Sometimes love of God and family and others coincide. When my brother, the rebellious, awkward one, suddenly announced he was planning to become a Catholic priest, that was one of those times.
My Mum’s a Methodist you see, though we kids were all brought up in the Catholic church. We knew, Mum knew, Dad knew we were all Christians. But Catholic priests don’t marry and have kids; Methodist ministers do.
My brother was right; he wanted and surely was called to be a priest. He is a wonderful priest. But there must have been a moment before that smile, before my Mum’s enthusiastic “Oh, how wonderful!” Just one little moment perhaps, to mourn the grandchildren she’d never have from the son who would so certainly have made a good father; to mourn the pride that would always be mixed with what-ifs.
My father died some years ago, and now Mum stays with my brother from time to time, when he’s available to drive her there. She worships with his congregation then – “Father’s mother,” they call her. But she can’t receive communion. And if my brother’s called out to a parishioner, well, congregation comes first.
Love of God made Mum able to offer her son up to Him. Love of family made her agree to his chosen walk. And love of others, Mum’s sacrificial love, allows my brother’s God-family to take precedence over the mortal. That’s the way it’s meant to be.
So I honor you Mum, and I love you. And I hope somehow in my own small way I might emulate your love.
Written as part of the Blog Tour release party for Mary DeMuth’s new book, A Slow Burn.
See An Un-put-down-able Read for my first reaction to Mary’s book,
and A Slow Burn for my Gather review.