us. That's a lot of people. Chances of being home alone with so many people in a house are pretty slim to none.
A couple things happened. First, I became best friends with Maria Cannizzarro. Maria was a tiny Italian girl with a mouth so foul, she could curse a boatload of sailors into blushing. And my grandfather died. Then my grandmother went to live with my aunt abroad for 6 months.
I found myself alone at home. A lot.
My favorite thing to do when home alone was to stand in the upstairs hallway, near the kitchen, and shout every possible profanity and combination of profanity my 11-yr old mind could imagine within a 5 minute period. Top of my lungs. Every swear word known to man. Or me. Sometimes, the kitchen windows were open.
Later that fall, my mother returned from witnessing to the next door neighbor. A stay-at-home mom. Witnessing is when you talk about Jesus and invite someone to be a Christian.
It didn't go so well.
As fate would have it, the neighbor lady told my mother that she wanted no part of God, based upon the things she heard coming from our home. Ummm...
My mother was so shocked and confused. She thought we had a good family life. She asked all of us kids what the neighbor could possibly be talking about. I think Mom thought we were fighting when she wasn't home. I'm fairly confident, my mother never thought her 11-year old daughter had been cursing at the top of her lungs the entire spring and summer.
30 years later and my mother has never been told this story.
In fact, I don't think any of my siblings know the story either...